Thursday, May 27, 2010
The Surf Diaries
# 7 Motivation
You're at the mercy of some of suckiest internet in the world, even when it's good it's fritzy and today ain't good. You can't even attach a file. What's that sound? Another deadline whooshing by.
I've watched people while they're at their computers, no one looks happy. I know I don't. Even when people are apparently jolling on Facebook, they're concentrating, a frown furrowing to the surface. You call being online fun? You call that living?
Meanwhile South Africans by the sheepload are chanting out ballads and prayers for their ridiculously bad soccer squad, but it's all part of the money making AYOBA vibe right? Everyone's proudly South African whilst running to the pharmacy on the way to work to up their doses of Risperdal [dope for schizophrenics], and listening to proudly blah-blad-dah-blah-blah Wimpy ads.
And then there's the crap you read in the news, if anyone can still consider the stuff that's out there for clicks news.
Outside it's a gray day that says 'stay away' and all you want to do is put on your stokies and curl up in the bath with a blankie and wait out the latest load shed. It's tough when this is your mindset, to find a fuse to get yourself out the door, and into those cool, glowering, shark infested waters. The sound of winters' big boys though, should be enough to drag you away from your sta-soft life. Grab your board and get busy living.
In the car I'm still suffering the aftershock of the pride swallowing siege that has been my day - there was literally a moment where I wanted to cry out of sheer frustration. Don't give me any flack about big boys don't cry, we all know by now that Greg Emslie's close encounter of the shark kind sent him straight to church. What does that tell you? Not that surfers are less human than the mall mobs, the cargo pants crowd, the cubicle slave or your average sheep - but that surfing restores some semblance of sanity to us.
As I paddle out, some bodyborders are on my left, kicking blue flippers at the sunless sky, I try to hit the nail. What is it about surfing that's so invigorating?
I find a wave, I crackle and snap, but I don't pop, and fall back into a mattress of cool foam. It's the fact that like Nature, surfing is tough. It's not easy. And just like it is in Nature, you have to be quick out here. Not just quick on the draw, you have to know your neighborhood and be alert, able respond to it. There's no place here for that lazy I've-been-staring-at-an-LCD-screen lack of focus. You're welcome to grab a board and have an unfocused day, but you're probably better off suiting up and throwing yourself into a swimming pool a hundred times over the course of an hour. Same difference. Surfing requires your attention. Like life.
The ocean dishes up more grunt than most can handle - Andy Davis
Are you an organic living being or the programmed sheep mentalitycreature you get in the news or on the net. Because our thoughts are the precursors to our actions. What happens when none of your thoughts are yours? When none of your thoughts are real? That's a miserable media infested existence. The experience in the surf, as the sets move through, though, is real. You have to get involved and participate or have a saltwater enema. Substandard doesn't surf. You can pray all you like, you can dress it up, you can win an award for bullshitting - but if you can't pop, if you're too fat or too slow or too stupid, you're going nowhere. That's the other thing - Nature has high standards. The weak die.
Your body is evolving and eroding simultaneously. If you want to escape time's clutches, you need to evolve. Every thing you do or don't do imputes into your DNA. Everything you eat, every habit, every lifestyle choice. If you're bored, or depressed, your life is losing momentum. If you're moving forward, if you're surfing, you're learning, you're living. You can't surf without having to deal with a very complex unpredictable game. But levels of mastery are possible, depending on courage and commitment, on your self knowledge, that stuff that crawls up your spine like a saltwater snake - that stuff that says I'm home.
It's during this session that I get a first real glimpse of surfing; just a moment when I'm standing and skiing forward. It's vivid and fast. It's life. In that singular moment the DNA realign and you get that sense of visceral possibility. You're becoming more in this liquid cauldron, a place filled with wickedness and treachery, but behind your beating heart, is all the beauty and power that is the sea.