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Oil Rigs & Going Above our Suface

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

What is below our surface?

The tallest ocean oil rig in the world is clamped down in the Gulf of Mexico. Petronius is 2,000 feet high, but only 250 feet of this giant rig are above surface. Its claws are flexible though. Should there be an earthquake, the rig can sway as much as 25 feet. It has more wiggle room then some of our current quake-retrofitted buildings. Its designers weren’t too concerned with aesthetics. Wires stick out from every direction of the rig. The priority is functionality. We are a lot like this oil rig.

Yes, we share similarities with Petronius. For starters, we only allow a small part of us to be seen by others. Our experiences, pains, frustrations and abundance of unprocessed emotion lay buried or suppressed, clamped down either by fear or out of mere convenience. Some of us might just conjecture that we function better, if all that muddies us stays beneath the surface. We function, knowing there is also wiggle room that allows for internal bleeding. Our load sways to the left, to the right. With the help of others, we settle back over our foundation. And sometimes it is our vices, which provide the wiggle room…they allow us to sway, so that our foundation doesn’t crack or sink completely.

Now, let’s look at what is seen above the surface of us.

What we present to the world is what is manageable, what we might deem as an acceptable offering. We present strength, smiles, accomplishments, title, identity and selective narrative. We do and say, and present to others, whatever is sufficient to tell our suitable story.

No, this is not a criticism of how we choose to survive the day. Remember, the priority is functionality.

Our wires go in different directions, guiding the voltage that charges our momentum. The wires that stick out from us are our life scars. Sometimes our box of rusty tools and frayed wires are exposed to the world. And I challenge you now to expose more.

To bare more of ourselves, to reach down and pump out more of our rawness is not a sign of need, but a sign of honesty and strength. In doing so, you might see that others are swimming in the same vast waters. We share the ocean with other Petroniuses, who are ready to be oiled with love and support. Why not wade in the water together?

For more on Petronius: National Geographic: An Uncommon History of Common Things Volume 2

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