The title, Swimming in the Daylight, is based on a story Inna told me about a fish that lived his entire life afraid to swim during the day for fear the larger fish would eat him. It burrowed safely under a rock during the day and only searched for its own food in the dark of night. As he grew older, the fish imagined how great it would be like to swim in the daylight, free of the fear that he would be eaten by the larger fish. He became very preoccupied with this thought and tried to muster the courage to swim during the day. Then one day, while sleeping under a rock, he dreamt that he was swimming freely in the daylight, without any fear. The feeling was so real, so extraordinary. But at the peak of this feeling, the fish died. Inna’s eyes were full of tears as she finished telling me the story. I was holding back my own.
“You know, Leeza, I realized that the story is about me. I was like that fish,” she said. Then she explained that for her it was not too late, that she became brave later in her life, and that it made her extremely happy. “I am not afraid of anything,” she concluded.
From then on, I always thought of Inna as swimming in the daylight.