Monday, July 2, 2012

RE: Rolling in The Deep

In asking around, I have concluded people either love Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" or despise it... deeply.
Personally I love it. Then again, I have a fiery soul born of the sea. 
I was born in New Bedford,  Massachusetts, a whaling town once -- it was the setting for the famous book "Moby Dick."
Our little house had a "widow's walk" on the second floor.
It was a tiny little porch facing the sea to hold one person... one woman waiting... looking to the sea longing for her man's ship to come home, to safe harbor.  Back then, I though the "widow's walk" could have been better named, then again they weren't all that optimistic about the sailor's life.

My father .... before he took to  the road for his civilian work... was a sailor. Navy.
Later in his life, he bought a boat... I worked on it and at the place it was docked.
Later in my life, I did work that took me aboard a fleet of cruise ships all over the world.
It was that same work, that once led me to England, Ireland and Scotland for a TV show that revolved European water sports.

I love the water.
I am not afraid of it,  However I have been humbled and challenged by it, more times that I could truly count.
I have literally been caught in riptides and under currents and escaped on my own.
I was stung by a man of war, made it through that.
And while it wasn't Jaws or anything, I felt mighty satisfied when I punched a little shark in its nose when it tried to take a bite out of my leg and it swam away.
Everything seemed to work out okay in the end with me,  rolling in the deep.  
Except this one time I am going to tell you about right now.

I was scuba diving in a ocean for the first time,  the Atlantic, which a little different from the Puget Sound where I learned. The Puget Sound doesn't have the  huge undercurrents the Atlantic or any ocean has, so I had no lessons, no training, no clue what was going on when I saw everyone around me underwater grabbing onto rocks and boulders and reef for dear life as I was whipped out to sea screaming something akin "WTF" in my my mouthpiece while my oxygen deeply rapidly depleted due to the rapid breathing, high-anxiety, holy-crap response.

Aboard the scuba boat, where the other divers were surfacing and boarding while I was still being pulled away...
was my dear sister Alice.
And I am convinced were it not for Alice  I'd be a either be shark's supper or a movie of the week.
Because I do not believe there was a dive count done that day.

No one noticed I hadn't returned to the vessel except Alice.
Normally, Alice would be underwater with me, a real dive buddy, not the lame excuse for one  the dive master assigned me to.
But Alice was pregnant then, couldn't scuba dive.... yet insisted on coming along on the tourist boat to  keep an eye out for me any way because she cared....
and because she knew ocean diving was new to me.
So fortunately, not only did Alice's eagle eye notice I was missing, she even cared about it.
When I surfaced as  quickly and as safely as I could, pulled off my mask and looked around...
and  then saw I was  in the middle of the ocean, alone....
and as you do that 360 circle to see if there's anything there and there's nothing....
there was that inevitable moment of "holy crappola" I can not describe right now.
However it quickly passed as I saw that little boat chugging towards me and eventually,  I saw Alice's  bright red t-shirt shirt and pregnant tummy at the bow. She was waving at me and smiling. We laughed about it after Alice stopped berating my alleged dive buddy.

Writing about it now... it seems less funny and much deeper to me.
Because were it not for the force of love... the love that made Alice insist on riding that dive boat with me that day...
I'd probably still be rolling in the deep.
Maybe in the belly of some ancestor of Moby Dick.

I love this rendition of Adele's song. If you haven't heard it, and even if you hate the original,  I hope you see in this version what I do.
The beauty and majesty of these kids. The power of the lyrics. And most of all,
The hero.
The teacher.
He is the one who has driven and inspired these children. He keeps them afloat.
He is their "Alice. "

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