Monday, October 3, 2011

Size Matters

Apologies for the late post, Sunday took more out of me than I expected.

There I was, with all life's problems and accomplishments, sitting on the side of the dive boat Steel Slinger. While Captain Pat and Divemaster Kyle were doing a great job of tending a bunch of divers. I was fascinated with the water roiling off the bow. As each moment passed more water was displaced than the mass my body occupies. That mass was smaller than the boat we were on which is much smaller than the wrecked boats we dove on. Yet even those boats were almost lost in the small space we operated in off Panama City Beach. If Pat didn't have the coordinates we could have never found them just by looking. It struck me how small I was and how big the world is. You could take everything I've ever owned, every place I've ever worked, and every town I've ever lived in, dump them in the ocean, and the water level would not be noticeably changed.

Down on one of the wrecks I watched a fish who was hiding behind a metal ledge, watching me. There wasn't enough of him (her?) to make a snack out of but it was fascinating to meet eye to eye with a creature you cannot communicate with. The fish was looking at this ungainly bubble blowing thing and possibly wondering what was about to happen. The ungainly bubble blowing thing was realizing just how interesting life could be if you met it eye to eye. That fish, unnamed but not forgotten, really means more to me than the problems I had left up on the surface. He, or she, made me think about all the other odd species I encounter and forget to really look eye to eye with. Marco the dog who lovingly puts his chin on my leg and pees on the floor for me. My wife, odd sort that she is, puts up with me from day to day even when I fail to really pay her the attention she deserves. And she doesn't even pee on the floor! My friends, here and everywhere, who give me their attention when I ask for it. I too often fail to meet them "eye to eye" (or "e-mail to e-mail") and pay proper attention.

Size matters. Not the physical size of an object like a boat that bobs up and down on the ocean nor the culturally prized size of your bank account. It is the span of your attention given to a friend and the depth of your love for another that really speak volumes about you. As I sat on the side of the boat and looked out over the water, I understood that I determine the size of a person or problem in my life. It makes no sense to bring a small problem from work home and let it diminish the attention I pay my wife. I have to act upon the size imbalances I've let creep up in my life.

Are the things in your life the proper size?






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