Driving home on a cool, blustery autumnal Friday the light was fantastic around the Blackrock diving platform in Salthill, Galway, defining it against a solemn sky and shimmering sea. I stopped the car, got out with my camera and while wandering around the "rock" your man suddenly appears: lithe, retro swimming trunks, smiling, at ease; goes to top platform, builds up speed, and I'm thinking a straightforward jump and ready the camera, but then.... he launches upwards, arcs into the most beautiful, precise back somersault, neck extended to spot the surface, back curved and arms like angel wings. He is into and out of the sea in an instant.
A sublime moment of skill and savoir-faire. Your own fears, failures and frustrations of the week gone by evaporated by the splash. And the good things remembered, the spontaneous exuberance and beauty of the dive a reaffirmation of life. I searched, as you sometimes do on a Friday afternoon, for a deeper meaning still, wanting to extend it. I said to him in passing, "You spent more time in the air than in the water", looking for an entre into the "true" explanation of the moment, seeking a distillation of its essence. My shivering "guru" smiled. "The water's bloody cold," he replied as he got dressed and left with as little sense of entitlement as he arrived with.
Blackrock Diving Platform, Salthill, Galway, Ireland