All I could hear was the sound of my own breathing as the air moved rhythmically through the snorkel. Below me the sea was crystal clear and there was the clean white sand of the sea floor about thirty feet below me. Rising from it where the submerged rocks, like some unmapped mountain range. Coral grew from every crevice and the different varieties where breathtaking with the fronds waving gently in the passing currents. Multi coloured fish moved slowly through the growth and, looking at it, I became lost in another world where daily events had no context. The peace and serenity filled me with a powerful sense of calm and bought me to a place where I felt at one with the world around me. It became a sort of prayer.
At other times in my life, sitting by the sea or moving over it silently in boats, or walking in mountains lost in distant views. Sometimes moving through the narrow streets of foreign countries, a stranger to all but myself I have achieved the same sense of completeness. A man greeting the world around him, connecting with the planet on which we live and gaining a brief sense of the context in which lives more simply lived enjoy their own routines.
Now, I have become a captain without a boat or pilot without a plane I have tasted certain truths: a man without influence or power is increasingly ignored and marginalised: this I have found from experience. It is an introduction to subtle forms of humiliation available to those at the margins of society or influence. Sometimes, in these quite different circumstances, where the pressure to sustain myself has been as severe as anything I have known I have also experienced a sense of displaced calm not dissimilar to that which I felt some years ago floating above the coral.
This has stolen up on me almost unawares: that I should find a peace in this quite different place would seem was barely possible. Don’t get me wrong, my existance is currently very low on any kind of certainty apart from the ability to breath and walk which I am grateful for.. Any troubles I find myself in are largely my own fault athough there is a ladybird walking across the laptop:a conduct that borders on the rude and I may well give it a stiff talking-to to vent my frustrations.
It is a strange feeling: a sense of certainty and being in danger at one and the same time: feeling part of some grand design even though rationally you know you are probably not. A proof that whatever your circumstances there are things to learn and feelings to be experienced. I have always thought life to be an adventure and it goes without saying that some parts of these adventures are harder than others. What you learn from life is largely up to you but the chance to grow and learn is not necessarily tied to circumstances. It is a choice we can all make regardless of where we find ourselves.
At some point, one hopes, my circumstances will improve and I will then become less exposed to the censure of others. All my life I have taken pleasure in helping others but now I find no one needs help more than myself and looking after myself has never been something I have paid much attention to. Possibly the gods are telling me I should concentrate more when I’m in class. Only he knows.