Thursday, September 2, 2004

Homework: Photoblog

For this week's homework, Scalzi asks:

>Weekend Assignment 22: Got a photo you really love? Show it and tell us why. It'd be nice if the photo was one you haven't shown on your site before, but doing a repeat of an especially meaningful picture is groovy too.<

No problemo.

Actually, I have the exact photo in mind, as it has been waiting to be posted in my journal from the very beginning.  A long long time ago, I got an email from AOL saying my journal was being considered for the Editor's Picks and asking me to submit a photo.  I chose a photo and submitted it -- it's a photo that sums up everything this journal is.  I chose it on the theory that if my journal was selected as a Pick, I would then write an entry explaining the photo (and therefore the journal).  I wasn't selected as a Pick.  Recently, I was again told I was under consideration as an Editor's Pick, and I sent the same photo.  Still have not yet been chosen.

No worries.  With John's assignment, I have a perfectly good excuse to post the photo and the explanation.

This is me...

... after an "Introductory Scuba Dive." 

Once upon a time, I took a vacation to Australia.  As part of the trip, I took a one-day cruise out on the Great Barrier Reef.  It was, in a lot of ways, a life-changing sort of experience.

In the first place, it was quiet.  Relaxing.  Up until then, my standard vacation protocol would be to go to New York (or some other place "where the plays are") and try to cram as much theatre as I could into a weekend.  But on this particular day trip, I spent a good deal of time lying on the deck of the ship, staring at the sky.  And it was wonderful.  Calming.  Centering.  (Which is the sort of word I never imagined I'd use, much less something I'd actually feel.)

And in the second place, there wasthe Introductory Scuba Dive.  The cruise offered several ways to see the Great Barrier Reef -- one of which was an introductory scuba dive.  They said it was very simple -- there'd be good old-fashioned regular air in the tank, you wouldn't go any deeper than ten feet, and you'd be with the dive master at all times.  I thought about it and (considering that my other alternative was snorkelling, which I'd never been particularly good at) decided, against my standard "better judgment" to give it a go.

The result is that photo up there.  Taken at the end of the dive, when I was climbing on board the boat.  (It was, in fact, moments after I had discovered how freakin' heavy a tank of air can be when it doesn't have water conveniently supporting its weight.)  Observe the smiley face.  The genuine glee.  The sense of accomplishment at having succeeded at something I'd never tried before.  The total happiness at how freakin' cool the Great Barrier Reef is when experienced up close and personal.  The face that says, as Donkey likes to put it, "Let's do that again."

I started this journal just as I'd started taking a few more steps down the path begun the day this picture was taken.  It's all about me getting to know this side of myself, which I hadn't known existed until one day in the Great Barrier Reef.

(As it happens, I've just lined up the next step in the journey.  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.)


sweetmelissa4u said...

That's a great photo, NZ. I can see just from the look on your face that you were having a fantastic time. And also that you'd just done something you never thought you would. Very cool. Can't wait to hear about your next adventure. ~Melissa~

mavarin said...

That's one of the best pictures I've seen in response to this assignment.  You look so happy!


fisherkristina said...

Fantastic photo and a fantastic entry to go with it.  You go girl! -Krissy

cneinhorn said...

REally great photo.....good story too,,,,