Due to weather and other circumstances, I did not go diving this weekend. As a result, I feel rather “undone” and out of sorts.
It has become essential to my well-being to submerge in the North Pacific at least once a week. Is this because I am addicted to the nitrogen buzz? Do I need the rapture that comes with descending into such natural beauty and wonder? Is it because I get to “check-out” of my terrestrial life for a little while? Does diving move me into a meditative state? Do I miss my fishy and sluggy friends? Do I need the inspiration and perspective on what it truly important in life? Or is it because I was a sea lion in a past life and have not made the full transition to a human existence?
All of these factors may in part cause my desperate need to dive but Dr. Joseph MacInnis states it all so much more eloquently and powerfully in this excerpt from the introduction to his book “Saving the Oceans” (text which I wrote on the first page of my first dive log).
“Of all the acts that confirm our unconscious need to reconsider Nature, few are as symbolic as descending into the ocean. As scuba divers . . . we step off the land, leaving behind our urban alliance with concrete and asphalt. Underwater, our survival hinges on containers of portable air. Inside this strange inner space, we become weightless, drifting toward our aquatic origins.
As trespassers in this other world we are more susceptible to shifts in thinking and emotion. Our eyes are captured by unfamiliar colours and patterns of light and shadow. The pressurized air sliding in and out of our lungs reminds us of our mortality. And from this, it is not a large intuitive leap to consider the mortality of the planet.”
I need to dive!!