. . . A little light is filtering from the water flowers. 
Their leaves do not wish us to hurry: 
They are round and flat and full of dark advice. 
 Cold worlds shake from the oar. 

The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes. 
A snag is lifting a valedictory, pale hand; Stars open among the lilies. 
Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens? 
This is the silence of astounded souls.

- Crossing the Water, Sylvia Plath




We followed our Dive Master in nervous proximity. He was a Spanish blond with sticky long hair who rolled his own cigarettes and shaved his whiskers at sea to prevent water from leaking into his mask mid-dive. He was an under-water rebel of paradoxical wisdom and responsibility. I was so hurting for him I wondered how my heart didn't inflate with such zeal that it ballooned me straight to the surface of the sea.

Needless to say, my bubbles followed his. 

When we hit 30 minutes underwater we rested our knees on the sand in a cluster of rubber suits and deflated buoyancy vests. One by one we turned off our torches.
When we were surrounded by heavy darkness too thick to see our own hands, we began to stream our fingers through the black salty sea water. 

Plankton, by the millions it seemed, lit up as we ruffled them swimming by. In the most deliciously romantic and indulgent way, they danced like fireflies around our flapping arms. 

Each of us made butterfly, conductor and kung fu patterns in the sea and I felt our breathing slow to sighs.

I felt like an underwater astronaut; knees on the moon and sea stars reflecting in my rubber goggles. 

The dive master began to yip and howl like a cowboy in the distance; his cheers gurgled through his regulator and echoed through the silence of the dive.

We concluded our starry-eyed pow-wow after ten minutes worth of dancing, and streams of light neutralized the plankton’s glow as we turned our torches back on.
 
White eels and shiny octopi crawled out of their holes and slithered through black and violet urchins.
It was goodnight for me and the cowboy seal. He retired in his aura of mystery and yellow hair. 

The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes. 
 


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