Deep Sea Diving
I will take the journey to the dangerous depths
To see all the deep sea has to offer.
I will breathe borrowed oxygen
And watch colours flash before my eyes in the blackness.
Maybe this time I will learn something,
Hear the whispers of the troubled creatures in the dark.
This is more than a matter of biology, of chemistry,
It has less to do with precise science,
With exploration of the unknown waters,
And more to do with seeking escape.
Irony lies in that I seek enlightenment in the corners of the world most starved of light.
But my heart, like all the others, listens not to reason.
Matters of the heart are mysteries that we are naught to unravel.
It races, pumping stale chemicals into my sluggish blood.
It endures more beatings than is fair with every sorry beat it makes.
Each new day that dawns makes no difference down here,
In the deep sea that knows no warmth.
Still, I dive down.
Down, down, feel the heat of sun-warmed waters shed from my skin
As I plummet fluidly to the bottom with my eyes closed.
The further down I go, the more at peace I feel.
Layers of shredding paint uncurl and escape,
Fly through the salty sea effortless as feathers in the air.
The masks I put on are whipped from my head,
And I am dizzy at the absence.
Plastic and paint swirl around me, then disappear.
I don’t go looking for my other selves, because I only need one face,
And it may be ugly,
But down here it’s so dark that
Nobody can see anyways.
Cover artwork credits: Morriperkele
(Forewarning: I’ve actually written and re-written this outro approximately a thousand times, trying to get at the core of what I want to say, and that’s caused this to be quite long. Hope it’s not too obnoxious or wordy!)
Remember how, in November Spotlight, I said that I was going to publish some of the things I wrote during summer? Well, this poem is one of the very pieces.
Although I’ve certainly been writing for a very long time, it’s only lately that I’ve begun to put parts of my actual life experiences and struggles in anything, so I’m still kinda getting used to it. Thanks for bearing with me!
I’ve put this poem on here unedited, unpolished. Nothing omitted from the original draft. And here’s my long winded reason for why:
Where This Poem Comes From
Okay. So. I guess we begin with a disclaimer:
Coming off as pretentious or fake-deep is something I never, ever, EVER want to do as a writer. It’s a large reason for why I haven’t published anything like this before. “This” being creative writing pieces that hold truths that are close to me; lessons I’ve learned firsthand, fears that I have, that sorta thing.
Now, I really, really, want to avoid using words like ‘troubled’ to describe times in my life. Life is so full of colours that, really, it shouldn’t be out of the ordinary for at least a few of these them to be shades of black and grey. But to tell the truth, the poem above did not come from a good place, even if it seems pretty shallow. There were emotions and all that other icky stuff behind it. Tons of icky stuff, I tell you.
*Screaming noises can be heard as readers realize that this conversation is about to take a goopy, mushy, emotional turn*
*Screaming noises die down as blogger reassures everyone that the fully-fledged Talk About Feelings™ is nowhere near ready to be published and that today’s post will be (relatively, sorta) sap-free from now on. I promise!*
Let’s Talk About Poetry
Poetry, in particular out of all artistic forms, has the tendency to appear belletristic and vapid under the pretense of being wise and reflective. Metaphors are already stagnant for most people, and they get even more tiring when they’re drawn out into five billion stanzas.
That’s why I was hesitant to post this at all. Deep Sea Diving is literally one huge, kinda twisty and unfocused metaphor for what I was feeling on the day that I wrote it. Beyond being afraid that people would roll their eyes at the technical shortcomings, I was (am still, really) worried that people would peg me as fake deep or attention seeking for publishing it. It’s not what I intend at all. I’d hate for someone to assume that I wrote it to seek attention, or for any other purpose other than the sole one that I wanted, which was to find cathartic relief.
Basically, I’d hate to be negatively judged for doing something that I didn’t mean to do.
(I am just now realizing that this probably doesn’t make too much sense and that I’m not doing an A+ job of guiding you through this maze, so let’s stop right there with that, whoops.)
Before I get too deeply pigeonholed into this train of thought, I’d like to say: this is just my perception of the situation. Simply one very narrow, very biased looking point out of many.
I realize that it’s highly likely that my fears about this poem are baseless. Humans usually judge others most harshly for what we are insecure about in ourselves, so maybe I’m just a judgemental person myself. I’m not sure- because who gets to be the judge of that? But I do know- and you probably do now, too- that I am definitely 100% afraid of being judged.
If you didn’t read anything up till this, you’re in luck! Here’s a tl;dr for you:
I have a fear of being judged (as many people do, I realize). But it’s especially bad for this particular poem, which is a deeply personal one for me. It’ll suck if people hate this poem. It’ll suck if people hate me for writing it. It’ll suck if people think I’m dumb, or paranoid, or self-deprecating for having to write an entire huge disclaimer after the poem. Blah, blah, blah, I am a wussy who likes to make mountains out of molehills and talk nonstop about her fears.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way:
You’d think that with this amount of paranoia and neuroticism, I’d’ve just given up on posting this by now. But after all that thinking and reasoning and fearing, I’m still publishing it.
Because it feels true to me, and to what I want to accomplish here. I’ve got this platform to share my thoughts, and just maybe, if I’m lucky, to touch the hearts of other people who listen to what I have to say. It’s important to me that I am honest.
Honesty and clarity are things that I, as a person who would rather tell white lies to keep the peace than stir things up by telling ugly truths, am always striving towards.
For the sake of being honest and unfiltered about my experiences and feelings, I am doing this. As an exercise in truthfulness, I am doing this. To get over my (possibly unfounded) fear of being judged harshly, I am doing this.
I know that this whole thing seems entirely irrational and that I’ve blown the issue wildly out of proportion (like, I can’t even remember what the original issue was, at this point), but I needed to get it out of my system. So thanks for tuning in to an extra-long edition of Yi Nuo Rants, I hope that you found it at least a little bit cohesive. And thank you for reading this. Sometimes on this blog, I give advice in hopes of providing comfort to others. And other times, I write for my own comfort. So thank you, reader, for bearing the edge of that.
At the end of the day, this poem may mean little more than nothing to you. Chances are that you will have forgotten about it within the next week. But it sure means a lot to me, and that’s all I need right now.
The Actual Real Conclusion
That was a lot, wasn’t it? That’s what I mean when I use the term ‘word vomit’. I hope you haven’t expired while reading this, and if you have, then my condolences to your grieving family and my apologies for boring you to death.
Whooo! We’re done!! High-fives all around, everyone!
If you’re not dead and found this piece enjoyable, helpful, or interesting, then it would mean so much to me if you gave this article a like, and subscribed to me here on WordPress! The subscribe button can be found in various places on this page, and since I’m a real brick when it comes to technology, I can’t actually tell you exactly where. But you’ll find it, I promise!
What are your favourite ways of dealing with problems in your life? I expel word vomit, but I’d love to hear what other people do to relieve negativity, so leave me a comment!
As always, thank you so much for reading!
– Yi Nuo