About this time three years ago and after 18 months of scouring the bottom of Rosario Strait, I discovered the wreckage of Navy A-6 159572, the “Lost Intruder.” Two months later, in October 2015, technical divers positively identified the jet. I was in one of my periods of profound isolation back then, having recovered from Deep Brain Stimulation surgery but still experiencing a panoply of mostly moderated Parkinson’s symptoms, although certain psychological ones were still powerful. Periodic depression was and continues to be the worst.
Learning a lesson once is not enough for most people to incorporate into second nature habits of thought and reflection. For me, it seems learning a lesson a dozen times may be insufficient. I continue to look for answers in the wrong places, to the outside, to others, to things over which I have no control. Which brings me to the fundamental truth discovered over the course of the Lost Intruder experience: happiness and peace can only be found in a lasting way by looking within.
Hoping for something to happen rarely yields a positive outcome, and even when events do unfold in line with wishful expectations, there are often unseen strings attached that swing the eventual outcome back to exactly where you started. There are no shortcuts to a content life, and hope as a life strategy is the quintessential shortcut.
So, where does one place their focus, as a life without hope seems rather, well, hopeless? Hope-less, perhaps, but I’m convinced that it need not be a life of continual despair. So, I set out once again to relearn a Lost Intruder lesson, looking within, prying whatever nuggets of peace I can from a hope-less life.