Tag Archives: gratitude

Going Underwater

1940 Bruce Mozert

1940 Bruce Mozert

There are times when we dive underwater to explore what rests below; to discover what can be found at such great depths within ourself. And then there are times when we go under not from our own choosing, but because something forced us under; our fingers slipped, and without premeditation, we suddenly let go.

I’ve found that almost all of my answers can be found from looking within. Some answers I placed there years ago. Others surprise me with their appearance. Memories dwell inside us like colorful coral reefs. And when the time is right we swim gently around every outcropping, allowing ourselves to live in the memory.

If one is prepared to be underwater, then it is a place of beautiful exploration. Downed ships still retain some of their prior glory, even when shrouded in loss. But it is when we are there without oxygen; when we wake in the morning, to discover we’re already buried under the pressure of our worries. Those are the times when it is the hardest to swim.

As a writer I know that some of my best work has been brought to the surface due to these deep-sea excavations. Emotions so rich with life, memories so raw they haven’t lost their tangible feel. I gather them in my arms, and like a child I drop them on the shore to examine under the sun. Even painful memories appear different when cultivated with intention.

When one finds themselves there without the security of a chest full of air; those are the moments when one feels only that of the tide pulling them under. They see the light from the water’s surface grow smaller as they fall softly deeper. All is dark. All is quiet. And they feel completely alone. There is no glimmer of excitement held within their eyes. These are the moments that sweep through us all; some softly and occasionally; some with a repetitive force like a wave that never grows tired of arriving. Whether from catastrophic news, heart-break or loss, we go under. We notice a peculiar detachment between us and the world around.

I began writing my first novel while suffering from total submersion. That one book was the final gasp of air from my inner being, my soul. I often slipped under the water’s of my life; beginning as a child that used it for escape. The familiarity of being submerged felt oddly comfortable; like a coat that didn’t fit, but because I wore it so often, I knew it well.

Being underwater, searching one’s great depths, is a fantastical excursion when done with purpose and oxygen. When we go deep to discover our core truths, to make peace with our history, our hurts, then this journey is one that brings us into alignment with who we are. It’s a necessity when it comes to one’s evolving. But when one goes under not from their own choosing. And feels only that of water filling their lungs, then their world goes black. My soul chose writing a novel, for me to later read, as a way of taking its final breath; bringing light to my dark places. From that day on, I’ve become very adept at deep-sea travel. I know all that rests within me. Some things aren’t lovely. But they are part of me; they have purpose. I could either look at a downed ship as complete failure, or as a bold attempt; one that made me stronger in the end. I reshaped my entire life after writing my first novel. My soul didn’t want to drown, it wanted to swim.

So if you find yourself sinking. Open your eyes. Use your strength to look around. And then, when the time is right, come up for air. Fill your lungs, and never again, turn a blind eye to all that is within you. You’re strong enough to swim.

Sane

Originally posted on November 18, 2013

A Ship Named Samantha

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It is my deepest belief that everyone should live without love, only so that when they do have it – they never let it go. But then again, that goes for most things in life.

I’ve been paying careful attention to human behavior as of late. And for the life of me I can’t figure out why certain people behave the way they do. I look at my life – my journey – as a ship. My mind controls the rudder that’s plunged deep below, but all of my outward movements control the sails. When the winds blow hard, I have to adjust.

I don’t know why I find myself sailing upon glass-topped waters one day, only to battle the unmerciful sea the next. But either way, I need to stay afloat. And all the while, I’m careful of my actions. Gratitude and appreciation mark the bow of my ship. As I move forward I do so knowing how life feels during the worst of times; knowledge that regardless of how painful it was to acquire, I am blessed now to own. As it’s knowledge that not only has shaped me, it has shaped my perception.

I feel one doesn’t know the unspeakable pleasure of satiety without having first been staggeringly hungry. My life has flopped between extremes in every area. I can’t say I want to relive any of the undesirable times that I have endured, but I also never try to completely leave them in the past either. Instead, I take them with me, but with gratitude each time I am blessed with that, which I do desire.

I grew up in a home that upon appearances was quite complacent, yet all the while behind the walls of my youth I knew only volatility and erratic mood swings. I’ve known  the vacuous, hollowness of financial collapse and I’ve known how it feels to lose the one you love. I know what it feels like to sit and make deals with God to save one’s child, and I know what it feels like to watch one’s dreams float away like dandelion pollen in the springtime breeze.

I think everyone should have to spread coins across their bed and count the change, hoping they have enough. Because those moments give depth and substance for when they do finally ‘have enough.’ I also think if love came easy, then we would never have cause to fight for it, nor would we be so moved to protect it and cherish it once it was ours.

I’ve been the recipient of quite a few miracles in my life. I often sit alone, and think only of those miracles; picturing them within my mind; feeling them once again; giving thanks for them again.

It may sound incredibly silly to some, but almost every time I park my trusty Wrangler in my garage, I silently give thanks as I run my hand across its broad fender. Because you see, there was a time when I had nothing, and was given an orange Volkswagen Rabbit resurrected from the neighbor’s field. I was young, and grateful that I could once again get to where I needed to go. Had I not been without, and then given a car, albeit inhabited by mice, I wouldn’t appreciate, on the same level, the wonderful cars I’ve had since. The same goes for love and health and friendship and all those things we so often take for granted. Wherever I go in this life, I don’t take anything for granted. I can’t imagine why anyone would ever do otherwise.

Sane