Progressing age does not come with many positives except perhaps that one gains some perspective.
I live in the present and feel like the same usual me day to day, so I do not frequently think about the past. But, on occasion, something reminds me of how things used to be. Much to my own astonishment, it has already been 35 years since I started diving. When I look at old photographs, I usually have the same two initial reactions.
Is it possible to compete in underwater photography? I find that question difficult to answer! What is a good picture? Is it an image of an unusual animal? Nice colours on a nudibranch? Capturing the incredible light on a wreck? An image in which I can see that there has been a lot of planning and work behind it? Or just an image of a diver, on some interesting dive site, where I get the feeling that I also want to dive there?
Penning these editorials is frequently a struggle.
Coming up with new topics or pressing matters to address can often be a real challenge. Sometimes I simply do not have anything new to add to what I have already said before, and on a few occasions, I suffer plainly from writer’s block.
But this time, I have struggled for a different reason.
The action in Ukraine has already resulted in thousands of lives lost and uprooted more than a million people from their homes.
For the protection and safety of all, including the entire diving community in eastern Europe, we hope that this extremely volatile situation, and its threatening and unpredictable consequences, can soon be defused and resolved. As we continue to hope for peace, please be aware that the following organizations are asking for assistance to help alleviate a growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine:
Every time I look up into the starry night sky, I cannot help but wonder what other worlds are out there and whether there is life among all those twinkling stars. Are we alone in the universe?
I guess I am just like most people—haven't we all reflected on this most fundamental existential question at some point?
Readers of my Scuba books often say how useful they find the stories I tell to illustrate key messages. The stories are all true. I wish I could say I made them up, but I am not that creative. Fortunately, life tends to be able to conjure up real situations that are far more instructive than those I could ever invent.
Over the holidays, as 2021 drew to a close, the media once again began to overflow with retrospections on the year that has gone by, and heads of state, prime ministers and royalty gave reflective New Year’s speeches on national radio and television.
As always, I heard or read the usual fair share of speeches, but this time, it made me pensive, and I began to ponder—just as a thought experiment—what I would have said if I had to give such a speech. To whom would my thoughts have gone? Whom would I have thanked and what hopes would I have expressed?