Thursday, December 20, 2012



Preface: A series of unfortunate events-not the children's series-but, a series of unfortunate events coupled with a fresh reading of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar created questions in my own mind about the topic of cliff-diving.  One must remember that cliff-diving need not be taken literal, or of course, cliff-diving can be taken literal ...  do as you wish.

Mind Wonders upon Cliff-Diving:

Is cliff-diving really a fun adventure to an individual, to a group? A sport-whatever a sport is? Do groups of people or even a single soul really intend to jump off a cliff for fun? I've seen these cliff divers at the lake, at the beach, and of course, on television and movies, but do they really believe this death dive is fun?  Do they wonder what will happen if a hidden rock only pokes its head above water as their head is greeting it?  Or, do they want to play the mermaid or merman game and never play the earthling game again?  Who knows? For it isn't for me decide. For I've been a cliff diver: both mentally and physically.  Almost all beings have been cliff divers, whether they acknowledge this fact or not.

Some cliff divers dive into the deep mentally. Yup, mentally. Maybe it's a mental reaction to an external force or some physical action inflicted or boundary cut loose: the only thing the mind can do is cliff-dive.  You see, these mental cliff divers, some-for who am I to label which person is a mental or physical cliff diver-wish to not cliff dive at all.  They would rather freefall. But, alas, they finally land. Their landing is not the clear cut noise of a cliff diver gracefully gliding into the water. Oh, no. Remember, these are mental cliff divers.  Their dive is into a dismal land of decadence, of doom. They're quite content with their scratched but not exposed cup, whether it be filled with murky or muddy water.  For when they finish their free fall-the truth, the action, the reaction-into the water, that murky or muddy water filled cup called life pours out and exposes them to reality.

The mental cliff diver no longer perceives the gleaming gold glitter.  Instead, they realize it was only the sun, toying with the fact that the truth can be, or is, the red rotted wood at the end of their freefall.  That rotten truth unfurls and the bubble breaks: breaks and maggots bumble from their opaque glittered bubble.  While we all know that the bubble-we can call it an ornament even-has scratches or doesn't glow rainbow unicorns all day, or even half a day, it's our perception of reality.  We don't want to see our scratched bubble broke and the maggots bumble around us.  So instead, we cliff dive, hoping to freefall, to never land, to never really see reality.

The actual cliff diver dives. He or she or it may get a rush, an adrenaline kick.  So, maybe it's their kick, their fix that encourages this risky behavior?  Maybe it's their thoughts, their images of their beautiful scissor slice dive?   Or, maybe they too wish to freefall and land but prefer the physical to the mental cliff dive? Or, maybe they are the ones we mental cliff divers should look up to: for strength, for endurance to face the truth. Because the actual cliff divers know that in the end of their freefall, they glide into the green lake, the gold sea-where the actual cliff diver sees the crystal clear calm that shows him or her or it, reality-whether contrary to their wishes or to their scratched bubbles.

Guess it depends on the cliff diver.