Today was jittery, just a mess, looking at gorgeous footage I couldn't wrap my brain around, addled as it is with thoughts of Sandy destitution and an election in the balance.
Tonight I got a text from a good, old friend that said "Oh, by the way, I'm going through a mid-life crisis." Christ if this all weren't enough already. Sometimes I feel like I am on the verge of a mid-life crisis. I've never been the crisis type, often too ready to enjoy the desperate moments. It can't be a crisis if you're sorta liking it. But I can feel it creeping in at the edges these days. And if you're not enjoying it, it doesn't feel good.
A couple weeks ago the very first surfing literary voice I ever knew stood before me and I fluffed my lines. Growing up a PNW wannabe, Derek Hynd's Surfer chronicles of the ASP Top 40 were my first introduction into that world. His was the only voice, the only place to learn the intricacies of why one would fail while the next would succeed. Actually, when I think about it now, the pedagogological core of my surfing education was very old fashioned. I barely ever watched surfing videos. The only images I had were glossy magazine photos and the anything I could conjure from the words on the page. And the most memorable words, more often than not, were Hynd's. And I got to hang out with him for a night. And of course I had nothing to say. Absolutely zero. Hilarious. Maybe telling.
That same night Nick Carroll was saying something about pulling airs and why so many surfers gravitate to it these days. He was saying something about the emotional connection, some sort of pit-of-the-belly core-memory-ish thing to which vaulting off a wave might harken. As someone who couldn't launch to save his life, I wonder if it is just an extension of that wonderful feeling of dropping in, that kind of empty space within which your stomach's suddenly found itself free to roam in, that looseness and free-fall sensation that is so hard to attain in life. No wonder they boost airs ad nauseum in surf porn.
Looking, ineffectually, at that wonderful footage today, I thought again about what it takes to be a photographer or a director and the kind of precision of confidence it necessitates. But also, in many cases, the ability to make others feel at ease, that nonthreatening knack. There is an ability some have to get those around them to buy into the act of art unfettered as the logical end of the process, beauty as the natural culmination of things, therefore everyone might as well give themselves to it. It is a special talent.
The other day on the drive out to Mastic Beach someone on the radio said:
"we're born, we struggle for relevance, then we die."