E. Winter Tashlin

Balance [Picture Tells A Story]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | September 06, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: balance, ballast, choices, historic ships of Baltimore, PTAS, SS-423, USS Torsk


I love old ships, especially submarines, and rarely pass up an opportunity to visit or photograph one. In last week's Picture Tells A Story, I mentioned that my little antique car was going to be inaccessible while being repaired, leaving me temporarily stranded in Maryland. So having some time to kill, and thinking myself largely over being sick, my camera and I paid a visit to Historic Ships in Baltimore on Tuesday.

On reflection, that was probably pretty dumb.

Between wandering around the ships and then driving seven hours in the heat up to my folks' place in central Massachusetts, I was a physical wreck again by the end of the week. Which brings us to today's photo.

What you're looking at in today's photograph are controls for the ballasting system on the USS Torsk (SS-423). Submarines are incredibly fickle things, and WWI and WWII era submariners had to be as much plumbers as sailors. It required constant effort and attention to keep every ounce of on-board fluids and air in perfect balance to keep their boats on an even keel, not to mention the delicate and dangerous process of deliberately sinking your own boat while not sink it too much.

That careful and constant dance is one that we all have to figure out the steps for in our own lives. And if you'll permit a submarine pun, it's something I often blow at in my own life.

In the last two weeks, I've missed out on one event because I was sick for most of it, canceled on another for the same reason, essentially quit my exploitative day job, and opened up a conversation with my husband and boyfriend about possibly moving five hundred miles away.

It isn't entirely clear if all that is throwing my life all out of balance, or helping get me back on an even keel. But sometimes all one can say is "damn the torpedoes (which were mines by the way), full steam ahead" and see where we end up.

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