Mysteries Of The Universe
As I explore my past to better know what steps to make for my future, I am often perplexed, yet exhilarated, by the strange details in my collage of photographs, little clues that suggests there was always a plan to my direction, even when I had no idea where I was going.
These waves of synchronous moments are incredibly difficult to convey to someone who hasn’t experienced them, for they assume them to be mere coincidences, but at some point, it statistically seems otherwise, and this harmonious communication with the universe can feel magic, even if mathematical.
Life suddenly has a supernatural or paranormal quality to it.
In my early attempts at explaining this, people would suggests that I see what I want to see.
I can’t ignore this motivated perception as possibility.
Much like coming to conclusions that people are predisposed to believe in, it’s natural to want to latch onto meaning by joining potentially unrelated dots together. When you’re almost drowning in the ocean, you’ll naturally want to grab onto a buoy for safety.
But sometimes, it’s less seeing, and more, being shown.
More often than not, these synchronicities seem to have little meaning other than a display of calculated convergence, leaving you confused, but somehow connected to the cosmos.
Suddenly, these checkpoints occur to you at such a speed that it appears as though consciousness not only exists externally, but can have an invisible hand in moving things around, including yourself, like some piece on a chessboard.
Once you get over the sensation that you may just be some fleshy puppet, the feeling can be eerily ecstatic.
Mathematical order in a chaotic system, the high probability of patterns emerging giving form to geometrical dances, none of this means it is God’s doing. We may just be part of a clockwork universe that gives us the illusion of some higher intelligence co-exiting with us. Nevertheless, when you’ve witnessed them multiple times, there is a touch of the divine to these ethereal handshakes.
It’s only natural to then question the reality in which you exist.
“Synchronicity: A meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.” – Carl Jung
After my adventures in Florida, which I speak of in my previous journal entry, we (myself and the production) head to The Bahamas, to the island of Bimini, to shoot a couple more episodes for the series How To Survive A Disaster Movie.
There is a delay for our flight from Miami due to hurricane-force winds across the seas, so we wait patiently until told otherwise. Thankfully, this doesn’t last long. We’re told over the tannoy that a small window has presented itself and should collect our things to board as quickly as possible.
This is a small plane, for a dozen passengers, the kind with propeller engines, which succumbs to turbulence a lot easier, and these bumps across the air were felt more and more the closer we got to the island, as the blue skies turned to grey, getting deeper in the famous Bermuda Triangle.
It’s a short flight and we swiftly reach the island, where the hurricane winds have the palm trees almost floored on the sandy shores.
The captain attempts to re-assure us over the sound of a struggling plane which mirrors that of kamikaze dives.
We drop lower and lower as the sea gets closer and closer.
If my window was open, I could’ve probably got my long arms out of there and touched the surface.
And just as we land, a humongous wave engulfs the plane.
Every window is drenched, and it seems we have dropped in water.
This iconic and mysterious place, with its disasters and conspiracy theories lives up to its name, as it takes another aircraft down into the seas, and seeing as we’re here to shoot an episode with sharks, my body rushes with adrenaline, ready to find a way to survive the following carnage.
Luckily, I had just filmed an episode on underwater helicopter escapes, so I focused on my breathing and prepared for the worse.
Mentally, I seemed ready, but I bet my little face was one of horror.
Suddenly, the plane jets out of the water.
Every passenger is confused.
The plane turns ninety degrees, one side of the plane faces the heavens while the other is forced to look at the ground, to reveal what had just happened…
“Sorry about that folks, the airstrip is flooded, nothing to worry about. I just need to make adjustments to the landing.”
A quick circle round the island, with winds pushing us back and forth, and we finally arrive in paradise.
After a night’s sleep and here for only two days, we immediately focus our attention on the first episode; surviving on a desert island. It’s the standard stuff, find some shade, these plants will kill you and methods of safely drinking your own piss.
I did my best to listen to the expert, but my toes were in the sand and the ocean was so crystal blue, that I mainly did professional nodding to give the appearance of listening. It’s possible I retained none of the information.
All this work had me parched, so that evening, we went to the local bar, the only bar of the island, supposedly owned by the guy who’s basically law and order around here. It’s not official, he didn’t get his credentials from the government, he is the government, if you know what I mean.
The booze is cheap and the music great, so naturally, I ended up getting my Coyote Ugly on and dancing on the bar. Reminiscent of the days I worked for a local Suffolk radio station, following disc jockeys around nightclubs and rubbing against strip poles in their official merchandise.
I’ve really had quite a few jobs in the early days, newspaper deliveries, worked in a bakery, and a stable, and a removals company, and –
“Hey you,” I hear in a gruff voice, “get off my bar.”
Someone didn’t like my dancing.
It was him, the shadowy suzerain.
I was caught red handed, and in more ways than once since I forgot to apply sun cream on one of my arms today.
“Come with me.”
And I followed, like a dweeb.
Back then, I trusted people a little too easily.
He takes me through a door leading to the empty kitchen, and out the back exit, outdoors, where it’s quiet, except for the noise of crashing waves.
The perfect place to be murdered.
I feel like I’m about to be told off, which is an odd feeling when you’re an adult, although looking back, it’s clear I was still a boy. Just a long one with the ability to grow pubes above my lip.
We’re always the oldest we’ve ever been, and yet, it’s only in hindsight we realize we were still children.
“Someone told me you wanted to smoke some of the local marijuana?”
A thousand times yes.
I had briefly mentioned to production that it would be a shame if we didn’t take the opportunity to enjoy all the flavours of the Caribbean.
The mahi-mahi, of course, yes, the delicious exotic cocktails, why yes please, so what about the non-lethal plant life? The kind I hear is quite powerful in these here parts.
Word had spread, and the big man came to make my dreams come true. He sparks up a big old joint and hands it to me.
I take a deep breath in, of what I assumed was a spliff, seeing as that’s what I had dabbled in the past, a mix of marijuana and tobacco, but no… this was straight up green goodness of the purest quality, and I immediately felt its wave envelope me.
“Now look up” he says.
And I do.
the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
I don’t think I’d ever seen so many stars in the sky before, grouped together, forming the spiral disc of our galaxy. A milky fracture in the darkness that made the sky as much starlight as empty space.
Hydrogen… I don’t know, I want alliteration.
Hazy… the following is hazy, because… this weed is powerful.
All I remember is hopping on his golf cart to speed around the island and, we met some of his pirate friends, who had uzis lying around on oil barrels, and that’s when I called it a night.
High. I was high, so who knows what I saw, but I remember there being a point where the whole of me went “nope”.
Hungover? Thankfully, I don’t really get them so the next day, I am buzzing and ready to dive into the ocean and swim with sharks.
We film a quick segment on the famed Bimini Road, a limestone rock formation whose rectangular, pavement-like structure has the weirdoes claim it was a man-made path, possibly created by aliens, leading to the lost city of Atlantis.
It’s a natural formation, but this nerd still took a photo in front of it like some nerdy tourist.
We hop on the boat and aim for a place frequented by sharks.
All the things that supposedly attract the animal, according to the movies, they had me do, and I complied, because I just love flirting dangerously with Death.
The fact I’m wearing a t-shirt with the word “Quint” on it, isn’t a great sign, if anyone is familiar with Jaws.
Wether it’s true or not, I don’t remember, it was suggested that shiny things would attract their attention, so I dressed up in neon and reflective jewelry and jumped in the water, feet paddling to stay afloat, and thinking, this is perilous, but again, the cameras were on me and I was an attention-seeker, so keep rolling, especially if I’m being devoured.
This hadn’t worked. I was still alive and the deep seas were still aquamarine. Time to get more scientific.
I put on a diving suit and roll off the boat’s edge to scuba dive down to the seabed, with two marine biologists, Jillian and Duncan, and a bait crate; a box full of fish meat and guts to attract sharks near us.
And near us they came.
Knees to the floor so that I remain anchored, and another stick to protect myself with a GoPro camera attached at the top, like some ego trident, to capture a most unforgettable sight, which unfortunately was turned towards my face.
I was too enamored by what I was seeing to consider the framing.
With the sunlight piercing through the layers of water above me, beams of light crashing through the surface waves, the shadows of a pod of Caribbean reef sharks begin to swim down towards us.
Only meters away from the bait crate, I watch these beasts aggressively shake this box of food to munch on whatever chunks drift out.
I was told they wouldn’t attack a human, but had to remain alert for the bull sharks in the area. Those beasts had more of a taste for the human.
And yet, as the food ran out in the crate, I suddenly feel myself being pulled back. Everything feels like it moves in slow motion underwater, but it doesn’t compare to what happened next. Yanked back, no clue as to why, my brain begins to record all this new data, a new experience, because it’s not every day you find yourself head-to-head with an open-mouthed shark aiming your face.
In the above photo, you can see Duncan’s hand grabbing my air tank to pull me away from a shark trying to make me its meal.
Supposedly, the bubbles from my breathing apparatus was floating upwards though my long hair and made the movements appear like algae; an ideal place for small fish to hide.
It’s your classic Prince Eric and mermaid cute-meat scene.
Nothing like seeing the inside of a shark’s mouth to wake you up.
I turn to my bodyguard and guessed the sign language for “is it ok to piss myself?” Turns out pointing at my penis and making wave motion from crotch was understood, and thus, I relieved myself.
Sharks aren’t coming near me now I smell of urine.
It was quite the weekend in the Devil’s Triangle.
It’s funny, how incapable I was at being grateful for the career I had, because I was constantly looking at the horizon for more.
Or maybe the pleasurable peaks eventually crashes us to troughs which we all want to escape. I’m not going to spend my whole life scrutinizing every detail of my past, but one thing is certain, navigating forward into the mysterious future, each step should be made with an attitude of gratitude, regardless at which height of the wave we happened to be.
Probably easier said than done.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.
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