Thursday, March 05, 2009

Haunted By Slipping Away

My thoughts are haunted by the football players stranded off the Florida coast. I keep thinking of the guy sitting on the flipped over boat and this idea that the others gave up and slipped away in the dark. Or thought they saw a light and swam for it.

If they literally gave up, that's such a shame. I think of people hanging on for years and years against overwhelming odds. I think I could make it two or three days, but I'm not in a position to know. I know I was dangling off a boat one time in conditions nowhere near what these guys faced. And it was tough, but not impossible.

The idea of giving up and slipping away -- I'm not judging it, by the way -- is such a final and ultimate sounding thing. Like not being hooked up to lifesaving equipment in the hospital but worse. Because they're in really good health, and they have to think through the things of life and death, of their family, all that, then finally let go. I would be thinking about it about an inch away from the last grasping of the boat. Either great acceptance or great regret. I would guess there'd be some prayer or meditation, then letting go if letting go was best; it doesn't seem like it would be. Or in place of meditation, maybe there'd be a kind of numbness, forgetfulness, like your daily consciousness shutting down as far as fear and even understanding goes. Then what, maybe the consciousness of light, big gates, the stuff of near death experiences. Some brain chemical stored up just for this occasion.

Thinking you see a light and trying to swim for it could be that exact thing.

It's a haunting idea. Just to think of being there day and night is enough to make you sick. But it'd be slick and cold. No place to stay sane for long.

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