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The Charm of Swimming Pool

In the past two weeks, work has been leaving me with quite a decent amount of personal time. Some time when I returned home early, after grabbing a fulsome dinner, I frequented the swimming pool on the 43rd of J Residence. The location of the swimming pool certainly made it a special one, as it gives me a chance of oversee most of the buildings in Central not too far away by sight. Usually I went there around nine, and besides the guard, there was no one near the pool. The first time I went, the pool was too quiet and I asked the guard if the pool was closing. "No, it is open." He replied.

After putting down my stuff, usually a tower, my phone and an easily readable book, I took off my green shirt. With my glasses on, I started to test the water in the pool. It was by no means close to my body temperature, but I had to immerse myself in it. Long pain is worse than short pain, and I chose the latter. Cruelly burying my warm body including my head into the relatively chilly water, I had to keep swimming to make myself feel warm.

Amazingly, the temperature difference between the water and my body disappeared rather quickly and rather quietly. My body soon adapted to the water temperature and I started to feel comfortable in the water. The magic did not stop there. My mind got quickly emptied. The direct contact between my skin and the water took away the noise in my thought when the water washed away the sweat on my skin, but much more, it also pervaded into my body and started to purify it.

I enjoyed my time in the water. Swimming back and forth for couple rounds, and then playing with the water as if a child, I enjoyed the touch by the water on my skin and I feel completely comfortable exposing myself to the close examination of the water as if it was given a life and a rather vivid one. The occasional splash plus the sounds generated by the water movement was in clear contrast to the surrounding characterized by nothing but stillness and tranquility.

Above the swimming pool hung the moon. Floating on the water and facing up, I could not help but stare at the moon as if I had never seen it before. The moon had never felt so close to me (it was usually a night of good weather with clear sky) without the disguise of multiple layers of clouds in motion. It almost made me feel colder whenever I looked up to the moon and I wondered if the moon was working out some mechanism on me as it did with the ocean tide. The environment was too quiet and too unoccupied that many lifeless objects started to fill in the emptiness and played out a tranquil melody that required not too much imagination to detect, at least for me.

The famous British painter, David Hockney,

painted swimming pool and he was probably the most famous guy in the world for painting swimming pool. The charm in his swimming pool painting lies in the thematic transformation of his work after his arrival in California in mid-1960s. Los Angeles brought a vibrant and sunny vibe to Hockney's artistic sense in stark contrast to his previous home in London. Swimming pool is a recurring theme in Hockney's work to manifest that California vibe characterized by optimism, freshness, vibrancy, and life. As one of the most influential artists in the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, Hockney was also a subject of examination in my only art history course at Yale.

It did not take too long for me to think of Hockney's swimming pool painting after I swam alone in that swimming pool on the 43rd floor of J Residence. Probably just as naked as the man in the Hockney's painting, I smelled a transformation brought by the swimming pool upon me as if it was California to Hockney. I developed an attachment to the swimming pool and became drawn to its charm that is not always easy to put into words. So may the painting to speak the rest, and shall I keep swimming to embrace its host.

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