Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I've had the pleasure the last couple of days--and for a couple more days, of scuba diving with my younger daughter, Hannah.

Hannah, who is 21, has been diving for well over half her life. Since she was 18, she's been a licensed dive instructor. With all that diving through the years she has accomplished something on the order of 500 dives. An impressive total.

I, though 34 years older, am much less experienced under the waves. I've been a certified diver and I have about 120 dives under my belt but I pale in comparison to Hannah.

One of the main things I've learned about diving is one of the hardest things for me to get, though it's one of the simplest.

Experiencing the undersea world is done at a slow speed.

You do not dart from reef to reef.

In fact, you barely even kick. You motivate yourself with a minimum of movement. This not only conserves your air-supply, it allows you to see the world you're only visiting, to take note of the infinitesimally small creatures and coral formations as well as the large.

Working in advertising and living in Manhattan, we have spent our whole lives getting places fast. We are comfortable when we are speeding. Normal speed feels, at best, languid.

The sea, however is a different world.

A world in which we are alien.

Especially alien if we move faster than we are meant to.


sheriffshooter said...

reminds me of the 'straight lines' post you made earlier this jan. lovely again.

Tore Claesson said...

Just got back from 7 weeks in Hongkong. A city where everything works. Stepping off the plane at JFK was like arriving in hell. Nothing works. It's all a mess. Transportation to and from the city is crap.
Other than the yellow cabs that are okay. Got on a bus that was supposed to go to Penn Station. Bought a ticket for Penn Station. My NJ train goes fro there. Hell no, they stopped at Grand Central and asked us to change to another "shuttle" to Penn. A shuttle which by the way was 30 minutes away. It takes 20 to walk from Grand to Penn. But it as pissing down. And no shelter to wait under. The buses stop on side streets. This city has completely forgotten what service is. I forgot what that had to with swimming on a coral reef, other than it seems less alien than than a nice welcome home. I headed for the subway instead. No taxis in the rain. My Metro card had expired. But then something weird happened. A lady who took me for a wet and lost tourist swiped her card to let me trough the turnstiles. She had just come off a train. On her way out. Thank you ma'm, without you I was really prepared to seriously starting to hate the city I so often love.

The Honourable Husband said...

Maybe we're meant to negotiate the fast-paced ad world at a slower speed, too. There'd be fewer mistakes, and less work that was poorly thought through. Fewer ideas that, with even a moments reflection, would have been canned as dumb.

Which gives you more energy, George? The high-speed world, where the assembled neuroses of ambitious people set the pace, or a world where you need to surrender to the restrictions of the physical environment, and to let it dictate what you can do?

george tannenbaum said...

Honourable Husband,

I get energized by both worlds. I think we need both. They are like the ups and downs of our moods. They do not exist without each other.

Thanks for the comment and Happy New Year.