My Life Is Titanic
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.
I love the random conversations I sometimes have with Shannon, my Indigo teen. Like in the car on the way to her friend’s house, we started out with cell phones and ended up in the middle of the Civil War and later on Virginia’s beautiful side roads, with a couple of stops at the old folks’ home for pierced and tattooed residents born way back in the 1990’s and having to crank the rap music up way loud and probably not still married but having been married five or six times at least because they don’t tend to marry for life, which we logically understand but feel a little sad about still….
But somewhere in there, we ended up on the Titanic. Yes, all in twenty minutes.
The subject before that was why some people are the way they are and therapy and how good it can be for some people. I compared it to an excavation to uncover all the bad stuff and the good stuff, too, when Shannon suggested it was like with the Titanic. We all look down to the bottom of the ocean and see the Titanic, but what do we do about it?
Some people see the Titanic and baldly want to help whatever’s down there, but whatever’s there is in the past, dead. There’s decay and foulness to choke on if they get too close, and the shiny things are covered in muck. There are treasures, too, but they’d have to get through the sludge to find them. And meanwhile, on the surface, there are others who are drowning, who need help, who can be helped, and there’s lots to do, and so they use staying busy to keep from diving deep, exploring those painful feelings and working through them, and finally laying the past to rest. And yet it holds them there like an anchor.
And then there are others who see the Titanic at the bot- tom of the ocean and look away because they know it’s bad down there and if they just ignore it, however huge that ship might be, then they won’t have to get their feet wet. Yet it holds them there like an anchor. To top it off, they want no part of the excavation, of any excavation, and their defensiveness would have them declaring us disrespectful for using a funeral barge for 1600 people as an analogy in our conversation.
And then there’s me, where I am now…boatbuilding. Over the past few years, I’ve spent my time in intense excavation. Diving deep, bringing the slime and decay to the surface. Putting the bodies to rest. Knowing there’s a lot down there that isn’t pretty—some of it horrifying—but that there are some pretty, shiny treasures there as well. I can’t raise the Titanic, but I can honor it and build a new boat that will carry me to wonderful new places.