Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beneath Me


Usually it’s the roof at sunrise, my shoes at school, the beach sand afterward.

But recently, what’s beneath me is water. I talked myself into taking SCUBA lessons. I'm only doing this because it’s on the James Bond syllabus, inspired by a Swedish friend’s pursuit of such 007 skills.

On Sunday, just a foot below the surface—where air was, air—I wondered, did I really care to see what’s beneath me? I’m pretty sure I didn’t. At least not when I practiced letting the regulator drift behind me before reining it back. I like my air supply accessible when I open my mouth.

If I remembered birth, would the worry be reversed? "Oh, no, I’m leaving the water. I’ll have to breathe air!"

Are our lives a continual reversal of fears and inclinations? Once afraid of public speaking, now a teacher. Once inclined to cool climates, now living in the equatorial pacific. Once afraid of diving, now paying to learn.

Beneath me? I have no idea. It’s dark down there.

But that’s why I’m adding a few weights to my belt, cinching it in, and remembering not to hold my breath.
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