I’m sitting in my living room, quite literally surrounded by (clean) laundry. But since multiple people have requested that I start blogging my dive adventures…I figured now would be a good time (it has nothing to do with procrastination…).
The ocean has always been a place where I can reset…it’s part of the reason that I decided to pursue a degree in Marine Sciences. I was looking around at quotes today (read procrastinating) and stumbled upon the following quote from a poet…it kicked me into actually starting to write. Rather than simply saying I will.
“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
I started my dive journey in the fall of 2014…the 2-year anniversary of my first open water dive is less than a month away…but it feels like I’ve been in love for far longer. Diving in New England has its own set of challenges (pea soup viz, cold temperatures, sharks…), but I think they’ve endeared it to me far more than the “easy” diving in other places (where you can see more than two feet in front of you). I’ll write posts about a couple of my bigger dives, but for the start I’ll just talk about what diving means to me.
I was incredibly blessed to have an awesome instructor who is well connected in the diving world. It made finding buddies (out of 80+ dives, I’ve dove with 40+ different divers), learning about the diving world, practicing the skills, and acquiring the gear necessary to dive in New England super easy. Scuba diving is NOT a cheap sport by any stretch of the imagination and I will forever be thankful to the people and situations that allowed me to get all of my own gear before I hit 20 dives (that does not mean I won’t be acquiring more gear as time goes on…). I got connected to an awesome dive club (shameless plug for SECONN) and haven’t looked back (except to check on my buddies). But to get back to what diving means to me, Rilke’s quote pretty much sums up my dependence on the sea. All I have to do is go back to the sea and life will reset itself. The problems of the day don’t magically vanish, but they get put back in perspective. While diving, you are surrounded by the sea (quite similar to my laundry situation…) – you’ll only hear your own bubbles, maybe a fish’s fin as it speeds away, and the occasional boat overhead. You’d think the silence would give your mind waaayyy too much time to dwell on the problems that sent you to the sea in the first place, but it doesn’t. Instead you become a part of the sea, influenced by its ebbs and flows, slowly matching its rhythm in an effortless (well…it should be effortless) unification between man and water. You become a part of a different world, totally separate from the joys and stresses present on land. A shift in focus is immediate…it forces you into the present, so your mind doesn’t really wander too much. You see a fish on a rock above or below, so you inhale a little more or exhale a little more and glory in the simply act of gliding through the water (at least, that’s what I do).
So in short, diving is a immersion method of resetting my life rhythms.
“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), It’s always our self we find in the sea.” – e.e. Cummings
Now I really do need to work on that laundry…