I remember the first time Jamie and I went Scuba Diving in the Ocean. We were in Honduras on a little island called Roatan, a Scuba Diver’s paradise.
We had four days of nothing but diving planned, and I was super excited to see what it would be like to dive deep in the Ocean and have visibility up to a mile at a time. After all, most of my diving instruction was in a lake in Missouri, so the visibility was about as far as I could put my hand in front of my face.
I’ll never forget on the morning of our first dive, we got al our gear collected and on the boat. The smell of boat fuel was laying thick in the coolness of the morning air, and we headed out to the wide vast Ocean, miles from the shore.
Our guide was named, O.J., thankfully no relation to the football player. He helped us get all the right weight on, connect our breathing apparatus, sit on the edge of the boat and roll effortlessly into the sea.
When I adjusted my mask, I remember thinking, At Last…I can see.
We swam for about 500 yards out, and then started our descent.
Down. Down. Down. We sunk in the salt water until our gauges read 65 ft., and then started kicking toward the wall.
For those of you who’ve never spent time diving in the ocean, a wall is literally what it sounds like. The ocean floor is pretty flat in places, but then out of no where there’s a giant cliff wall where sea life attach. If you can imagine that Grand cliff over a vast mountain range, it’s kind of like that; only under water.
You’d think since we had all control over buoyancy, we could approach the wall with some level of confidence. But as soon as you swim from the flat ocean floor over the cliff, there’s an unmistakable eery feeling that overcomes you. It’s like a pit in your gut when you look into the deep dark blue water ultimately leading to the blackness of the ocean.
The Ocean and the Deep Loneliness
After my time in Denver last week, I’m more and more convinced that the message of Loneliness is plaguing every inch of our culture. We try so hard to keep it from showing, but every one of us has a breaking point where what is normal and even keeled turns into that deep dark blackness of ALONE.
For students, all it takes is a little empathy. I share some of the times I feel ALONE, and then the Dam of normal starts to crack to reveal the truth behind the wall. Emotions start to flow, and it doesn’t take long before we navigate into their own feelings of isolation.
There’s a lot of reasons why, but I won’t write a super long article on it. I’ve already written it, and I want to share it with you.
My team here has created something pretty intriguing. We decided to launch a new Andy Braner Books page that is ready for orders. Sure, you can go to Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, or your favorite online books retailer, but here at Andy Braner Books, every book sold will have a signature and a personal message from me.
I’ve got a lot of resource I’m getting ready to share with you in the next several months. Take a second and check out this new platform. The proceeds for every book sold on this site will go to furthing our work with students around the world.
Thanks for supporting us, and we look forward to writing more resources in the near future.