Sitting at a desk
i gaze at the changes
both within and beyond
the window.

beginning this summer
lush green and inviting
sunshine streaming in…

now the trees glow
in natures splendid show,
brightly alit
the colors of fall

but passing on, leaves drop by
at great pace…
counting down to what seems yet another winter,
bidding their time
for the future in store

but for now, small talks…
Autumn equinox!

Silfra- My first dive!

Ever since i decided to go backpacking in Iceland and was planning and researching on what to do there, i came across the Silfra dive at  Thingvellir National Park on the popular Golden Circle route. It immediately caught my attention and i had to do it! Not only did the pics look gorgeous but it was also geographically unique, geologically special and would definitely be quite an adventure!
So i began looking to what it would take to do it. Having never been SCUBA diving before, i was a little apprehensive about it. A quick search online, and i signed up with a local dive shop in Boulder, CO for the open water diver course. The first part of the certification (the class room and pool dives) was completed the third weekend of June. I did pretty well in the pool, after initially struggling with the treading water skill, but overall totally enjoyed the underwater breathing experience.  The open water dives at Blue Hole,NM were quite the experience. The water was absolutely blue, a cool 64F when it was over 95F outside and was a zoo, with over 20 divers in the hole at any given time. Up until my certifications, id decided how id do in class and trials and then decide whether to dive Silfra or not. Before my open water dives i was at a 40% yes, but after i was at around 95%. The only thing still holding me back was that Silfra was going to be a dry suite dive in almost freezing water, and the weather of the day.Ultimately by first week of July, i took the plunge and signed up with DIVE.IS for their Golden Circle and Dive Silfra combo day trip for July 17th. The count down had begun.

On 17th the guide and divemaster AJ from DIVE.IS picked me up at the hostel and the only other 2 people in our dive group -a couple from Mexico- and we were off for the day. We hit all the usual stops on the Golden circle, and reached Thingvellir at 4PM for our dive. AJ was a local Icelander and very friendly, we chatted the whole day and time flew by. At the dive site there were other groups too – a diving and a couple snorkeling groups. CJ was going to be our divemaster while AJ had been assigned a snorkeling group that day. CJ went over the dive plan by the entrance area and gave us an overview of what lay ahead. The couple in my group were celebrating their 30th anniversary and had already done a lot of diving. The lady was a bit apprehensive about the dry suite dive, and though internally i may have been more nervous than her; this being my first dive, i was actually pretty excited and looking forward to it! CJ decided i should be next in line after her so she could keep an eye on me.

We all got geared up. It took a while. First our base layers/thermals, then the thick  onsie that they gave us for insulation. Over that went the dry suite, with special precautions and care while fitting the handcuffs and neck linings. Then went our hood, gloves and mask and we were off to the dive site. The crew from DIVE.IS were very friendly, professional and thorough. I really appreciated their help and encouragement, especially CJ. Once we had our fins on, first we did a face down peen underwater, just to get a sense of the temperature- i dint feel cold at all, probably the deep blue view i got masked everything else! Next was the weight check one by one. I was fine, with 12kgs on. Then was the buoyancy check. Here i struggled a little. I descended rapidly, and when i had to level off id inflate my BCD slightly as well as a slight puff into the dry suite, and hover for some time, but if id stary kicking or swimming, id head straight to the surface. Then i had to deflate again and get the balance. It took me a couple tries, but i finally managed to get buoyant at the level CJ wanted. The other 2 managed it with no trouble at all.

Once we were set, we were off, down the Silfra Hall, into the Silfra Cathedral and then finally banking left and ascending into the Silfra lagoon. It was magical !!  The sunlight was also doing its thing and making the clear water even more awesome, bathing the steely rocks in light and making the green trolls tail moss look little sparkly.

A picture is indeed worth a thousand words. Here are some shots from our dive.  From one Continental divide at 1 mile above sea level in the heart of the Rockies, down into the other continental divide at the separation of the Eurasian and North american plates in crystal clear glacial water was over, and is now enshrined in memory forever!! giving me some serious bragging rights on having completed Silfra as my first open water dive!!

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mushy musing!

cold evening pastimes
acting on lazy enzymes,
playing around word by word
o what a nerd!

fed, watered..
warm and tucked in…
venting words unheard.
letting your head spin.

pondering. wondering. dreaming.

corrugated by the vagaries of the earthly,
innocence lost dumbly
somewhere in the tides of time.
Yet in moments sublime
with child like glee
cherish everything left behind by thee.

What do you think v/s What do you feel ?

“kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai”

“dil ka khel dimaag se khelo”
A Bollywood person would surely be familiar with these phrases. But if not and for others- loosely translated in English they read:
“sometimes a thought comes to my heart”
“play heart games with the mind “
What comes to the mind on the first glance of these phrases?
These seemingly ordinary and poetic phrases appear to be quite normal, but are infact quite deep- and now that i think of it – the reason for all the psychology, psychiatry industry and research.
Looking closer the two seem to be opposites of each other.
First, the song claims that a ‘thought is coming to my heart’ . Medical folks will be totally against this because science dictates that the brain thinks and perceives. But on the other hand, the second one suggests playing games affecting the heart with the mind. Can one really isolate and decide consciously what to do in such matters ?
Recently i read a book, Blink, which delves into the subconscious and analyzes the seemingly behind the scenes decisions we make in split seconds without us being consciously aware of why we chose to do/think in a particular fashion at the time. Im not into reading such types of books- self help, personal growth, management etc- mainly because i think (or should i say feel ?!?) they explain the same point again and again in a round about fashion. I found the same to be true with this book as well, although it couldnt be called self help or personal growth, it certainly did stress the same point with numerous examples. It was an interesting read though- exposing to the minutest detail what goes on in our subconscious in the split seconds we have to make decisions. Blink also got to the fore the notions of stereotypes, psychology and what one explicitly says one thinks v/s what one subconsciously believes. The difference was apparent even when one does not have mere split seconds to decide – but in a more relaxed leisurely setting as well.
It is these grey areas of our decisions where our subconscious mind has more effect than our conscious thinking mind. Is this where hunches and feeling may seem to take precedence ?
In daily conversations too this can be seen, people often ask; when talking about some issues or a discussion in a company group meeting for example, ‘what do you think about xyz’ ? on some particularly touchy issues it may be ‘what do you feel we should do’ ? Could one try to draw a line in sand and separate our responses to these two questions? Would your answers to the above be the same ? all the time ?
So, what do you do– do you think? or do you feel ? 😛
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