Monday, June 29, 2009


I’ve never gone diving. I’ve heard it’s amazing. The thing is: I don’t know how to swim – never have. Thus, I’ve always been a teensy weensy afraid of the sea… But always wondering what it must be like under there, all those colors and kinds of life I’ve never laid eyes on, and most likely never will.
Forgive me, I wasn’t completely true. It’s not that I don’t know how to swim – I mean, I manage pretty well not to drown! Not sure if that qualifies as swimming, though, but still… surviving is, in the end, all one can ask for.
But the sea is, indeed, something majestic, something you cannot take in all at once. And it is, needless to say, ever changing, which means no one will ever be able to grasp not even a wee bit of it. And when you come to think of its magnitude… depressing, really.

Now, take skydiving, for instance. The world is wide open for ya, all you gotta do is jump. Your hands let go of their grip, and you of everything else, including the false sense of security that dominates you when on the ground. You’re just… falling. Into the nothingness of yourself.
I’ve never gone skydiving either. But I’ve got a pretty vivid imagination. I can imagine the chronological order of all the sensations one goes through at such a moment: at first, you’re shit scared; then, you remember there’s a parachute on your back, ready for you when you feel like it; you finally start thinking that maybe that was not such a bad idea, like your dad said it’d be; and now you’re just awed by life itself – by your life, by your true amazing self; you feel like you could keep on falling forever and ever more; but it starts getting a little cold; that was really cool, but you’ve forgotten what it feels like to have your feet on the ground; wow, the earth seems a whole lot closer now… okay, definitely time to pull the cord! Pull it, pull it NOW!
You’re on the ground, safe once again – although lost in all that nylon. It’ll take you a little while to find your way out, but you’ll manage it; besides, it was totally worth it.

I truly admire people capable of taking this leap of faith – of jumping off an airplane, of diving into the depths of the ocean. It takes an awful lot of guts.

I think I’d be a horrible skydiver – I’d probably be the one who pulls the cord only two seconds after jumping! Just like I’d be the worst diver ever: I’d go down, and down, and down… and it’d take me quite a while to find my back up again. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be easy – but you do NOT know how good I am at getting lost in the most obvious routes… pretty skillful, I’ll tell you that.

And here, I think, lies the heart of the problem. Diving seems awfully easy in a glance – you just have to jump, for cryin’ out loud! But not quite, actually: you gotta know when to pull the cord in order not to smash your head when landing. Gotta know how to find your way around in the sea, how to do more than just not drown. How to swim.
And I’m not a swimmer.

I dive at the wrong moments, and am incapable of telling a safe spot from a dangerous one, of interpreting the tides or the direction of the wind. I am continuously drowning.

What if I stopped?
I’d always be safe, with my feet solidly planted on the earth, the exact way they were meant to be. I’d look up at the sky and calmly admire it from the distance – and eventually I’d end up just giving it a passing glance. I’d look down at the ocean, and wonder at its immense blueness, till I’d finally stare at it without actually noticing it. And never again would I be bothered by the infinite and its secrets.

Good God, do I love diving.


Iris H. said...

Woo-hoooooooo! Let's keep diving, shall we? Every day...

Rml said...