Sweet relief

I took this photo in Sopol Poland several years ago. It was October, far too late in the year for anyone to go wading in the Baltic. And yet, this old woman hobbled through the wind to the water, and stood in the water for several minutes. I have always loved this photo – it’s told me so many stories. (Here is one of them called The Mermaid Returns) I will always wonder what was playing in her mind and her heart as she stood there.

Published by Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

17 thoughts on “Sweet relief

  1. Good therapy. Ahhh the sea :). It’s on our genes. My Great Grandfather from Sweden was
    Captain of a merchant ship. He sailed to the
    Congo and to America.


      1. Yes :). And we have always lived near water. The lake is calm here this morn with a few raindrops. I would love to see the subject of your photo throw down her crutch and move easily in the surf. Well maybe on a sunny day 🙂


  2. I remember this photo from before…it’s one easily remembered! The longing it suggests is so powerful. I’d love to write a short story about her. Would you be willing to let me use the photo for a post – with all photo credit to you, of course, and a link to your blog?

    I completely understand if your answer is “no”!


  3. Eh, madam!
    Haven’t been here in yonks, gonna take some time and root around.
    Glorious photo this…it’s so melancholic…I’m looking at it over breakfast and my mouth has been stuck to my toast for a couple of minutes…I forgot I was taking a bite!

    I came across a poem (by an older man I presume) that you might want to read – it’s not excellent but it resonates with the photo here – and it’s not bad, who am I to judge poetry!

    Oh shriek, I can’t remember where I put the link! I’ll post it if it crops up!


    1. So nice to see you Kenneth. I really have ‘missed’ you while you’ve been on this new journey, or I suppose, continuation of your own journey – being that I met you in one particular place/space – and I suppose when we meet people, we/I imagine that the space they are in is their space – how dare they move into another space?
      But no matter where you are, it makes me happy to see you here 🙂


    1. oh and this poem… read it last night and I thought somehow the love was in the past along with the time Read it again just now and realised it is just the time, not the love. This will be my husband and me in just a few years… I see glimpses of it even now. And remind myself to breathe…


  4. I think that this is one of my all-time favorite photographs, not just by you but by anyone. It says so very much. If I ever write my book, the reflective one, I think this would be the perfect cover . . .


    1. Let me know when you’re ready and we’ll create the perfect version! She also went into the competition… under People… without a face, she’s not going anywhere… but… that’s okay, too…


      1. Think of all of the artists who never rendered faces. Their work was stunning in its approach. I really mean it about this image. It captures so much of what I feel all of the time.


  5. When we lived in Jacksonville Beach, I noticed an older woman who walked up and down the beach every morning like I did. But she had a daily habit that I found awe inspiring. No matter what the season or temperature, (and that beach got cold and windy in winter,) this lady would strip down to her bathing suit, and stride confidently into the water up to her thighs, then dip down all the way under. She would then get her clothes together and continue her walk down the beach. One day I decided that I needed to know her story, so we started talking. Turns out the woman I assumed to be about 65, was 89 years old. She had been a jewish/polish prisoner in a nazi concentration camp. She told me that life had taught her many things, the healing power of salt water being one of them. She hadn’t missed her morning dip in the sea in decades, and she was healthy and sharp as anyone I have ever met.


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