Seneca Lake, May 29, 2010 - Morning
Somewhere between zen, childhood and madness, I've become quite good at skipping stones. I can do it with both arms though the left is substantially less skilled than the right. I find it cathartic, tranquil and invigorating.
I think about the stones, their shape and weight, and I can envision how they will move across the water. I can't help but pick up stones that look good for skipping when I walk past them at the shore. I've stopped counting the bounces. I know I can get them far past the ends of the nearby docks. Beyond that I can't explain my metrics the fuel my sense of failure and accomplishment with this game.
I've found that the best stones tend to be just at the water's edge, in the water. As May has warmed as the days progress, these stones have gathered more and more of the red algae that creeps closer to the shore every day. I don't mind wiping it off. The sliminess is just part of nature.
I have learned that standing in the water, thigh deep, where I am lower and closer to the surface, I can extend my stones' duration in skipping. The angle of impact is reduced, I reckon, and the momentum carries parallel to the water rather than upwards and at an angle. Winds will affect the movement, in pitch of filght and in surface tension resistance. Calm waters, with smooth surfaces, encourage distance. Windblown water, with the small waves and ripples, send the stones arcing and bending in all directions. There is less a sense of success in these throws than when done in the calm, but they are also more entertaining because of the chaos.
This is madness.
This is quietness.