Saturday, September 28, 2002

Dervala Again

I know I mention Dervala on a regular basis and you might just be getting sick of hearing me say her name, but golly, she's a great writer and her trek through Thailand is really something to follow. I'm sure everyone in New York misses her there, her most recent home and surely everyone in Ireland misses her, that being her country of origin unless I've got it wrong, but the whole world is richer for her fine Baedeker-ing through the Far East and all. Go there and don't miss it.
Notes on Advanced Open Water Dive Course -- Diving has made me a diva. My warped city eyes parse underwater beauty as the lushest fashion spreads imaginable—and Fall fashions, too, tropical island or not. Ava Gardner would wear a coat with a collar of that rich, muted, swaying anemone. Coral reefs conjure Missoni knits, where the zig-zag openings occasionally swallow matching fish. Moray eels peek out of perfect pinkish funnel necks. The purity of a sea urchin in clear water would make Phillippe Starck pant to carve out a neat salt-shaker opening. Gorgonian fans wave as languidly as a front-row couture patron, accessorized by toning and contrasting fishies. And all the muted jewel colors--very Romeo Gigli.

I wanted to peel myself out of my wetsuit and order the deep to clothe me in the richness, the softness, the weightlessness, the boldness it hides from the surface. I wanted to glide down Fifth Avenue with the grace I have underwater, where I move through breath alone. I wanted to have an entourage of angelfish and parrotfish. I wanted to be the Coco Chanel of Koh Tao.

Even at 30 meters deep, I am shallow.