Starry Waters

One time I was scuba diving in Hawaii with my family and I was scared. My guts felt squirmy and my breath came fast because it was night-time. The water above me was a great heavy block of oppression and made me feel claustrophobic, and I knew that at any moment, the creature from the black lagoon, or Jaws, or the kraken, would snatch me up. Fortunately I had my scuba buddy / mama with me and that made things a little bit better. Until my flashlight blacked out (somebody gave me a new one, don't worry).

We saw lobsters and fish in weird mucus cocoons. The coral and walls looked distorted, longer, and sinister in the dark--like in some disney movie when the forest turns evil and the tree limbs grab at the heroine. Well, I swear that coral arms and seaweed were writhing behind my back.

Because (as people enjoy constantly reminding me) I am a tiny person, my air supply lasted the longer than those with whom I was diving. When you dive, you need to take a rest stop about twenty feet below the surface before you go up so that your blood doesn't fill up with toxic gas. Ouch. By the time I reached the twenty foot stop, I was the only one under water anymore, as everyone else had already surfaced and boarded the boat.

I could see moon/starlight streaming down through the water and was no longer so anxious. Suddenly, everything was immensely peaceful and calm. Being squirmy, I waved my arms around in the water, and was immediately surrounded by stars. Tiny pinpricks of light filled the water where my arms had moved. Obviously, I started thrashing around to make more. I was weightless, suspended in this vast darkness, completely surrounded by light, by stars. I felt as though I was hanging still in space and time, looking out upon a beautiful, secret universe, reserved especially for me.

It was really quite marvelous.

*The "stars" were phosphorescent plankton that light up with movement.