Diane Ackerman –
I’ve always loved scuba diving and the cell-tickling feel of being underwater, though it poses unique frustrations.
Alone, but with others, you may share the same sights and feelings, but you can’t communicate well.
There are few ways to convey joy, amazement or thrill. How many divers know American Sign Language ?
The vocabulary of scuba talk is small and inadequate, circling around the transactional analyst’s bywords, I’m O.K. Are you O.K.?
One can also signal: I’m in trouble, I’m low on air, I’m going to surface, Look at that, I’m cold, Danger over there, My ears haven’t pressurized, Stay where you are — but little more.
“Isn’t that fish on the rock face spending his whole life guarding a minute territory mind-blowing ?” is just as unsayable as “I’ve got to go to the toilet.”
Or “My throat feels parched from the wheeze of the regulator.”
Or “Those brown angelfish are hanging like flak in the water.”
I think some people may dive, in part, for the thick layers of quiet and the luxury of not having to converse.