Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I wish I could remember all the blog posts I've written in my head the past few weeks, so I could write them down. This does, however, indicate a good thing, which is that I don't have the urgency to write which means I'm more in the moment, more content.

When I returned from Mexico to my beloved boys who seemed to miss me a lot, I found myself smack dab in the middle of back-to-school prep, and then little dude got sick and missed the second week of school and now, finally things are settling down into a routine. What didn't wane, or settle down after my trip was my newfound obsession with scuba diving. I was going to let it go, like I'm used to letting things go. I don't have time, I can't afford it, I should be working, cleaning, running in circles, like I do, but instead, I signed up for diving lessons. I'm obsessed with getting certified, I want a certificate god damn it, I need a goal, I deserve a goal and scuba diving counts as exercise, scuba diving counts as rehab and all those endorphins most definitely must prevent cancer.

However, in reality, I am time constrained, so I found a teacher, in between classes who agreed, since I'd already done two dives in Mexico {and of course, I told him I'm a natural} to do a private, expedited course on my schedule which means all day on two Wednesdays and for a shockingly reasonable fee since it includes gear rental. He dropped off the book for me to read and we got together at a dive shop last wednesday. I flew through the first four paper tests, got everything right, he explained a bunch of stuff and we headed for Jamestown. It was a crystal clear, beautiful warm day and we suited up and stomped off into a cove. Just the beautiful day was almost spectacular enough, I don't get out enough.

The first thing I learned is that putting on a full wetsuit is one of the most difficult and wretched tasks imaginable. I realized, or confirmed for myself that the neuropathy is not just in my feet, but that my hands are weak. They're not painful like my feet, but in the studio and in my kitchen I'm a series of drop, spill, drop, drop, drop. Wetsuits are thick and tight, and I just couldn't grasp it firmly enough to pull up, it was embarrassing and consequently I went in with a baggy crotch. Girl don't like baggy crotch. Oh well.

The water was so different than Mexico which is like crystal. Here it's dark and murky with only 6'-8' visibility and not much too see which I discovered, matters not to me. The part I remember the most, the part stamped on my brain is when, having really figured out this buoyancy thing, I settled flat with limbs outstretched on the sandy ocean floor and just stayed there, unmoving. I pretended that I was one of the camouflaging species and that I was invisible and there was something just thrilling and peaceful and transcendental about that moment. It was probably shorter than I remember, but I was one with the sand and it was grande. I know what being a big lump of sand feels like.

After our first dive, I was so exhausted I wasn't sure I could do another. The equipment is really heavy and walking from point A at the car, to point B, the water was agonizing, I was truly afraid I'd fall down under the weight and my air tank would explode. My teacher asked if I was up for another dive, he's aware of my history and hence, I think understands and respects my quest, and while every muscle was yelling "nooooooo", I answered, "yep, let's do it". Once I was in the water I was fine. It's a sublime moment when you feel like you're about to be crushed and then you walk into the water and the weight you're carrying slowly disintegrates and yeah, I guess I'm inadvertently referring to all matter of intangible weight as well.

Ha, this teacher says I'm a natural too. I don't care if they're flattering or patronizing me, I'm a fucking natural! I accomplished all the underwater tasks I needed to, some rather clumsily, and this week I have much reading and test taking to do and then we're back in the water on Wednesday, when I expect it will be much chillier.

I wish I could have taken the regular class, done the four pool dives because they look like fun and I could have met other novice divers, but two nights a week for four weeks just isn't gonna happen for me, so I'm really grateful to have found this really excellent teacher willing to be flexible. Each time I've gone in the water I've been blissed down there and afterwards, the next day, it feels like a dream and I'm not sure it happened.

I must keep my momentum going, must. My new dream is to get a DEM license next spring and dive for lobsters, how awesome would that be? I'm going to be a pink and black, neoprene clad, scuba diving, hunting and gathering, food foraging goddess. And it counts as exercise!

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