All through this trip, I am asked: “Tell me, which is your favorite pool?” I respond: “The one right in front of me”. My favorite pool is the pool that is here, the pool I am about to breach and unto which I will be enfolded.
This is Bohmian. It is how David Bohm saw the world, an enfolding and unfolding of reality into and out of an underlying pre-existence. This pre-existence is an explicate order, it is everything you see and know. It is an unfolded world. Then, below the surface is an implicate order, that which you cannot see or know, only sense at the corner of your eye that things are not what they seem. That below the surface is a different world, into which everything can be enfolded, brought back into one. Under the water, in the experience and the moment, you are in a new world.
I don’t go to pools to rate them. I do not stand there with a clipboard, measuring the unmeasurable. I go to inhale the pool and then, be inhaled by them. To be under the water and momentarily removed from the world that I know. The pool I am about to enter is my favorite pool because it is here, right here and now.
That is how I approach our first pool of the day – Ourie Pool at Werri Beach in Gerringong. Everything works: From the parking to the facilities, to the walkout across the rock platform to the pool, to the stone under the bench that someone has placed and on it written out a version of the old Greek saying. When you are there, you will read this: “No-one ever steps in the same ocean twice for it’s not the same ocean and they are not the same person.”
The pool is regular and pleasing and the water is the clearest we have seen at any pool. The rock platform is a moonscape stretching around the headland. We explore in the hope and expectation of finding a purely natural pool, but the rock face has absorbed everything it touches. Oyster shells are ossified into the rock, their sharp edges planed off by the sea. Later we find a crab shell similarly welded to the rock. I wonder how long it would take for the rock to take me if I stood very still for a long time.
Standing on the moonscape, I make myself up as big as possible, arms in the sky, I want as much of me as possible to be touched by this moment.
A council worker arrives to clean the steps to the pool. I enquire as to how it is so clean. There’s no pump he says, they can drain the pool but then it is filled by high tide. They also put the bobcat in when it’s empty to clean its sandy bottom. I tell him we are off to Boat Harbour Pool, a few minutes away. He warns me off, telling me it’s too dirty but we go anyway.
We find it to be a lovely pool facing out to the sea. It’s like the Gentleman’s Pool in Wollongong, with a thin wall on the east severing the pool from the sea. The water is not particularly clear, but we think it is okay and get in anyway. We are, as ever, rewarded for our bravery with a pleasant swim, warm smiles, and play. We close the afternoon with ice creams and coffees at a café in Gerringong. We are happy to have spent time in our favorite pools and that another favorite is ahead, ready to offer itself up tomorrow.