In Depth’s Absence, Impressions Still Endear
As a novice kayaker, I assumed the best technique was to plunge my oar deeply, keeping it submerged as long as possible to maximize forward mobility. This strategy worked in short bursts but quickly drained my spindly limbs.
Fortunately, in preparation for an 8-hour jaunt around Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, our instructor taught us the swift and shallow approach. Loosely gripping our paddles with elbows extended (as if a beach ball rested in our laps), we were to catch, propel, and release the water. Relying on core and leg muscles, I completed the trek without requiring rescue — which made me wonder whether poor form hindered other facets of my life?
Now, I’d been called animated (a bit intense, even ) on more than a few occasions, so the concept of interacting superficially seemed akin to dreaming in a foreign language. Yet, my “what’s-the-quinessential-meaning-of-life” tendencies prickled carefully guarded comfort zones. The beautiful intrigue of humanity resided in the medley of unique personalities. I watched in awe the ease with which others established speedy rapport and learned to appreciate how brief snippets of connectivity could collectively abate universal loneliness.
These days, just as I study the tide and current tables before launching my kayak on the San Francisco Bay, I’m keenly cognizant of those who seek a buffer from passion-laden, philosophical sorts. And, although the temptation to thrust my paddle well beneath the surface beckons, I gingerly reel myself back a notch — knowing: In depth’s absence, impressions still endear…