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Free Falling

2 Apr

When I turned 50, my father got me a gift certificate for a floatation at Flo2s, a sensory-deprivation, floatation-therapy spa in Atlanta which bills their floatation experience as being “like outer space on earth.” I intended to use it right away, but, as so often happens, other demands on my life took priority.

Finally, this past March, I turned the necessity of driving my daughter down to the Atlanta airport into an opportunity to redeem my gift certificate. The experience was so energizing, that I plan on repeating it, but closer to home at Lucidity Spa in downtown Chattanooga.

Because parking in Atlanta can be problematic, I arrived early. Flo2s’ owners were in the middle of remodeling their facility, so the lobby was a little cluttered with paint cans, tiles and tesserae, brushes, and other common renovation ingredients. I think the end result will be very relaxing since the lobby restroom had been retiled in a very calming brown pattern. The building Flo2s is leasing is an older building with odd architectural quirks and almost alien piping, but the tiler somehow brought all those elements together in an organic way.

I had to sign a number of releases and go through a short training, and then the attendant took me to my tank area and showed me how everything worked. He gave me special earplugs for my ears, both to keep the water out and to deaden any sounds. He showed me how the chamber door worked and where the light switch was located. Then he gave me a cloth – in case I needed to scratch my nose. For hygiene reasons, I was not supposed to scratch my nose with wet fingers and place them right back in the water. I thought that was a little odd.

After he left, I showered off, changed into my swimsuit, and got into the tank. I felt odd at first because the tank was so shallow. I wasn’t sure how to hold my head and shoulders. I closed the door, turned off the light, lay back, and tried to relax. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of relaxing into a float because it really does not feel the same as floating in a swimming pool. Even with the extra floatation I carry naturally, I sink much lower in both fresh and salt water than I did in that concentrated bath of Epsom salts.

I closed my eyes and waited. Eventually my body relaxed. After a while I started to feel like I was gently spinning or tumbling through space. When I opened my eyes, I half expected to see stars in the night sky – but the blackness of the chamber was absolute. I used the cloth a few times, and when I reached for it once, I discovered that I had spun somewhat, because it was no longer in reach. Exploration revealed that my head was now where my feet had been, so I readjusted myself, scratched my nose in the approved manner and lay back down.

After a while, I began to wonder if signing up for a full 90-minute float had been a good idea. The air was just a tiny bit cooler than what I preferred, as was the water. I wasn’t chilly, but almost. And absolutely nothing was going on. Aside from a very faint whiff of mold. When I drive with the music off, to be alone with my thoughts, I still have the scenery. No sensory input began to bore me.

I estimated that I’d been in there between 20 and 25 minutes and started considering whether to just get out and stand in a hot shower. Then the music came on: the signal that my 90 minutes was up! Surely not! It couldn’t have been 90 minutes already!

I got out and checked the time on my phone: an hour and a half. Where had the time gone? I didn’t have any recollection of falling asleep or waking up, yet I must have. As I drove back up I-75 to Ringgold, I felt surprisingly energetic for someone who’d only gotten four hours of sleep the night before. The burst of energy lasted until almost 9pm.

In doing more research on floatation therapy, I came across this claim: One hour of rest in the floating theta state is equivalent to approximately four hours of R.E.M. sleep. I’m not sure what a floating theta state is, but I consider that float to be the best maybe-nap of my life.

Thanks, Dad!


Twirl Wind

4 Apr

A playful breeze swirls

pale pink petals pilfered from

neighbor’s apple tree.

NaNoWriMo, Interrupted

24 Nov

Life is what happens when one is making other plans, or so the saying goes.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (proving yet again I am not psychic), I had to quickly find a job. Fortunately, has a fulfillment center nearby which needs bodies for seasonal positions. Win-win.

Anyway, I am now working overnights. Between the physical demands of a warehouse job and normal family stuff, I have no energy left for writing. I refuse to feel guilty for this. Life happens.

I’ve written 32,000 words of the Baroness’ life, and I will come back to her. She has taken on a life and nobility that compels me. Once I have more than three free brain cells at a time.



To be continued….after Christmas….


Haiku #14: The Creek this Morning

14 Feb

Light plays on water

moving over sand and rocks —

one beam spotlights moss.

Haiku #13

13 Feb

….Rain again today:

hot cocoa, popcorn, good book,

or maybe a nap….

Haiku #9 Composting

8 Feb

Kitchen scraps, leaves, weeds

slowly change in cold and damp.

My spade turns black gold!


Haiku #8

7 Feb

Special Olympics Basketball 2013 012Haiku #8

Special Olympics:
helping exceptional kids
to take their best shot

February 2: A light dusting of snow

2 Feb

Snow is falling here in Catoosa County, GA. Everything and everybody stops. Schools, stores, and offices close. People postpone their normal plans for the day. They seem to regard the snow with a certain degree of wonder and disbelief: “It’s snowing! In Georgia!”

Children tilt their faces up to the sky and try to catch flakes on their tongues. They talk excitedly about sleds when the snow doesn’t even cover the ground. The novelty of it entrances them.

I, however, lived in Idaho for 20 years. I look at the snow, my nemesis, suspiciously: “You followed me here!? I thought I had finally eluded you!” 

Daniel, my thirteen-year-old son (with a cerebral palsy-related speech impediment), looked out the window today in disbelief then rounded on me accusingly, “No more snow! Rain!” I agreed that it should be rain, not snow, and asked if he still wanted to go to the pool at the gym. We decided not to risk the twisty, icy roads. It will melt off tomorrow, and life will return to normal.

Haiku #3: Georgia Snow

Snow! Snow? In Georgia?

Everything, everyone stops…

in joy and wonder.


Haiku #4: Idaho Snow

Snow in Idaho:

four-wheel drives, shovels, hats, coats —

this is just winter.