Diary of a Misplace City Diver Who Can’t Seem to Get Her Shit Together
An ambulance passes by at a deafening volume leaving my ears ringing and my heart racing. I hate the sound of sirens, now even more than before, for their suggestion of trauma and their air of panic and alarm. I have enough fear swimming through my bones these days. My bones, because the fear is densely solid like ice or glass and not liquid so it can’t swim through me like in the past. It is a fear that leaves a cloud looming over my shadowy body. Not raining, not separating to give a glimpse of the sunlight, just lingering with a taunting presence giving rise to surges of anxious energies in my chest as I am constantly anticipating the sudden downpour of acid rains to burn my sensitive skin.
The sirens shift from a wail to a distressing beeping as I gain conscious awareness into my actual surroundings. It is 5am and the noise was not an ambulance at all but the feverous calls of another day. Friday. 5am. The sky is still black and my room stings my exposed feet and hands in its chilling March air. I don’t like it, I tell myself. This uncertainty. This cloud. This cold air. This dreary room. I retreat from the day back into my intrinsically wired mind in search of a wave of belonging. Two days ago humidity held me in the present moment. The air’s thick cloud offered a warm embrace certain to keep my feet, who tendencies are to float away, tethered firmly to the ground while the dry chill of the city lets me slip like water through loose fingers and spill slowly across the room.
I enter periods of time where I feel like everything is a dream, like I am watching myself on a screen while sitting on a couch sipping black coffee in hopes that its bitterness will somehow transport me back into the scene existing eight feet away and protected by a million pixilated images. My complex mind needs this space, a time to rest from my reality, recharge, and then attempt to reenter. But also a time to disembark on a journey of wonder and fantasy, a time to create within myself a world separate from the one greeting me at 5am through a beeping clock on a dark Friday morning.
Somewhere wedged between my left and right brain I have carved out cubby and stashed away my dreams so that whenever my present moment becomes tangled I can escape here and tuck myself safely away. It is here in my cubby, nestled like a little bird, that I fall deep deep deep into the ocean’s abyss because that is what my cubby is constructed of at the moment, a fascination and obsession with diving beneath the surface, a space where few are privileged enough to experience. That’s the recipe needed on these bleak disconnected days, a vivid imagination able to transport me from my bedroom to the space underneath the waves , carried by the water’s current, and washed clean by the saltwater’s brush.
Recipe for functionality of a misplaced and borderline dissociated city scuba diver:
-Begin by first separating the mind from current circumstance
-Take the circumstance, open the trash, toss it inside, and leave it be
-Take the mind, run it under cool water until all the dirt is washed away, dab it dry, and leave on the counter for 10 minutes
-After ten minutes take the mind and inject inside of it three drops of blue food coloring
-Massage the food coloring into the mind while humming
-Let the mind sit for 10 minutes
-While the mind is sitting bring three cups of water to boil
-Add a jar of fish oil and salt to the boiling water
-Take the mind and place it near the pot on the stove
-Let the smell fester into the mind for 10 minutes
-Turn of the stove, let the pot simmer
-Take the mind and submerge it into the water and fish oil and salt
-Place a lid on the pot and let the it sit until the mind melts into the substance
-Take the circumstance out of the trash and place it on the counter
-Pour the liquid mind over the circumstance
-Watch as the mind eats away the circumstance and expands in size
-Let cool, serve with whipped cream and shattered mussel shells
Diary to Recount the Magic of Cancun and Lament the Death of My Mundanity
Tears form glass sculptures in the corners of my eyes not out of sadness or defeat but because I feel, for a moment, the sheer complexity of this world. There are so many layers that I am unable to navigate and excavate every crevice of this existence, but somehow as I sway to the rhythm of the city’s train, I am at peace in the knowledge of my minuscule presence.
Passing a row of street lights with the smell of dope evaporating from the gentleman next to me, the moment where I surface from a drift dive, completely overwhelmed by the vastness of the endless waters extending in each direction, appears in my mind. As it does, I exhale an air of acceptance in the fact that the world is so large and therefore to expend my energies around the maddening unexplainable darkness of this life does me no good except to distract me from all the light. To focus on sickness and loss and disease and compulsion is to flood my mind with murky sewage water when God is standing across the room offering to lead me into the crystal waters of the ocean. What do I choose, the waters that are already rising around my ankles or the ocean a mile down the path?
Positivity leaks from a journey towards greatness because each step, though painful and hard wearing, is a foreshadowing into the release you are to receive on the other side. Good can only be understood within the context of bad in the same way understanding can only transform into knowledge among an admitted confusion. So may I rest easy tonight in the understanding of not understanding and in the heaviness of the darkness because I know that peace comes from my powerlessness, from my surrendering, from my ability to look out at the train tracks and city lights and say “there is just so much”.
“There is just so much”… wonder in the magic of the water. Last Saturday as I dove into the caverns in Cenotes, the magnitude of this statement nearly plastered me permanently to the ground of the cavern’s floor. We dove at a 45-degree angle downward, deep deep down, leaving the sunlight to fade behind our backs. A single file line because the walls around us were to narrow to share the space. Our lights offered the way, guiding where we were to move and where we were to swim, but it wasn’t the guidance that was necessary. It was not the onward and upward that was relevant, but the experience. The fact that we were suspended in waters so clear that we all looked like we were floating. There was no reference point offering knowledge that we were underwater, no particle, no murkiness, nothing but the air bubbles expanding from our regulators to tell us that we were diving. The stalagmites and stalactites narrowed the space. We must be careful in our navigation, aware of our every move so as to not damage the hundreds upon thousands of years of growth surrounding our bodies. It wasn’t the artificial light coming from the flashlight in my hand that mattered. It was the fact that a stalagmite only grows .37 inches in a year and the one’s surrounding us were several feet long. Growth in stability. Growth in undisrupted spaces.
We descend at a 45-degree angle and ascended all the same into an air pocket found deep inside this underwater river system. So we were in an underwater river, 50 plus feet underground, and we could breath? And there in the center of this circular cavernous space with stalagmites lining the ceiling was a tree. A tree was growing right there in the middle of this underwater river because there was an air pocket, an air pocket? Can you imagine? The dive master asked us as we took out our regulators and rested in the wonderment of how a tree came to grow down here, to turn off all of our lights. Complete and utter darkness fell over everything. But only for a moment because the natural sunlight that we had left hundreds of feet away, leaked through the water. As it did so, the sun created a white glowing film on top the water that as we brushed our hands across the water’s surface little white lights danced across the cavern.
So I am in an underwater river, yet I can breathe, and there is a tree growing, and the waters dance with white lights. The experience was unreal and left me, without a doubt, certain of the existence of a creator. How could such a magical space, a magical experience, an otherworldly existence transpires without a God resting his hands on my shoulders and allowing me to truly see these things.
The alarm is still beeping. I haven’t even moved for the day yet and already I have recounted the spiritual highs and mundane lows of my reality right now, today, on this chilly Friday morning in March. Madness is compelling when you are zoomed out and able to accept its thought patterns at face value.
And, with that, I get out of bed.