Mood: The body slowly adapts to pressure. After spending minutes deep below the surface divers are advised to curb their rate of ascent to allow for the nitrogen to slowly leave their body. To climb too quickly is to risk decompression illness. Of all ascents, the final ascent is to be taken slowest as the greatest pressure change happens right under the surface. A 30 minute dive of 60 feet does not require decompression; a 2 hour dive to the same depth does. It doesn’t matter how deep you dive, just how long. It is advised that divers never ascend at a rate of more than 9 metres per minute.
The thing is, there is only one way to reach the end – and that way starts at the beginning.
After years of wandering you find yourself, once more, where you began. This reads as despair, but you know that it is hope. Having found the beginning it becomes possible to map out the path once more. You see the bush that refused to yield to your panga – but you have better tools.
So while the beginning means labour – the beginning means possibility. And having wandered through spaces with no calculable positive outcomes, the sight of the surface is enough to remind you how long you have been drowning.
You begin your ascent.
Rest. Rinse. Repeat.