Monday, May 19, 2008

Diver, Diver! My name is your name!

So, one of the things that you learn in emergency first response, as a rescue diver, is a little script you're supposed to say.  You have to recite it and then perform a very strict regimen of things in a particular order; one of the PADI principles is that we always follow rules, in order, to make sure that there is no room for error.  An accident happens at the end of a chain of events, is the PADI hypothesis.

It takes a chain of events to get anything moving; sometimes, looking back on my life in those idle moments before sleep when I'm not berating myself for things I did wrong that day or imagining James Marsters naked, I try, for a game, to imagine what I would have had to do differently to avoid where I am right now.  If I'd never changed schools in eighth grade, I never would have started belly dancing, which means I never would have moved to Pittsburgh.  If I'd never randomly searched the internet for television shows, I never would have found the Buffy musical episode, which means my mother would have saved herself a lot of money not getting addicted to the Whedonverse and maybe could now afford to pay off her credit card debt.

Interestingly, I can't trace the chain of events that leads to me being nomadic.  I just always have been.  Maybe it was because my mother lulled me to sleep by putting me in the car and driving me around as an infant; maybe it was because she took me to Greece when I was eight and Paris when I was twelve.  Maybe it was looking at pictures of India in my OAC World History textbook. 

But maybe I never would have found the car soothing if I hadn't already wanted to be moving; maybe I wouldn't have looked at the pictures if I didn't already want to go there.  The more you think about these chain of events, the more you consider cause and effect.  The more you think about that, the more it becomes like space, or the open sea: big, scary, full of things that we know nothing about and can't even comprehend.  There's things in the open sea that we've never seen and never will.  They've found whales with sucker marks on them ten feet across.  Just the sucker mark.  Rocks fall from space and provide us with new, entertaining elements (or, if you're actually IN a Buffy episode, slimy demons that want to eat your brain) and some of the stars we see at night aren't even there anymore, haven't been there for thousands of years, and we just haven't felt the echo yet.

This is hardly news: there are big scary things beyond our comprehension that make us not want to think about them.  But it seems a little closer to home when it's...closer to home.  When it's every decision you make every day that leads you somewhere completely unknown.  The nice thing about stepping onto an airplane is that you know where you'll end up: it says so right on your ticket.  Where's the three-letter airport code for life decisions?  Is there one that says "Right Decision"?


MaggieMayDay said...

"imagining James Marsters naked, "

There was more in the blog?

ziptie said...

Ten feet? Not a chance. There are smaller marks, a few inches to a foot, that started smaller and grow as the whale grows, but nothing even close to 10 feet.