Reality is stubborn. It’s freakin’ abyssopelagic!

The deep water creatures close to my face mask — a friend’s pointy, bright-red critique here, a community member’s spiny orange glance there, a suddenly uncloaked pearly-white shark’s tooth of judgment dead ahead — and everything starts getting that dim, damned, dangerous, depthy look fast.

I find life to be blurry, even in the sunny, splash zone of consciousness, and dsfluency takes over upon every attempt to spear reality — and eat it.

I drag out my standard armamentarium — a gut feeling, a Ted’s talk, yesterday’s brilliant observation had while driving in heavy traffic, the book my friend just told me I have to read, a bit of early morning arm-chair theory mongering, the Holy Bible, what my wife thinks, what my financial consultant thinks — and then I get to thinking about my brother’s multiple myeloma, my daughter’s trenchant anxiety, my own ripped rag of insecurity over aging, what I might be doing 10 seconds from now and I’m gone — mesopelagic again.

I dive hard into the depths of what it means to have daughters, a cat, new friends, a second career, old eyes, a discriminating appetite, a healthy relationship with God, passions. I check out what it means to own a shiny piece of new technology, a butchered piece of Augustinian candor, a broken chunk of twenty-first century philosophy, a fresh slice of true love, a green tea frappuccino and I find my arms flailing and my legs kicking to get back to the surface.

I float on the top of the water and take a break.

I love life, especially, exactly the way I find it on the surface, and below.

It’s a splish and a splash, a miss and a mash, an up the boat ladder and a down again, a drop into the sea and an a soggy trip out, a rorty romp through a designer-made microbiome, a perfect drop into a custom-fitted, deep-sea-diving birthday suit, a flit and flop in my lovely skin, my healthy bones, my intact, updated, autonomic nervous system, my glorious gallimaufry of emotions, my mental buggy, my sublime, submersible brain, where I can futz about however I want, to pick and choose and have clarity — and not.

I stopped for a moment yesterday at my daughter’s day program, got out of my car — in my workout clothes — and went up to the director of the program and one of the job coaches and thanked them for doing what they do every day that they do it, taking care of disabled adults, giving them something meaningful to do.

They lit up. I lit them up. I walked away smiling. For a moment, anyway, I had seen which way to flail next.

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