Thursday, January 25, 2018

This Week In Not Surfing

1. I have a fascination with dryer lint. Were I allowed (and not to say that I've been explicitly forbidden) I'd keep an enormous glass jar next to the dryer for lint safe-keeping. I've researched making felt from dryer lint it looks to be very satisfying. I also want to learn to play the classical guitar. I also want to play a part in a community theater play. Along the spectrum of the discrete, where sufficiency and necessity find their meaning, I'm unsure how these things might delineate my identity.

2. And sure, identity seems to be wasted on the identical. The patterns of homogeneity laid out like train tracks through the wild west of our popular thought. We tell ourselves we are a nation of individuals. But god, it is both deceiving and boring.

3. And though stories never fail to impress, retold experience, experience is not identity no matter how causal so intimated. And then there’s that speed bump of the storytelling itself.

4. Over twenty years ago I snapped my fins off on a pylon at the Santa Barbara pier. True story. State Street had flooded after the rains, the drainage offering both magical mystery sandbars off the pier and viral infection about the murk. I took a ride too close and bashed my board into the barnacled wood. Apparently I wasn't quite the expert surfer yet.

5. A bit under fifteen years ago I paddled out into my first truly cold East Coast surf at Matunuck, Rhode Island. Jack and I had spent the night at a South African's cabin in Connecticut. I was so excited to get into the water, having not surfed in months, I speed-crunched over the frosted mud and paddled out without even scanning the sets for a channel. I must have had something to prove. Jack and Brendan watched as I took a frozen set on the head while they calmly stroked out the other side. I think I was so exhausted I didn't catch more than one wave.

6. If you happen to be invited to a swanky design gallery reception dinner in a penthouse on 5th Avenue in Manhattan and you find your calligraphied name plate at the head of the table and you feel slightly embarrassed at the honor, don't be. You are only there as a plus-one, the head is really the end and they stuck you there because they weren't about to place you in between two important patrons. Feign speaking French badly, demure slightly about your line of work and compliment people on their attire. Looking approximately surfy helps. Rich people love that.

7. Three days ago my three year old, deep in a scatalogical spree, calls me a "poo poo wetsuit," laughing maniacally. My witty rejoinder, "well you're a pee pee face," squeezes even more glee out of him. I have never actually pooped inside my wetsuit.

8. “People . . . people who need people . . . are the luckiest people in the world” - Barbra Streisand

9. Surfing provokes identity in this ferocious way. There are few hobbies that engender so much struggle for acceptance and demand so much gratitude for the effort.

10. Decades ago I routinely burned through untold gallons of fossil fuel driving between Ventura and Goleta, searching in vain for ridable gurgle. Since, I've found in my professional life, when I'm stuck with a certain composition that doesn't quite work, if I hold on the imperfection longer than is comfortable a conceptually shaky shot can imply a profundity, intended in execution or not.

11. How much gasoline has the Border Patrol burned up looking to arrest the hope for a better life?  And now they're not even at the border anymore, but in our cities, our suburbs, our interior. Another militarized pseudo-authority demanding your papers. Someone has caught on to the implied profundity of our distraction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OK, now I'm caught up on some history and current thought. Good.