Friday, March 12, 2010

Inspiration and Salvation from the Deep

I don't know about you, but there are times when I feel overwhelmed up to my uvula with the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life, yet feel overwhelmingly empty at the same time.

I guess my mind is filled with things that shouldn't bear thinking about, things that make me go d'oh! and d'uh? Things that I know don't make sense, but which still drive my one poor remaining brain cell into needless overdrive. Things that leave me questioning, unfulfilled, and empty.

It's during times like these I want to just dive into the deep, deep, blue. To leave my cares and worries up on the surface, where they can do the Macarena with the sunlight on the waves. To go deep, deep, deep, where they can't follow me. I just want to go where it's calm and blue and peaceful, a place where even the cold ceases to be a bother, a place where I can blissfully not give a shit where up or down or left or right is. A place where I don't have to care. A place where uncertainty, expectation, frustration, and disappointment don't exist.

Then my mind goes back to the time last year, when I did dive into the deep, deep blue of nothingness. (Well, I snorkeled actually, but what the hey.) I didn't do it to escape anything; no, not at all. I did it to see whether the creatures I had previously only read about and seen on TV were as awesome as they were said to be.

They were more than awesome. The first sight of them made me suck in my breath -- which isn't a good thing, something that dumbass snorkelers like me manage to forget. I ended up with lungfuls of seawater the first few minutes. But I'd had my glimpse of the first of those wonderful animals, and I wasn't going to settle for just a peek. So down again I went.

Swimming with those magnificent creatures -- it was an experience I will never, EVER forget. Mimi Lenox, the Queen of Bloggingham Palace (yes, she's royalty *curtsey, bob, bow*) dubbed me the woman who "Swims with Whale Sharks." You know, something kinda like Kevin Costner's Dances-with-Wolves or maybe Linda Lovelace's Swallows-It-All. (OK, I made that last part up. But she did, didn't she?)

I jokingly asked a friend to call me "Mistress of the Universe," but that's a title I can hardly live up to. I just thought it sounded super cool.

Before the encounter with the whale sharks, the guide told us that the whale sharks weren't to be touched. But I couldn't help myself, especially since they seemed to play with me, rising up and up until they were just inches away from me, letting my fingertips stroke them. Then they sank into the deep where I couldn't follow, to swim away. (Their skin felt like mossy stone to the touch, btw.)

In the video clip above, you can hear me uttering something like "Uhhhh-ooohhh-uhhhh-hmmmm-ahhhhh-ohhhhh" in at least two octaves to the whale shark. I was actually saying something like "you unbelievably beautiful, magnificent, unbelieveable gorgeous creature, you! Ohh you're incredible." That was just one whale shark in this vid; I swam with several of these awe-inspiring beings in one hour. And I crooned orgasmically to them all as well.

In those timeless, saltwater-soaked moments, the world as I knew it ceased to exist. Or maybe I should say the world shrank to something that was a lot smaller, but something that took on an awesome and awful dimension. In a way, it scared the hell out of me, but it liberated me at the same time. It was like I had found myself, at the same time finding something bigger within and without me. For a few moments, for a few deafening heartbeats, it was just me, that space of sea, and the whale sharks undulating inches from me. And I was unspeakably, ineffably happy.

Those whale sharks and the experience of swimming with them taught me a lesson. So now, whenever my world seems heavy and grey, I shut out everything I don't need and revel in the moment. That moment can include a child's slobbery kiss and tight hug, or maybe a friend making me laugh so hard I'm waking up my kids from their sleep, or maybe just watching the clouds turn pink, then russet, then a breathtaking orange at sunset.

It doesn't matter what it is or where I am. Deep blue sea or not, problems be damned, I'm learning to find happiness in the here and now.


Daddy Papersurfer said...

That's a very valuable lesson young Lizza .... you should have learnt it years ago of course but better late than never .....
and as for swimming with the Rhincodon typus ..... marvellous [actually I might have been a tad scared ...... but I'm a complete wimp]

Anyhoooo, gotta go now and wop some ass at Scrabble .......

Lizza said...

I'm a late learner at a lot of things, DaddyP. Not too old to learn, though.

And I can learn to whup your arse in Scrabble too.

Lizza said...

And of course you should have a healthy fear of whale sharks; just a slight whip of the tail, with you in the wrong position, can send you to kingdom come. That's why I stayed near the head. Coz those awesome creatures don't eat homo silly crooning sapiens.

Mimi Lenox said...

Smiling at the ending revelation...because for just a second I thought you were about to make the choice to dive deep deep down and never come back up.
I was holding my breath too.

You know your friends were down in the deep with the whales that day - willing you to spit out that dirty sea water, take your brave self back down to speak with the them again..cause we all wanted to hear what they had to say through your eyes.

Only you could have brought that to us you know. So call me selfish but I'm ever so grateful that when you apparently appear to "disappear" (ahem) or drop off the edge and fall into the deep, I have a sense that somewhere in the waters of the deep blue sea there is a beautiful young lady holding an audience with sharks - and she always manages to float back to the top bringing just enough wisdom to survive and just enough hutzpah to inspire.

Those creatures have nothing on you, my dear. It was their lucky day.

zeroimpact said...

We find our own ways... that is how we survives
Life is just full of everything and it's up to us how we want to interpret and live with it

bazza said...

Hi Lizza. What an inspiring post!
How wonderful to commune with nature in this way. We think we rule this planet but I bet whale-sharks think they do.

Anonymous said...

i actually love your writing taste, very unique,
don't quit as well as keep posting considering the fact that it simply just truly worth to look through it,
excited to look over more of your own stories, good bye ;)

nursemyra said...

that looks like a wonderful experience Lizza

meredic said...

Lizza I remember enjoying your blog some years ago and then losing track.
I was looking through stuff from 2006 and found you again thank goodness!
Nice fish!
And good to see you again.

healingmagichands said...

Found you from daddy papersurfer's blog, and I'm glad I stopped by. Loved your video, and I share your fascination with undersea things. How wonderful you got to swim with the whale sharks, I'm sure I would have been similarly orgasmic!

Interesting how you talk about how time seems to go away when you have your face underwater (and you are not so deep that you are inhaling water through the snorkel. . .I've done that too, and it brings you back to reality awfully sharply!). It is so true -- hope you didn't get the kind of sunburn I achieved when I lost track of time while snorkeling. . .

Happiness in the here and now -- good place to be.

Nicely said...

Hello, Lizza!

I was looking back my posts way back 2005 and saw some of your comments. It's been so long since I've gone here at your blog. Good to see your still blogging!

Someone said...

That is one valuable lesson, just living in the here and now. Congratulations! :)

Annelisa said...

As one of the original peace-bloggers for Blogblast4Peace, I came looking for your 2011 Peaceglobe, Lizza. You obviously haven't blogged for a while, so hope everything's ok. Wishing you peace and happiness x