We all think we are unsinkable in the beginning. Most of us have to learn the hard way that we are not.
I was 15 when James Cameron’s movie, Titanic, came out. Like the passengers on the ship, I was embarking on a new life. I had just moved to a new town, reluctantly breaking away from everything I had ever known but finding a new identity. I had freedom to explore my world and I had my first boyfriend, with whom I fashioned a future where I could realize my lifetime dreams of being a lover, mother, advocate, apologist, and strong and graceful woman. As I sat in the theatre soaking in the footage of the wreckage and watching it transform into its former glory, my friends heard me gasp and suck in my breath. The ghost of its majesty and the mystery of its life overwhelmed me. I longed to feel the freedom and adventure Rose Dewitt Bukater finds aboard that ship and, as far as I was concerned, I had found that love. Each time Rose and Jack were separated by rushing water I felt my heart stop. When Jack finally died in the frigid water, I wept.
I found a renewed interest in the Titanic as I revisited the movie and consumed special features about the making. Perhaps this was sparked by a find of a coffee table book called “Ghosts of the Abyss” by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall about their experiences diving to the Titanic site with James Cameron himself. A great deal of the movie Titanic is digitized. This is impressive for how beautiful and detailed the movie is and gives a deeper respect for the talent of the actors, who showed remarkable reactions to things they were not actually seeing. It does take away something from the immersion in the ship on screen. An amazing thing about Titanic, however, is that it really happened. Perhaps many of the lines and details of the movie are imagined, but the joy, magic, confidence, security, hope, zeal, mistake, terror, and tragedy are real.
As I have longed to put my thoughts into a blog again, I have struggled to sum them up into one tidy name and theme. My previous blog “Thirty Going on Thirteen” came at a time of change, self-searching, and healing. When I transitioned to “There’s So Much to Say”, I needed a more mature platform to share a variety of ideas. However, when I began believing that I had nothing worth saying at all, both of those blogs were archived.
Now I realize I am like Titanic. I have always been a ship of dreams, full of potential and promise, secure, certain of a brighter future. When I recently hit an iceberg, I took on water instantly and nearly sank completely. In the process of evaluating the damage, I realized that I have hit many icebergs, and, in fact, I was made of the wrong material to begin with. Ornate fixtures, false superiority, and meager preparations were all a farce. This ship was never destined for paradise.
I vacillate between whether I am ready to divulge the skeletons in my closet or not. This blog will no doubt cover many topics – whatever comes to mind. Many of the thoughts I entertain involve evaluation of the things I see, identifying the folly of the ideas underlying them. We all believe we are unsinkable in the beginning. We are always looking for something bigger, better, progressive, more tolerant, more efficient. Nothing is ever perfect, but some ideas are better than others and it is only with time that we find that our unsinkable ships were never what we thought they would be. Unfortunately, the wreckage of the unsinkable ships last much longer than we would like and the disaster often comes to haunt us. I know mine has. But those are stories for another time.