What Lies Beneath

This morning in my Bikram class, I got distracted.  Really distracted.  Doing a third set of Camel rather than a second set of Rabbit distracted.   All of a sudden, I started thinking about icebergs.  (No, not because of Nemo (and by the way, when we start naming winter storms?  It’s a blizzard – call it a blizzard.).)  And then I started thinking about how we only ever see (according to this article) one-ninth of an iceberg, as the rest is hidden below the surface.  And then the title of the movie with Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeffier popped into my head, even though I’ve never seen it.  And what followed was a third set of Camel.  (It would not have been too odd to do a third set of Camel, I guess, if I had not already done the first set of Rabbit, but now you are getting a short glimpse into how I think.  Scary, isn’t it?)

Well, yes, there were images of real icebergs.  So what?

Yes, there were images of real icebergs. So?

But back to my distraction.  I started wondering about that one-ninth of the iceberg, and if it’s always the same ninth, or if icebergs can, oh, I don’t know, roll over.  I imagine there are glimpses of the other eight-ninths as the ocean ebbs and flows around the berg, but how likely is it that someone on the surface will see more than maybe an eighth instead of a ninth due to ocean movement?

Which made me think about people, and how little we really know about our friends, or even about ourselves.  See, 2013 has not been a great year for me so far.  In addition to the betrayal, there are some new medical issues, and if you were wondering, I feel fat.  And ugly.  And stupid.  (Yes, yes, I know those last three aren’t actually true.  But I feel how I feel.)

And then I started asking myself how much of this is “visible”.  One-ninth?  Eight-ninths?  More?  Less?  I imagine as life ebbs and flows around me, that it varies, like the iceberg.   But unlike the berg, we supposedly have control over the portion of ourselves that people see.  Right?  Well, sure, but then, life will ebb and flow, and we don’t control that.  (Stop giggling.  I said it, I meant it, and I’m trying to believe it.)

It’s funny.  I had a really important point when I started, but I got distracted.  A fourth set of Camel, anyone?

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cynthia McGean
    Feb 09, 2013 @ 14:56:23

    I can SO relate. I love this post. We so rarely know one another’s true story beneath the surface. We don’t know what everyone else brings with them as they step out the door each day, and they can’t see what we bring. Sometimes it does surface and someone asks “Are you okay?”


  2. Kelly House
    Feb 09, 2013 @ 15:12:44

    But that hidden portion isn’t all “bad” stuff that we try so hard to hide. It’s also reserves of strength, love, joy, ideas, creativity, resilience, generosity, wisdom. Events we can’t control expose the good and the bad together.


  3. Suzanne Demcisak
    Feb 09, 2013 @ 17:54:54

    At the risk of stretching a metaphor, icebergs show different parts of themselves as other parts melt or break off, changing the shape and mass. Yes, an iceberg can roll over. (I’m told it’s spectacular.) As we change, we show different things, and sometimes a drastic event can result in us showing all sorts of things we haven’t dared to or didn’t want to. And after going through a time when trouble was showing, but people who didn’t know what or why nonetheless felt free to judge, I’ve learned to think twice before assuming that I know everything about a person judging only by what shows.

    And maybe you weren’t “distracted.” Maybe your thoughts about icebergs were your version of a mental camel pose.


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