There it sank, the cell phone, a very expensive cell phone, slowly slipping from sight as it swung back-and-forth, back-and-forth, with each pendulum-like motion – almost like it was waving, waving goodbye – descending deeper, deeper into the darkness.
So began our row early yesterday morning, my daughter splashing frantically with her hand the surface of the water as if somehow, someway, she could stop the inevitable.
Perspicuity comes from the Latin perspicere which means “to see through”, i.e. “clear and understandable.”
Clearly, as we both watched in dismay, the shining bright light of the faceplate bit by bit disappeared from view and with it our understanding that any hope of retrieval was gone forever.
Then we got in the double and rowed three miles, the first time this year.
In the year 2020 – speaking of seeing clearly – I will be 70. I have set my sights – speaking of perspicuity – on entering the Great Cross Sound Race that year which, by the year 2020, will be an event I will have won thirty years before.
It’ll take all of three years to get ready. I am, after all, approaching 70. This morning’s row, for example – though the water was, again, crystal clear without a ripple – was tougher than the day in the double with my daughter. My legs hurt more; ditto my arms; and I need a pillow to sit on following the workout.
Furthermore, I was on my own. No doubles partner depending on me. No real reason not to stay in bed. I’d already punched the snooze button for the third and last time.
Nothing other than the consequence of what possessing perspicuity entails: “no reticence or reserve; no ambiguity, but plain and simple frankness and unreserved fearlessness.”
Perspicuity. 2020. And so it begins.