Swimming with Jellyfish

Posted on April 8, 2012


I was finishing my work for the day when I realized I had about an hour to spare before my next meeting.  The only obvious answer to this dilemma was the beach.  I threw on my suit, grabbed a pair of swim shoes and dove in.

I was a little surprised by what I found.

Our beach is bordered by coral reefs, so we have a lot to look at in the water.  What we don’t see too often are jellyfish because they tend to stay away from the shore; or they hang close to the coral, and we avoid it because it’ll tear human flesh better than an Eagle knife.

So when I bumped into something like a firm, smooth sponge, I was a bit alarmed.  When I saw it was a jellyfish, and I was swimming into a swarm of them, I started to freak out.  I could lie and talk about how calm I remained under pressure, but I’ve seen what can happen from jellyfish stings.  One of the soldiers here got a face full a week ago and swelled up like a balloon.  So I’ll be honest and say I was a little nervous.

But there was no sting.  I pushed through the swarm and out into clear water, then checked myself: no burning, no marks, nothing.  When I returned to shore, I found the swarm washed up on the beach.  Turns out jellyfish have a proclivity for dying in droves.  It is also the case that their toxin can harm humans after the jellyfish are dead.

I sought to update other soldiers about this potential danger (partly because I had been misleading them a day before), but the knowledge did not deter many from using the beach or entering the water.  Fortunately, we haven’t had any other incidents like the first one.

I wrote those words about three weeks ago.  Since then, I’ve been struck with writer’s block.  I’ve always felt that my inability to produce much writing was because I was lazy.  Lately, though, I haven’t been lazy; I’ve been working, but I’ve also had free time.  I’ve read a lot, continued to swim (I think I’m getting better…), and I’ve learned more about myself (which I’ll save for another time); but I’ve had plenty of opportunity, and creative energy, to produce something.  So I think it was writer’s block.

Yeah, that’s what I’m calling it.  Because the alternative is that I’ve wasted three weeks worth of writing time trying to find a meaning behind my swim with some dead jellyfish.  And that’s just lame…

So expect some more posts tomorrow or the next day.  I won’t make any promises because I can’t guarantee when they’ll come, but I know that I’ve got a lot to write about.

Posted in: Trivia, Writing