Drowning was the most significant experience in my life. Now let me preface that by saying that my years have been few, and in fact plaugued by uneventfulness. Unfortunately, near death did not turn out to be the religious experience I had once percieved it might be. I was not visited by Jesus in the middle of all of this unpleasantness, though I suppose that he had more important things to attend to (maybe an appearance on a tortilla). Surely a lone agnostic drowning in the Pacific Ocean was not at the top of his list. An angel then maybe, appearing with halo and all feathered glory? No such luck. A brilliant white light filled with friends and loved ones pointing the way to heaven? Nope. Well hell, even the ghost of Christmas past might have been acceptable at that point in time. Even the old tormentors of Ebeneezer Scrooge did not see fit to appear with rusty chains in tow. Though I must admit, it would have been an interesting ending. No, at this particular moment the only companions and witnesses to my demise were the sun above and ocean below. I had been decieved by this cruel body of water. It promised serenity with its waves cascading playfully upon the sand, it said that everything was going to be alright. Much like an abusive spouse though, the ocean never keeps it's promises, and never fails to turn on you in a moment of weakness. I struggled mightily, striking at the water in futility. I swallowed this salty death, and fought some more. Each time that I surfaced I sensed the reaper, somewhere beyond my field of vision. Surely he was stting in a shaky canoe, shaking his head in exasperation as he checked his watch. "Just stop fighting it" he might say..."you're putting me behind schedule." Then it came, the moment I faced my own mortality. Up until this realization I had been firmly entrenched in the belief that somehow or another I would walk away from this. In the novel of my life, I was the heo...and the hero never dies right? This was it, not my philisophical musings about how or from whence death would come when it chose to take me in some distant future. No...this is it...NOW, this is happening NOW. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. At this moment begins the slowing and possible bending of time, were you dying for a minute or an hour? In this timeless vaccum the newsreel that is your life begins playing through in your mind. It runs by in some wildly out of control fast forward motion...skipping the inconsequential, and that which you do not wish to remember. Further into the rabbit hole you fall, until the newsreel stops. Until you finally do stop fighting it, and darkness comes to kiss you on the cheek...and you accept it's embrace. Here you formulate your last thoughts on this plane of existence. "This is it" I told myself..."What a shitty way to die." Not akin to the dreams most men have, dying in some glorious and heroic fashion to be remembered for all time, but rather just swallowed up to drift off as another shadow in those murky depths. Perhaps stuck swimming here forever, caught in some sort of repetetive limbo because the ocean never lets the soul go. So this is it. Now choking...gasping for air, and suddenly there was light. Was this the guiding spirit, what I had been waiting for? But no, my vision cleared...and the figure looming above me was not Jesus or my guardian angel, but a sandy haired life guard. "You o.k man? Can you breathe? Just relax, breathe man...your'e doing fine." Was I though? Driving home I had time to ponder, was I quite alright? I was alive, but I knew now that I would die. That moment in time, the moment of panic in which every man realizes that the time has come...it would come again. I had not found the slideshow of my life to be grand or even satisfactory, and I found no deeper knowledge of life after death. I found only the true face of the power of self preservation. For I am quite sure that if the devil had appeared on a surfboard and offered some assistance, I may have been well inclined to make a deal. Yet despite all of this shame for a lack of deeper understandings...this was the most significant day of my life. So put, because on this day I realized that up until this point...my life hadn't beared any significance at all.