The Shaman Said First, you must float, losing the fear of falling to the muddy bottom. Spread yourself on the water. Let it carry you with cool arms after catching you from a fall. The water is your friend, a friend supporting, lifting, carrying. A best friend. You might be tempted to tug at the covers of the water and curl up into a fetal creature, sinking in the encompassing comfort, dreaming till you drown. Resist. You are resting on the water, a silky membrane covering your back. Relax until you forget the water. Soon the water will forget you. Drift, drift, let liquid fingertips brush against your open palms, touching until a thin veil of molecules separate you. You are safe, you are weightless, you are harmonious with the water. Be present to the water, knowing this water will hold you, never harming you, never letting you down. Focus on these things, this path. In time, this will come naturally, anytime you choose, without a buoy. In time, you shall walk here.
Kevin Zepper teaches at a small midwest university. He writes, photographs, and acts.