Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"we got no troubles..."

"life is the bubbles under the sea," sang sebastian (you knew it was sebastian, right? from the little mermaid, of course. my favorite disney movie of all time, in case you were wondering.)

i have always loved the water, for at least as long as i can remember, and probably longer. pool, ocean, lake, river, whatever. if i can swim in it, i'm happy. really big bathtub? great. in fact, i remember when we moved when i was in sixth grade and our new house had this really fantastic huge old fashioned tub...anyhow, i digress.

my wallpaper on my computer at work (that would be the computer at the editing job i just quit, thankyouverymuch, which is a story for another time) caught my eye the other day. actually, to be honest, it was my last day there, and i was staring at the screen trying to get motivated to edit one more flier before i could punch my proverbial card for the last time. anyhow, i was staring at the screen, mesmerized by the picture there and completely ignoring the flier, since i'm being honest, and it got me thinking about how and when we learn about the sharks.

the wallpaper was this picture of paradise:

amazingly crystal clear blue water. dreamy. it made me think of what the water used to look like when i was a kid--the first glimpse of a pool below as we flew over florida en route to nana and papa's house, of green lakes in the summer when we went there to swim, of the rivers and hot springs we swam in and jumped off cliffs into on our trip to yellowstone. you can't see it in that picture as well as i could when it filled my desktop, but that water is perfectly clear. no seaweed, no rocks, nothing swimming as far as the eye can see.

but i know those things aren't true. after all, that's a picture of the ocean or some sea somewhere (and oh, how i'd like to know where because i'd really like to live there). and i know full well what lives in oceans and seas: fish and crabs and other relatively harmless (and yummy) things, plus other things of varying harmfulness, like the jellyfish that stung me a few years back or the sharks whose attacks make the news every summer. so what i wondered as i daydreamed in that desktop was when i realized those waters weren't completely clear after all.

there comes a moment, doesn't there, when we lose our innocent joy? when what we've learned in school about sealife collides with our family vacation and we realize that things live under that beautiful playground in which we swim? there are sharks in those waters.

it's the proverbial sharks i was thinking about, of course, in our proverbial waters. like when we realize our parents aren't always right. or that doctors can't make everything better. or that some things that hurt can't be fixed. or that there isn't always a happy ending like in disney world. it's a gradual process, i guess; we don't realize those things all at once. i'm sad that, at age seven, luke has already learned some of those things. it makes me cringe to think of it, really, because i want his waters always to be the crystal clear playground in that photograph, with nothing lurking underneath. can we regret growing up? or, at least, regret that others have to?

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