My family is an adventurous bunch. (This past weekend, on a single day, I went kayaking with manatees and flying in a 4-seater plane with my aunt, uncle, and little cousin. Some people plan for retirement, my aunt plans to sail around the world. Everyday stuff for this clan.)

I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Their unending love for the sea, and our eternal pilgrimages to it, have made me who I am. But there’s a sort of truism about adventures, isn’t there, that sometimes they’re glorious and swashbuckling, but sometimes they test you. Hobbits know this well. Adventures can bring you to dark places. They bring you to the dens of monsters.

Recently some friends of mine, who make a truly excellent podcast, invited me to tell them a story. They make brilliant things happen with music and words, so I gave them a story I’ve been waiting to tell since I was 15, when I stepped into the den of a monster. I wrote and spoke, they edited and musicked, and the result is the best creative work I’ve ever done. Please give it a listen:

Many thanks to William Nava and John Passaro for this incredible thing that we made.

29 thoughts on “ Why I Still Avoid Dark Water: A radio story from my childhood ”

  1. Megan,
    You bring our night dive so vividly to life that you take my breath away. I can still feel your fingers strangling my arm in terror. I, however, thought you were delighted and ignored your urgency until my arm turned blue. I promise to heed your call forever more. Love, Grandma.

  2. The music was so distracting, I didn’t make it through this. A good story doesn’t need elevator music plugging up the aural spaces in between the words. That space is the paper a storyteller’s voice writes on.

    If you can’t do without background noise, the liquid sounds of water lapping the sides of a boat, the SCUBA gear’s bubbles, and a seagull to signal the surface would have sold it.

    1. Oh, and of course thank you for insightful criticism–the style is experimental to be sure! I’ve been curious as to how it would be received.

  3. Brilliantly written and spoken and very engaging.The music didn’t distract me, I thought it was suitable, although the sounds mentioned above would be lovely in a few spots too. All in all, the whole production was great!

    1. Thank you SO MUCH. I so appreciate the feedback. The other podcasts SURGE has produced are similar, and really great in my opinion, so if you’d like more like this the link above will take you there 🙂 And truly thank you so much for listening!!

      1. Thank you =) I’ll pass that on to her. She’s a shining warrior in my mind. She’s actually newly diagnosed with Parkinsons, and having quite a hard time–I think she’ll be delighted to hear of the internet singing her praises 😉

      2. If she’s a shining warrior, she’ll be alright! There are many different kinds of effects of Parkinson’s. My brother-in-law was diagnosed at age 52, just after he retired from 30+ years teaching. The physically active and the mentally outgoing can do VERY WELL to ward off symptoms. He and my sister (now age 61) just completed 80 days of in-depth physical training before embarking on yet another year of travel and he reports a marked improvement in his symptoms! Good thought to you and your dear grandmother! xo

  4. You have a courage I could never muster… to enter the den of a monster, meet one, and then return again and again.
    Well, in the water, anyway, for I often venture into the wilds of the Sierra and meet monsters there. Somehow, being on land makes it all seem less daunting.
    I thought the combination of words and music worked very well together, at times hightling the sensations and emotions and at times backing off to let the meaning behind the words sing along to the tune. Well done to all involved.

  5. This is beautiful Megan. The music and words seem entangled in a tragic romance. It left me feeling whole and a part of your adventure. Thank you for this experience!

  6. Beautifully written and rendered. I liked the music and probably would have found water sounds hokey. I’m sorry to hear that you had such a bad night diving experience. I’ve always found night diving to be peaceful – cozy, even. Just us in our circle of light. A panic attack can happen to anyone at any time, no shame there. Lucky for us you came through it and shared.

  7. I love your technique! It made your story come to life. I can’t wait to read more of your stuff!

  8. Wow! That was brilliant – i enjoyed the story. I’ve dived daytime, you made the night dive sound thrilling, I wish I’d do it someday though am a little nervous at the thought now. The under water world is sure an alien world. Love to Grandma, you’ve her company that’s so cool!! May you both have many such adventures together 🙂

    Cheers,
    Yogini

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