We All Live in a Yellow Submarine

Yellow Hard Suit

Yellow Hard Suit

We all live in a Yellow Submarine,
Yellow Submarine, Yellow Submarine,
– The Beatles

I was trolling through our photo archive, when I hooked onto this picture. It was taken at the Shipwreck Museum on Whitefish Point in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, on the shores of Lake Superior. As its name and location implies this is a museum that is dedicated to the maritime disasters of Lake Superior. It is a nice little museum. In addition to many naval artifacts, this museum is also populated with dozens of small ship models, each with its own sad story to tell. The heart and soul of the museum though is dedicated to the last ship to sink, the Edmund Fitzgerald. Gordon Lightfoot’s ballad plays on continuous loop and acts as a natural governor, regulating the amount of time that any one person can stay in the museum. I’m usually only good for three or four repetitions before I must flee its confines for my sanity’s sake.

The yellow hard suit was used to explore the boat’s wreckage. It is rated to a depth of 1200’, which was more than adequate for the ~800’ that the boat was found in. Still, that depth brings an awesome amount of pressure that this suit has to withstand. Scientifically, pressure is force per unit area. It can be measured in units of pounds per square inch, Bars or Pascal. Generally though, unless you happen to dive to the bottom of the deep end of the pool or ride an elevator to the top of a tall building, most people don’t notice changes in pressure of the force per unit area kind.

For most people, pressure is a psychological phenomenon and it comes in all sorts of forms. There are peer pressures, social pressures, political pressures, pressure from work and now, in this December season, pressures from end of year deadlines, just to name a few. Pushing back on all of these external pressures is internal pressure that which you hold in. We all feel pressure. It is natural to feel it. It is part of life. What you don’t want to have though is crushing pressure. You can’t go through life encased in a hard suit. What you want to avoid is situations with such pressure that it would be death not to wear one. My car has a tire low pressure light. It is a warning light, an idiot light. It tells you when you have a problem. Don’t you wish that the rest of your life’s problems could be so easily diagnosed? Look around, maybe the warning signs are already there.

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