While I sit past the waves, waiting for that one wave that will finally choose me as its master (as if I could actually ride it, let alone tame it), I find myself conjuring facebook statuses - something about the pacifistic nature of the Pacific, or maybe another comparison of my new sport to political institutions. I am reminded once again of the nature of my tedious mind, unwilling to relinquish control and to just let go.
My immediate friends often tease me about my inability to just sit still. My left leg bent up against the chair, my left hand twisting my hair, and my right hand diminishing the battery of whatever electronic device which at that time is quenching my thirst for knowledge, or at least for a connection to the world. I dread the possibility of not finding comfort in something that will distract me from myself.
But surfing just wouldn't let me have my way. After the tiresome first few days I spent battling the waves, catching the leftover whitewater and attempting to just stand up, I found myself following my Swedish surf-bros out beyond the raging shoreline. At first just sitting on the board felt more like learning how to rodeo than surfing, embarrassingly falling off constantly and exposing my true nature as a newby (like they didn't notice my ten foot board or my sheepish look). But while I gradually found my balance, and once again gave up on the seemingly perfect wave for the dude next to me who knew what the fuck he was doing, I finally began to accept the nature of this endeavor.
There is no control in the water. There is no comfort in endless distraction. It is a prison for thoughts and observations, outweighed by the necessity to ensure that if the wave comes for you, you are prepared. And when that moment finally comes, and the waves align with your desires, you paddle as if your life depended on it in order to be thrust by Poseidon himself into the wave. I prepare myself for that magical moment to arrive, repeating my mantra that reminds me of the necessary sequence - feel it, stand up, flex your feet, stabilize your hands, breathe - a.k.a feet, flex, hands, breathe. The adrenalin pumps through my body in anticipation of the excitement of what would naturally follow. You might expect me at this point to describe the sheer bliss of riding that wave, of overcoming nature and forcefully positioning yourself as its master, but sadly that usually didn't happen. What did happen, most of the time, was I would get smashed. And I mean smashed. Instead of being its master, the wave made me its bitch. I'd get thrown underneath a shit ton of water, not knowing where up and down was anymore, imagining a white light or whatever other bullshit visions they tell you that you'll see at the end. Then finally, at what always seemed to be the last second, I would finally arise to the surface grasping for air, choking on some salt water, and vowing to never ever ever fucking do this crazy thing again.
Then I'd paddle out to try to catch another wave.