Remoy Philip

writer. creator. producer.

Swimming Dolo




It's not just a metaphor of swimming upstream. Most think that the metaphor resides within the physicality of water and drowning. But it's not about the water or the death on behalf of drowning that is the matter of the metaphor. It's more about the struggle and the strength needed within ourselves to swim upstream. The motivation and our agenda. For those already engaged in the metaphor, we have already silently acknowledged the aspects of us being in deep water. It's already been said, and we're past that. We already have felt that and all the hands suffused in the deep that is trying to pull us down and off a known goal. But the true merit of the metaphor is strictly to the immediacy of the struggle of swimming, hand-to-water, upstream. Where there is an island, call it 'success' or 'togetherness,' that we are swimming towards and how isolating that swim can be. However where the metaphor fails us is this, if we continue to swim, without taking a break to stop swimming, we fall behind, possibly even drown. And because so, we continue to swim without having the time or space to stop. But with that, the drive and mentality taken to the swim sells us short because we innately think we are swimming this strict fight dolo. And in that, we are letting all of us that is ourselves down.

However, the saving factor of the swim that is absolutely non conducive to this metaphor is this, if we take the time, just for a second, to stop and pick our heads up, even with the full strength of the current pulling us back, we can see, there are many of us, hundreds, thousands of us, making the same swim. At our own pace and in our own way. And the island of safety and respect is not one for one of us to succeed at, for one of us to competitively fight for, but for us all, a locus struggling together to, not necessarily conquer, but to celebrate together. We are not a measure of our individual successes. Absolutely not. We are not them where we are competing for ourselves solely. Because if we were, then we are forgetting those anecdotal packages of ourselves, that are wrapped in beauty history and the aroma that remind us of all that are family and culture and an expanse of definition that is matched to our skin colors and that word called ethnic. And if we forget that, or we put that aside, not being our motivation for getting to this supposed island, then we lose the people, the actual real breathing people, who support us with their own strokes and breaths that are our motivation to propel our individual efforts towards this island of communal success.

And if we forget that, we have already lost, we have already drown, and that island will just be a dream and a struggle. And it will never, absolutely never, be a place where we can fully feel the fullness of our breath really breathing in the freshness of breath that is freedom.


-Remoy