When I was a kid I would take a deep breath and immerse myself under the water in the pool. I would blow out all of air in my lungs so that I could sink to the very bottom. It was there that I discovered a pure serenity. The loud sounds of other people disappeared and I could only hear the air bubbles that floated around me. Silence is such a profound and strange sound to a child. I found peace with the solitude that the water gave me and wished to remain there for as long as I could hold my breath.
I never closed my eyes when I was underwater. That was also part of the fun. To see the world underneath the water was marvelous and so different. I could never close my eyes, I was always too scared. Perhaps from my terribly excited imagination, I always felt that reality was only connected to what I could actually see. Like a doubting Peter, my eyes must be open at all times, but underwater, everything I saw was just a mirage. It was almost a hallucination, but one that brought profound significance to a disconnected world. And so, I got to liking this game of holding my breath underwater and drifting away from reality into an unreal underwater world.
Life is fast and weeks go by without the slightest break in time. I’ve finally reached that point where I feel the need to slow down in this fast world. Every five minutes I look at my phone, a casual break from the computer that I stare at all day for work. And then it’s off to the car, where I play loud music that is suppose to calm my nerves from the stress of the workday. And then it’s off to the couch where we soak in the television and the constant screens that suck the soul of human imagination.
We live in a perilous time, and not one of imminent war or physical danger, but one that is constantly voiding us of emotion and humanity. Life is a struggle, it is a perpetual mental crusade that is embedded internally in our island of thoughts. Nowadays we don’t have to think for ourselves or worry about the small errands and duties that make us human. We cannot see the beauty in purposeless endeavors, everything must be attention grabbing and deemed significant.
So, then we worry about how much money we make, designer clothes, and our looks, all which are trifling and momentary. And we cannot simply enjoy ourselves and one another for the beauty of the human spirit and the conquest our ancestors have strived for to let us breathe and exist. Life is not about materialistic successes, it is just about surviving and encompassing the purity of living. The Buddhists liken life to a river, a flow of water that never ends and never begins.
I need to get away from it all. So, I jumped into the pool again, by myself. And I played my childish game again. I held my breath and let the air out of my lungs and dropped to the bottom. There I absorbed a new reality and a silence that overtook the noise of the city. And I opened my eyes and the world was new and pure.