Bottom of the Sea

Writer: Masahito Ono

If my memory serves, it was in 2007, I first dived in ocean. My best male friend and I took a week off from work and stayed in Okinawa. We dived in Kerama, one of the most beautiful diving spot in the world.

I still remember my last entry from that trip vividly, it was a nice warm day, blue-sky, water was calm and clear, I could see far far away from under the surface of water. As I released air from my vest (BCG) my body slowly began to sink. "Here I go." Then I saw a yellow tropical fish approaching me dead ahead and it made a sharp turn as it came close. I remember thinking, “I am a visitor here”. I thought I heard the fish say, “what are you doing in here, dude?” Since then, I try to dive every year, and these days, I dive deep to about 40 meters (130ft) under the surface. This is a story about why I like to go deep under the sea.

At the beginner’s level, the divers can dive up to (down to) 10-20 meters (32-65ft) deep, which is enough if you want to enjoy beautiful fishes and cute sea turtles. But there is a whole new world around 40 meters deep.

What happens? There are fewer fishes. There are more chance you meet sharks. You see sky in distance, it gets darker, blue is blue-er and everything red no longer look red (because the wave lengths of red light does not reach to the deepness). Instead of moving around, I usually spend some time laying on the bottom of the sea and look up the sky. I hear the sound of my breath and nothing else. It’s very quiet. I see bobbles going up toward the surface. Sometimes, you meet sharks, but don't worry too much, the 'most' sharks won’t attack you as long as you do no harm to them. Be nice. You're a visitor here.

It does not scare me much to dive deep (although it brings more risks). It does not excite me much either. What it does to me, is to allow me to look at where I live (human world) from a distance. Perhaps it is a type of meditation. At the end of the dive, when I am about to surface, I am ready to go back into the real world. No matter how sometimes mad and sorrowful the human world might be, it makes me want to go back and see the loved ones.

I enjoy diving, because it makes me realize how small we humans are, and because it makes me want to say, "thank you," "I'm sorry" and "I love you". The three magic words.

Some say, especially those who play extreme sports say that they experience something unexplainable when risking his or her own life. I don’t think it’s just increase of adrenaline. It helps you see and experience the world in a very special and intense way.

I often think, good art and artists do this on his or her mind without physically going somewhere and that seems to come with risk. The risk of losing self. I say this because, if a work of art is what everyone could easily come up with, that is probably not there yet. It does not mean I only like sophisticated work, but I think artists should be able to communicate sophisticated ideas using his or her own language: to people.

My advise: if you ever decide to dive deep, take something red. It is quite amazing to see red is not red. Oh, and the magic words. I can talk more about it later. I have been very curious about what the readers think about our articles. If there is a topic you want us or me to discuss, please drop an e-mail. It does not have to be directly related to art. Because I do not think artists should be thinking and talking just about art. It should be more about connecting dots.