A Diving Rest

posted 17 Oct 2002, 1PM

i read once about freediving, about fanatic lovers of the sea who gather together in calm waters above deep expanses of ocean and dive down, down, down unencumbered by tanks and hoses; just themselves and rubber flippers, and the author said that as you swim deeper and deeper the change of pressure affects your mind and your lungs, and in unafraid moments of fetal clarity you no longer feel the need for oxygen, you're not driven by the desperate desire to breate, and it was that peace (alone and floating) that freedivers loved, and somewhere at the edge of that peace, seconds from the edge of life, one has to remember the direction toward the surface and remember that no you really can't surive hovering alone, that no you cannot survive without air, that sheer necessity of swimming up up to take a breath.

Sometimes, when I've stayed up for too many hours (all night and all afternoon) my mind and body seem to gain a sincere belief that sleep will no longer be a necessary part of life.

During the Fox eating contest Glutton Bowl show that I saw last year, one narrator explained in (in his sportscaster vocabulary and lilting tones) the psychological battle of the eating contest contestant, the challenge to fight back that hungry feeling and plow on through, convincing your body that it can handle more and more, that the limit is still far of now, still farther off.

Lying in bed, so unslept tweaked that I couldn't drift off into sleep, I understood suddenly that the most dangerous mental and emotional places are moments of overstuffed denial when you convice your mind and heart that it is yet unfull, no fear, plunge deeper and breathles into invincible sleepless love.

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