time divers

I begin this letter by, ironically, apologizing.  I am not the best writer, nor the best historian. I will do my best to convey the most accurate account possible, but know that I am, of course, biased and grieved. It has obviously deeply affected my state of mind, and every day I can barely bring myself out of the downward spiral of endless thought. Forgive me.

A lot of people might tell you that it was entertaining at first, amusing even. When it happened everyone didn’t really know how to react – but eventually we all figured out how.  Our melting pot of emotional reaction rapidly churned into a thick, hot rage that no one dared try to simmer.  We were united, all of us, for the first time in history.  But it was a slow start.

It was early September when it got there, right above one of the Galapagos Islands. A group of Spanish scientists were the lucky few to get the first look.  It was small, dark, swirling, and sporadic.  The media liked to say it was about a tenth the size of Rhode Island, which was not a very helpful benchmark for anyone not familiar with Rhode Island. It floated, or rather simply existed, 1.44 miles in the sky, and occasionally dropped down a few yards, much to everyone’s horror.  The color of it was like staring into a black sun; mosaic waves of darkness swirled around and sparked. It smelled strongly of ammonia and sulfur according to anyone who went close, and one scientist liked to say it felt like staring death in the face.

I can’t begin to describe to you all that happened in the first few days.  Scientists from every corner of the globe, every backwoods nation and fringe group, demanded access to the newest Ecuadorian landmark, whose government was not too willing to comply.  At first, select small teams were permitted admission, closely monitored by the Ecuadorians.  But when a U.S. carrier strike group shows up at your door, all international law and decorum goes out the window.

They figured out pretty fast what it was, a wormhole of some sort.  A very, very weak one. Helicopters and planes could fly within a couple hundred yards from it and only barely feel a pull.  That pull increased almost exponentially as anything went closer to it, as several birds were the unknowing producers of that knowledge. Electronic systems worked fine, and other than the small gravitational interruption, nothing was horribly wrong with the gigantic black blob in the sky.  Yet.

About a month or so after it had gotten there, when the media was just beginning to start covering anything else, a black cube the size of a truck spurted out from the center of the hole with incredible force, slowed down to terminal velocity, and then sunk into the South Pacific. Of course this was all captured on film; by now thousands of cameras and satellites were aimed at it, and a city of yachters had gathered beneath, despite the smell.  The whole world was shocked that the silent, putrid, black sun had actually done something other than suck up the occasional bird.  I was horrified. I thought we were going to be invaded.  That cube was not natural.  It wasn’t a meteorite or a speck of dust or anything you’d expect to be on the other end of the line. It implied, practically proved, that something intelligent was over there.  

People thought the box might be to communicate, that perhaps it was a sort of radio or beacon.  We soon found out what it was.  Before we even had time to get divers down there, it burst. Most of the blast was held in by the ocean’s depths but still a colossal geyser of water sprang up, almost touching the blob itself.  The explosion seemed nuclear, but we were assured it wasn’t.  Some sort of conventional explosives, several times stronger than any nuke we owned, had created the largest crater on Earth’s floor in the span of a second.  The waves flushed rapidly in every direction, toppling the yacht city and swamping the coasts of the islands. Hundreds died instantly.  

The fallout spawned itself in the form of rage and panic.  Were we being invaded?  What next horror would fall through the sky? How can we stop this thing, how can we turn it off?  The second question was soon answered, as a day later thousands more boxes fell through, each in succession, each various sizes.  A quarantine zone was declared, as everyone expected the worst.  But these cubes never exploded like their precursor.  They sank to the bottom, fell on top of each other, and slowly but surely piled up towards the surface.  

Weeks later, when the dilapidated pyramid of boxes had begun to pierce the waterline, whoever was in charge had concluded that the threat was low enough to send someone in to investigate.  The team that went in noted that the cubes were coarse to the touch despite the sea water, the edges were perfectly formed and sharp, and there were no markings to give any hint to their purpose.  Taking a box back with them to the continent, the collective effort to open it began. As time ticked down, pressure mounted.  Debate raged over whether it was wise to even open it at all. Pandora, Pandora, Pandora, rose the cries from the streets. But it wasn’t the people’s call to make.  The boxes were soon opened, the answer revealed, and the questions began.  

Garbage. Millions of boxes of garbage had been streaming from the black mass.  Information trickled in, but people begged for more. It was alien, from a civilized culture.  Bipeds, more advanced than us, larger, omnivores. It was amazing what we could tell from their trash.  It was an instant view into some other part of our universe.  When more boxes were opened we continued to learn.  But there were no photos, no paintings, no art or culture of any kind.  The clothing, or at least what we assumed to be clothing, was uniform and exact. Everything was bland, simple, and spartan.  Soon, discoveries became rarer and rarer, as the items became just copies of the ones found prior.  Finally, nothing new was opened; just a hundred or so items of compressed waste had formed their gift to us.

The pile on the other hand, had become a problem.  It, combined with the blast, had devastated most of the area’s ecology.  The boxes had also slowly bled a red slime, likely a coating of some sort, which had dyed the ocean for miles. All fish in the area were floating to the surface, dead and cancerous. The birds stopped flying anywhere near.  The tortoises crouched down in their shells and gave in.  The Galapagos were dead.

It didn’t stop. The dye and waste had slowly began to affect every drop of water on Earth. There was no one who did not feel its terror. It was biological, ecological, and psychological warfare.  It was an unending barrage of terror.  It was death.

So I hope this letter reaches you, whoever you are, and I hope you learn how to comprehend it. You have destroyed our planet. You have defied our attempts at reconciliation and communication, and you have been a brutal, silent antagonist for too long. It is time for you to understand. My letter to you is just one part of the millions to be sent through the rabbit hole tomorrow.  Know that it is just a fraction of what you have sent us.

I want everyone to briefly imagine a Duckverse AU where everyone has feather/fur patterns corresponding to real animals.

That is all.

Poseidon Is:

in every parent who takes their kids to the lake and throws them up and into the water

in the cracks in the pavement and foundations after an earthquake

in the fish that follow and watch me as I walk through the aisles of tanks at the aquarium

in every tiny shell I find in the sandy mud around my grandparents’ pond

in the laughter of children as they splash in the water of garden hoses and summer sprinklers

in the cry of the gulls that fly over the river

in the shushing and crashing of waves from noisemakers that calm me

in the excited faces of first time high board divers as they pop up from the water at the pool

in every life guard at the water park who carefully watches over the patrons

in the people who haggle at the local fish market and walk away satisfied with their prize

in the trainers at the Zoo who do tricks with the seals and play with the penguins

in the hearts of bronco riders, barrel racers, and trick riders at the rodeo

in the crawdads that pop out of the mud unexpectedly after a hard rain at the farm

in summertime water gun wars in the front yard

in the memories of fishing trips with my father as a child—picking out baits and feeding the ducks and the thrill of the catch!

in the strings of teenie tiny shells at the craft store where I get my beads

in the joy of diving into the deep side of a pool and imagining the ocean

in the wind that whips across the lake and beats it into waves

in the millions of fractions of light glittering on the surface of lakes and ponds in the summertime

in childhood memories of jumping in puddles knee deep and squishing soil and sand under my toes

in the fear and amazement I feel when I watch a documentary about deep sea marvels

in the dreams I have of stepping on the beach one day and seeing the ocean in person

in every child who hears the ocean through a conch held to their ear

in the minds and hearts of all His landlocked followers who love Him

written for @ithalassa

These are the names of the 7 sailors killed aboard the USS Fitzgerald.

Their bodies were found in the flooded destroyer, which had collided with a container ship off Japan over the weekend.

The destroyer has a crew of about 300 and most were asleep when the ship collided early Saturday with the Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal that was more than three times larger. Navy divers found “a number of” bodies in the ship Sunday, a day after tugs dragged the ship to the 7th Fleet’s home base in Yokosuka, Japan.

About 200 sailors were aboard the ship at the time of the collision.

Confession of a Deep Sea Diver

by reddit user PizzND

Estimated Reading Time: Less than or equal to 12 minutes

Follow sixpenceee for more creepy stories.

I recently left my job as a deep sea diver. I worked for a large company that offers diving services ranging from salvage, underwater demolition, ship repairs, and search and recovery. They are a reputable company and are considered safe and reliable. So much so that they are often contracted by the government. Truth be told, I will miss working for them. The people I worked with were truly the best of the best. 

Keep reading

Delving into Divers: “Waltz of the 101st Lightbourne”

Rachel and I tackled “Waltz of the 101st Lightbourne” separately and this entry in our “Delving into Divers” series is not as much of a conversation as our other entries. But I know we will probably tackle this song again in the future, once our brains are less on fire, and we can possibly do a redux of sorts with “Waltz.” We also especially want to hear what our readers think about this one, too! So, please reblog with commentary, submit commentary, ask us questions! This is such a massive song. We love it.

Melissa:

Before I begin, a confession: I almost cried trying to figure out “Waltz of the 101st Lightbourne” over three hours after a long day of teaching. But it was also so much fun. My brain was on fire, but it was fun. As I was analyzing this song, it was helpful to me to refer to readings on time travel and the multiverse and what Joanna has said about this song in interviews. I was very invested in trying to figure out the narrative line by line, verse by verse, and then overall. I want to share what I learned about the fourth dimension, time travel, and the multiverse and then do a reconstruction of what I think the song’s narrative is, before I even start talking about its themes (particularly the engendering of Space and Time) in much depth. Hopefully our readers find this helpful!

Humans, in our reality, have successfully conquered the three spatial dimensions of nature. The three wars the narrator discusses in “Waltz’s” first verse could be actual wars, but the wars also refer to the figurative conquering of the three dimensions, the fourth “war” being the conquering Time (the war that was “carelessly” done). We (meaning the humans outside of Joanna’s foray into sci-fi) have not conquered the fourth dimension of Time. This means that we are always in the present with the past always behind us and the future always ahead of us. If humans acquired the ability to manipulate and control the fourth dimension as the humans in “Waltz” do, that means that Time has, in effect, become spatial (as if it has coordinates), it is almost flat, and the present, past, and future can be viewed as always happening at once. There is constant tension in Divers between Time and Space. From the very first song, there is emphasis on the difference of “wherever you are” and “when are you from.” The three dimensions versus the fourth. As I will explain below, this tension is very gendered.

But “Waltz” becomes even more complicated because these humans have not just conquered the fourth dimension, but in doing so they have gained the ability to traverse the multiverse. The multiverse hypothesizes that there could be infinite universes, and that if there are infinite universes, one of these alternate universes inevitably would be very much like the other, maybe even a copy. Within such an eerily similar universe, there could be another Earth and another human race. When 101st Lightbourne Elite leave their Earth (for the 101st time?), they are looking for another “Earth.” They are looking for simulacreage: land to exploit on Earth lookalikes. The tragedy and horror of the song lies in the fact that they do not realize the real consequences of the multiverse and their access to it. They could be going to an “Earth” that is very similar, in every way, to theirs (although, I am not convinced Highlands Earth is an exact copy). Meaning they could go to an “Earth” with the same level of technology, not one less advanced. Or an Earth, like Highlands, could come to them because of their own understanding of technology. As the 101st Lightbourne Elite go out to colonize, they too can be colonized by the New Highlands Light Infantry. If you are invading an almost replica of “Earth,” they could also be in the process of invading you. (N.B. The “stack of slides” image we see in the penultimate verse of the song is a visualization of the flattening of time and also a visualization of the multiverse.)

The 101st Lightbourne Elite’s Earth has been devastated by invasion(s) and this has prompted them to develop and use technology to Time Travel to look for another “Earth.” (They could have possibly been invaded by other “Earths.”) The entire song is told from the perspective of one narrator—whom I believe to be a woman (see below)—who witnesses the departure of the 101st and awaits their arrival back home. Her lover, John (which, as Rachel brilliantly suggested previously, could be a version of John Purroy Mitchel; naming is very specific on Divers and it is no coincidence that there is a John in “Waltz”), is one of the men who has left to go to Highlands Earth. She begins to recount in the first verse how and why humans turn to Time Travel and the multiverse and by the second verse, she knows it is a mistake and that it can only lead to death, destruction, and misery. She describes how humans came to understand that “Time is taller than space is wide” meaning that their access to time travel has opened them up to infinite possibilities for terrestrial colonization (quite a cynical comment from Joanna that Time Travel is used solely for this purpose). They are not restricted to their three dimensions on their Earth any longer but have access to many Earths. In the fourth verse, she describes what it was like before the humans on her Earth could control and manipulate Time. Before that, they could board the “ship” of Time (so to speak) and be “lashed to [its] prow,” but not steer it. They were constantly bound to the present (“Before you and I ceased to be Now”). But Time Travel has made Time spatialized in that they are now “right here” in “inches and miles” and not “years.” “Now” means something very different when temporal boundaries have been collapsed. Because of their understanding of Time Travel “a new sort of coordinate awoke.” Time to them has become a “tenant,” but one which is in “the war between [them] and [their] ghosts.” When Time flattens, your past is always with you, your ghosts, but this line could also forecast the war they will have with their Highlands “copies,” the regret they will experience once they realize what they have done.

The fifth verse is troubling to me and I sense there could be a shift in the narrator. But here’s what I think (for now): this verse is still from our woman in waiting, but she is possibly envisioning what Highlands Earth looks like and also is possibly omniscient about it in a way. But it reads to me more like she hopes that Highlands is an earlier version of her Earth, still in a “Golden Age,” an earlier version of her Earth, but then it becomes clearer later in the song that Highlands is just as advanced, just as desperate, and possibly just as destroyed as her Earth. She wants it to be “pristine” and “unfelled” and maybe we do, too, but I do not think we ever truly see Highlands: only the men they sent from the New Highlands Light Infantry. I do not think we see her version of Earth either, or at least directly. We see in her dreams that her Earth is ruined (“I had a dream that I walked in the garden/Of Chabot, and those telescope ruins”).

When she awakes from the dream, a war “in eternal return and repeat” has begun. The infinite regress. They are fighting a version of themselves and they will do so forever…because multiverse. The New Highlands Light Infantry actually expect the 101st Lightbourne to be on their own Earth (“Calling, ‘Where in the hell are the rest of your fellow/ One Hundred-One Lightborne Elite?’/ stormed in the New Highland Light Infantry”). They expect them there because the invasion’s happened before and it will happen again. Or it’s possible that they expected them to be there because they are them (and I must say this very possibility is too much for my tiny brain and I have been trying to avoid this concept my entire essay, a horrifying twinning effect).

In the penultimate verse, the narrator calls out to John hoping that this looping reality of invasion can somehow cease. There is now regret in humanity’s knowledge that “Time is taller than space is wide.” And then finally, in the last verse we learn that the 101st Earth will never be able to escape their current circumstances. Their Earth will always be destroyed, they will have the same “round desert island” before them. The narrator will always wonder what has happened to John, and John will always be going to the Highlands to colonize (“Have they drowned, in those windy highlands?/ Highlands away, my John”). (And maybe from the perspective of every version of Earth, the “other” Earth is always the Highlands.)

And now that I have gone through the song verse by verse, I want to explain how I believe this song demonstrates the engendering of Time and Space (something I have been hinting at in my previous pieces on Divers and finally feel I can go wild with). The narrator of “Waltz” must wait on her version of Earth as her male lover, John, goes to Highlands Earth, travelling through Time to arrive there. She is the sci-fi Penelope sending off her Odysseus. The woman in “Waltz” is fixed to a location, a Space, she is immobilized while the man can move, be active, transcend boundaries, and even control Time. I think this is also the case in “Sapokanikan” as John Purroy Mitchel leaves his wife behind before he boards his plane and transcends the Earth, this is the case in “Divers,” while a woman waits on the shore, remembering and a man dives into water and crosses boundaries, creating culture and memory. Time vs. Space, rather than just Immobilization vs. Crossing/Creation of Boundaries, however, is more prominent in “Anecdotes.” (There is reason that “Anecdotes” and “Waltz” were my immediate favorites: they are so connected). I have the sense the person—who wants to stop time in “Anecdotes,” who can travel through Time with his bird army/army made up of people named after birds, who wants to get back to his family—is a man (although I consistently used the pronoun “they” to refer to the narrator in my response to the song). It may be because of the World War I imagery in “Anecdotes,” the very traditional imagery of “family” at the end of the song, but that gender hunch and my gender hunch for “Waltz” is ultimately founded in my belief that Newsom is exploring a Barthian principle (found in A Lover’s Discourse, 1979) on Divers. In literature Man is often shown to be active and moving, while Woman is often shown to be immobile and attached to a place (e.g., as we have seen, men go to war, women wait). If we expand this beyond Barthes’ immediate words and also add in a little Simone De Beauvoir and The Second Sex, it, to me, means that Man is transcendent and Woman is immanent, it means that Man in a way creates memory and Woman is the repository of memory, and it means that Man is Time (something constantly moving) and Woman is Space (something fixed). In “Waltz,” our female narrator can comment on the motives, apparatuses, and consequences of Time Travel, but she can never control Time herself as she is fixed to the Earth. All she can do is watch her Earth’s dissolution through endless and cyclical copy wars as John always leaves for the Highlands.

Rachel:

Melissa’s incredible research into and analysis of “Waltz of the 101st Lightborne” is probably one of my favorite things that has ever been posted on Blessing all the Birds. Her insight into fifth dimensional existence and the multiverse sheds so much light on the themes of both the song and the album. My own analysis focuses on the imagery of the song and on the literal narrative of the work. After reading Melissa’s piece, however, I have such a richer appreciation of the song, that I almost feel the need to revisit my entire piece. For the sake of my sanity, I will probably hold off on that for the time being, although I anticipate revisiting this song many, many times before I fully understand this album as a whole. Eternal return and repeat and all that jazz.

~~~

Waltz begins on the “eve of the last of the Great Wars.” The identity of the wars, as well as the identity of the enemy, are left ambiguous, although the reference to “Great War” calls to mind World War I (and our hero, John Purroy Mitchel, who departed for the “Western front” so many years ago). Regardless, we know that there have been a total of four wars. The fourth Great War is the focus of this song and a battle fought for control and colonization of Time, the last remaining dimension.

It is a doomed war from the beginning. Our narrator concedes, it was “carelessly done” and “a mistake.” There is a sense permeating the album that any attempts to control either Time or Space are futile—that the quest to colonize both will only end in the inevitable: Death. This is clear in the narrator’s observation that the “clouds draped like a flag across the backs of the fleet,” calling to mind the image of military funerals and the customary flag draped across the casket. The Hundred First Lightborne Elite, in their attempt to circumvent the inevitability of Time (and mortality), are reminded horrifically of nature’s cruelty—that nature itself is Death.

The speaker of the poem, who seemingly speaks for all humanity, recounts the moment that mankind realized the potential to colonize Time, after having already colonized Space and realized its “limits.” The opportunity in Time is characterized as “unlimited simulacreage to colonize.” Of course, “simulacreage” is an example of Joanna’s beautiful relationship to words and her ability to choose just the right one. If the right one does not exist in our lexicon? She will create one! The philosophical implications of this word are huge and play into the repeated motif on the album of doubles/twins/mirrored images/mirrored light. I hope to explore these ideas more in a future piece.

The speaker goes on to lament a time where mankind did not have such control of Time, when we were “lashed to the prow of a ship you may board, but not steer.” Thankfully, we have put Time in its place, making it “just another poor tenant” in the “war between us and our ghosts.” In other words, Time has become a pawn in humankind’s attempts to escape mortality and the inevitability of Death.

There are many references in Waltz to sites along the western coast of North America—the Bering Strait, the Golden Gate bridge, the mention of Chabot, the Great Divide (which, in addition to being a common term for the barrier between life and death, is also the most significant continental divide, separating the west from the east at a geological level). I’m interested in these references not only because they help formulate the album’s specific geography, but because they represent multiple things to me. First, the focus on divisions and barriers, as well as the bridging of those divisions, is important to me. The Bering Strait and the Golden Gate are both bridges, in a sense. This idea of division is explored further in Divers, where the division is one along gendered lines. Secondly, the west has always represented the dreams of Manifest Destiny, the movement west to find pristine lands and form new settlements. The allusion to figures like Chabot (Anthony Chabot, who went west to develop innovations in the mining industry, the water industry, and who is also the namesake of a telescope at the Chabot Space and Science Center), recalls the innocent optimism of the 101st, of John Purroy Mitchel and of all the other soldiers who enter wars that cannot be won, as no war can.

The song is a tragic one. As we have known from the beginning, our brave soldiers are doomed. We soon learn, as a new brigade marches in (The New Highland Light Infantry), that the 101st have all been lost. Bravery and heroism are both short lived, quickly replaced by the next wave of brave and heroic souls.

The mournful conclusion of the song, with its sampling of the traditional folk piece “Lowlands Away,” reinforces the notion that time is forever repeating itself, that what has happened in the past will happen again in the future, that the bravery of John Purroy Mitchel and others like him, will forever drive us towards better and brighter futures, but that we are all doomed to “drown in those windy highlands.”

Confessions of a Deep Sea Diver Part 1

Originally posted by lambsxbecomexlions

I recently left my job as a deep sea diver. I worked for a large company that offers diving services ranging from salvage, underwater demolition, ship repairs, and search and recovery. They are a reputable company and are considered safe and reliable. So much so that they are often contracted by the government. Truth be told, I will miss working for them. The people I worked with were truly the best of the best.

But there are only so many unexplainable things you can witness in the deep before you decide to stay out of the ocean forever. Here are some examples of the secrets many divers take to their graves.

On the way to a job we were contracted to perform, our propeller became fouled. I suited up and prepared to make a quick dive to remove the fouling. I did a brief inspection and located thick line wrapped around the prop and shaft. I notified the supervisor, who then lowered a canvas bag with the tools I needed to cut it off. I hung the bag from the shaft and began freeing the propeller. It didn’t take long, and I returned to my tool bag. I noticed a strange crunching sound when I dropped the tools in the bag. When I looked in the bag, it was full of large shells, many of which I had just crushed. After getting out of the water and stripping off my gear, I began examining them. The shells had what appeared to be hieroglyphics etched into them. I learned from one of the senior guys that this wasn’t common, but had happened to several of them before.

On one other occasion we were recovering a military aircraft. When we arrived, naval ships were on scene waiting for us to recover it for them. We were quickly briefed that they had lost communication with the pilot and wanted us to recover it so that they could investigate. I was sitting comms and logs (communicate with divers and monitor depth & bottom time) when the divers reached the project. They reported that the plane was intact. We were all surprised. The supervisor asked how extensive the damage was. And they explained it was completely intact. As in, there was no visible damage at all. It was just resting on bottom. Even stranger, the aircraft canopy was still in place. That means that the cockpit is still sealed, in other words the pilot did not eject. But there was no sign of the pilot. We recovered the plane and the military took custody of it. We never heard about it again.

I witnessed another strange occurrence from topside at the location of a planned demolition. It’s necessary to explain that one way you can keep track of a diver is to watch their bubble stream. When a diver inhales, the helmet’s demand regulator provides air from their umbilical. Then when they exhale, it is exhausted into the water and floats up to the surface. On topside you can watch the bubbles to get a general sense of where the divers are. Now on this occasion we were hundreds of miles from land, and had placed two divers in the water. About an hour into the dive, we started noticing something strange was happening. There were three distinct bubble streams coming from where they were working. At first we assumed that there was a current and it was affecting them. But soon we noticed a fourth set of bubbles coming from a distance. It stopped about 20 feet from the divers, near the other mysterious bubbles. We asked the divers, but neither could see anything out of the ordinary. Then, even from the surface, we heard a blood curdling screech from the waters. Then silence. The divers weren’t too concerned, we hear strange things all the time. Sound travels well in the water, and you learn to assume it’s a long distance away. But soon, it looked like the water in the distance was boiling, and it was getting closer. It wasn’t boiling though. It was countless new bubble streams moving nearer to the location our divers were working. The supervisor ordered the divers to get onto the dive stage to be lifted back to surface. The bubbles were frighteningly close now, and the divers being lifted out said they had begun seeing shadowed figures in the distance. They couldn’t quite make out what they were though. We elected to pull the divers out without completing their decompression stops and throw them into our hyperbaric chamber.

During another dive near the Bahamas I had a frightening experience. It was my first salvage job with them, so I got in with a highly experienced diver. At just over 200 feet deep, we were examining the sunken vessel for rigging points. As I approached the bow of the ship I noticed he was investigating a damaged portion of the hull. He swam a few feet into the ship looking around. I asked him a few times if he wanted me to tend his umbilical (air supply hose) from just outside the ship (it’s highly advisable since it’s dangerous to enter a sunken ship) to which he stated no. He didn’t want to enter the ship. He insisted he was on the port side of the ship. Assuming he was disoriented I reached in to grab him. Just before touching him, I realized there were no bubbles coming from the helmet. Whatever this was, it wasn’t breathing. I backed up and reported that something else was down here. I expected mockery, but there was none. The next thing I heard was the diving supervisor. “Both divers, square yourselves away and get ready to leave bottom” When back on surface I asked the supervisor about it, he said he refused to put his divers in exceptionally dangerous situations. He then refused to clarify. We declined to complete the salvage.

I’m not entirely sure how to explain this next dive. I was on bottom, laying on my back staring up toward the surface. All I could see were varying shades of darkness. Suddenly I came to my senses. I had no memory of how I got here. I realized I couldn’t remember getting into the water, or even why I was here. I tried to will my body to stand up, but realized I couldn’t move. I couldn’t control my body. Over the comms I could hear topside instructing the other diver to find me. How long had I been down here? How long had I been missing? He told topside that “They grabbed him” I tried to shout out, but I couldn’t even do that. After a few frantic minutes of communication between the diver and topside, I noticed a shadow growing clear. It was moving toward me. “Topside, I’ve found him” He reached down and grabbed my harness to drag me back to our dive stage. As he pulled me, I rolled over and got a brief glance at my surroundings. I had been laying in a pile of human bones.

One of the strangest things I’ve ever witnessed happened on a body recovery mission. Even I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t been the one in the water. The military had found a site in which they believed the bodies of several missing World War Two sailors would be found. I entered the water with another diver with body bags to carry the remains. On bottom, we eventually found three skeletons. We placed them in the bags and returned to the stage. On our return trip to the surface, we saw the bags begin to move. At first very slightly, then violently shaking and rolling. Bubbles escaped from two of the bags, and then they went still. The third bag continued struggling. We reached surface and sat down on the deck, stripping our gear immediately. We were afraid to touch the bags, but one of the tenders eventually unzipped the moving bag. An old, frail, very alive man rolled out coughing water. We stood shocked, unable to comprehend what we were witnessing. Still not sure what I was doing, I ran to the other two bags and unzipped them. There were two more old men laying motionless in the bags. They appeared to have just drowned. We attempted CPR but were unable to revive the men. The man, who was somehow now alive, was backing away from us. Screaming of the horrors he’d witnessed. He screamed about an eternity spent burning. We locked him in a room and contacted the military that we had found a “survivor” Within the hour a military chopper was hovering over us to pick up the two bodies and the survivor. We had placed the bodies back in their bags, and handed them over. The man bent over to inspect them, unzipping the bags. As he opened the bags, an unbearable stench overtook us. The bodies appeared to be in decay, as if they’d been dead and soaking in the water for a week. He zipped it back up and had them lifted into the chopper. Then we escorted him to the survivor. We could hear the screaming from down the hall. We opened the door and saw blood splattered on the walls. He was alive, and screaming, but he too appeared to have started decaying. The man calmly walked him to the chopper and the two of them were lifted onboard. We never heard about them again. However, I went back and examined the room. With his blood he had drawn hieroglyphics on the walls. I’m still not certain of what I viewed, but there were a few things that seemed to stand out. Waves, flames, and bodies. There was a tremendous amount of them on the walls, but shortly after I walked in our supervisor began scrubbing the walls. He refused to let us examine it any further.

I’ve heard rumors about the “Keepers of the Deep”. I’ve wondered about them for quite some time. I believe they are the link between many of our stories. Their myth within our team is seldom spoken of. But here is what I gathered over the years. We are not meant to roam the depths of the ocean. And when a diver loses his life in the deep, it doesn’t stay that way. They are cursed to forever roam the oceans. And when they find the living, in an envious rage, they will bring you back to the depths from which they came.

By reddit user PizzND

Confessions of a Deep Sea Diver.

I recently left my job as a deep sea diver. I worked for a large company that offers diving services ranging from salvage, underwater demolition, ship repairs, and search and recovery. They are a reputable company and are considered safe and reliable. So much so that they are often contracted by the government. Truth be told, I will miss working for them. The people I worked with were truly the best of the best. But there are only so many unexplainable things you can witness in the deep before you decide to stay out of the ocean forever. Here are some examples of the secrets many divers take to their graves.

On the way to a job we were contracted to perform, our propeller became fouled. I suited up and prepared to make a quick dive to remove the fouling. I did a brief inspection and located thick line wrapped around the prop and shaft. I notified the supervisor, who then lowered a canvas bag with the tools I needed to cut it off. I hung the bag from the shaft and began freeing the propeller. It didn’t take long, and I returned to my tool bag. I noticed a strange crunching sound when I dropped the tools in the bag. When I looked in the bag, it was full of large shells, many of which I had just crushed. After getting out of the water and stripping off my gear, I began examining them. The shells had what appeared to be hieroglyphics etched into them. I learned from one of the senior guys that this wasn’t common, but had happened to several of them before.

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mikantrapper  asked:

For the prompts things, would you consider doing a Kanadia Flower Shop AU ; a ; I think it'd be really cute. Thank you in advance! ~

Sorry this has taken so long! I hope this is everything you’re hoping it might be, i’ve been thinking a lot about this since I saw it in my inbox ;u;.

I’m also doubling this as a birthday present for my fav!! Happy late birthday Dia ily ;o;!!

KanaDia flower shop au! here we go!

(Note: all italicized words said by Mari are said in English)

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“Colleen” and “Divers”

       Time passes hard.

       Rachel and I still need to complete our “Delving into Divers” series. I guess I did not anticipate it to take this long, but I promise we will finish one day…But now it is time for another slight digression from the series. A couple of months ago I promised an analysis of “Colleen” in relation to “Divers” and I wanted to fulfill that promise, even if briefly. Let me also say that soon I hope to tackle the relationship of “Occident” to “Divers.” (If I write it, I will do it.)

        Both “Colleen” and “Divers” are fascinated by the formation of gender and femininity, the borders between land and water, the relationship of land (or more broadly civilization) with the oppression of women, and the relationship of water with freedom and movement. In “Colleen,” the narrator was once a sea creature (the story we see here is similar to the selkie myths prominent in Irish folklore) and now has become a human through an undisclosed process and undisclosed crossing of the borders of land and sea. But after taking on the form of a human, the narrator gains a gender, or more accurately, gains the imposition of gender by the human society on land. When the narrator was found on land, the people who found her could not perceive her as anything but a woman (locating gender in the appearance of her naked body, “having lost her shoes and torn her gown”). She “must have been a thief or a whore” too, the only credible reasons—according to their ways of thinking—that a naked woman would be found on the shore.

        They name her “Colleen,” the Gaelic word for “girl,” emphasizing the gender they have imposed on her. They also tell her that she is the “most blessed” woman because she “has forgotten everything,” which we come to see is the ignorance of her former watery freedom. It seems that that absence of knowledge of her past life is a way to better engender her and indoctrinate her with the values of their culture, she is a blank slate, a piece of material, something for them to project their values upon without debate, like a woman should be. They teach her the “laws of chastity,” dress her, and she endeavors to take on roles that show she is like a woman, that she can create and make things grow (“Tilled and planted, but could not produce —/not root, nor leaf, nor flower, nor bean; Lord!”). But she “overwaters” everything she tries to create and grow (because she is a sea creature and her subconscious has taken over).

         Her dreams have become infected with gendered expectations and an obsession with reproduction. She has recurring dreams of having a child. But she dreams of the child in the sea, her past and former lives converging symbolically (“I dream some nights of a funny sea,/ as soft as a newly born baby).” Her subconscious has become full of what civilization demands of and extracts from women (progeny) and also by what she has not forgotten of her freedom, diving for the child with a “wildness” in her to retrieve the child. The sea and the child become one in the same: a goal, an acquisition, a location. Civilization has not been entirely successful in shaping her into what they expect. In another dream, a whale (“a gray and sloping-shouldered thing”) reprimands her for wearing a corset with whale bones (his “very own baleen”), a corset one of the evocative signs of oppressive gender standards for women and their sexuality in the Elizabethean and Victorian periods in Europe. The whale suggests that maybe her forgetfulness is real and permanent. By this point in the song, it seems that Colleen can only enter the water in her dreams, she is bound and fixed to the land, like the narrator in “Divers” who cannot cross the borders of land and sea herself because of the “rules that bind” her there, but longs to do so. The narrator in “Divers” is also faced with nightly dreams of retrieving the pearls from the sea. As I discussed in my essay on “Divers,” I believe the pearls represent knowledge, particularly of a sexual kind to which she does not have direct access, a sexual repression of sorts. Colleen’s dreams, as we have seen, center around sexuality, as well: reproduction and repression of sexuality.

        She later meets a traveling salesman who shows her a picture of a narwhal, a reminder of her past life. He can tell that she has a strong reaction to this image and declares that she “ain’t forgotten everything” like she should have. The subconscious has become the conscious. He also seems to know her “real name,” the one from her life as a selkie, not Colleen (“I would not speak your name in this place; /and if I were to try then the wind — I swear —/would rise, to tear you clean from me without a/ trace.”). She asks to be rescued, for him to say that name, but he reminds her that she became a woman willingly, became “cossetted” and caught the “dread disease.” He says that the disease brings “peace,” implying that such oppression is beneficial for women. During this interaction, she realizes how much she has internalized of gender and life on land like “laws that govern property” (women being property), but finds the strength to say that she does not “know any goddamned Colleen.” She ultimately does not need him to return her to her self. She rejects the gender, name, and identity imposed on her. “Colleen” then dives into the “deep blue sea…where you never in your life have felt so free,” crossing the borders between land and sea once more willingly, with her full mind, and without society stopping her. The narrator at the end of the songs picks up once more on the theme of forgetfulness, but what the narrator has forgotten is not freedom of the sea, but the constraint of the land. She encourages others to join and to engage in the same kind of forgetting, a freedom, a type of liberation.

        In “Divers,” the narrator asks: “And how do you choose your form?/ How do you choose your name? How do you choose your life?/ How do you choose the time you must exhale and kick and rise?” This narrator is specifically discussing the philosophy of birth, mortality, death, corporeality, and gender, the narrator and the song focused on constraints, borders, and transcendence of such inevitable realities for men and women. But these philosophical questions are very relevant for “Colleen,” too. Colleen had a gender, name, and more imposed on her by a society it is not clear she chose to enter. (The traveller claims she chose this life, but that is what he says and that is never revealed by Colleen’s focalizations.) But at the end of the song, she chooses to shed that gender, that name, and even that body to regain her freedom. Could Colleen escape the rules that bind her to the land and male-dominated civilization because she was never truly a part of it? How can she so easily reject that imposed life once she regains awareness of other possibilities outside of civilization and cross the borders of gender? The narrator in “Divers” knows there should be other possibilities for women, that they should enter the water, have freedom and knowledge, but she cannot yet attain those possibilities. She cannot yet forgot what society, the land, civilization has imposed on her and join the former “Colleen.”

—Melissa