samedi 25 octobre 2008

Brief Dialogue on Surfing & Being ('Stoked')

October 25: Santa Monica, California. On my stopover, inspired by the Hawaiian example, I explored the subculture of surfing communities. I put Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" into my iPod and revived a hobby I'd first taken up in Bali in the 1970s, and shared a surfboard and a marijuana cigarette with one Jay Deerfield, an Oregon native, a former stock analyst for the telecom industry now turned spirits-and-wine buyer for a Venice Beach network of bistros and pubs. I spent a wonderful afternoon away from media and politics, riding the "swells" at a Santa Monica beach. I paste below an extract, recorded by Jay's girlfriend, Safflower, of our conversation on waves.

Guy: What is this human desire to conquer the wave?

Jay: Guy Guy Guy you're talking like a true Westerner, man. C'mon man this is beyond metaphysics. The goal is not to conquer the wave but to be the wave.

Guy: Is this not an illusion? I know myself and my board and I know to be separate from the wave and yet I insist that I can be 'one' with the wave?

Jay: It's not that you try to be one, you are one with the wave. It's when you get in the splintering mindset, that you put yourself above what we are in, man, which, is life, Guy, in all its forms. It's when you get with that me-vs-it mentality that you divorce yourself from your birthright, the sea, the sky, what you're married to by birth, when you get into that split mentality while you're on the board that you lose your balance and go under. Riding the waves gets my mind back in the It. That's what we mean by the word stoked, on the board, which you asked me about.

Guy: What is the myth of California dreaming? Is it the Pacific Ocean? Is it drugs? Or is it a gold rush mentality?

Jay: Nah, it's not a money hunt or just about weed. It's the air, Guy, breath this air. Nothing as liberating as breathing the air that washes over you out here. It's as if everywhere else--and I have lived in at least ten different states in this country, the bad vibes running around the landscape below somehow sucks down all the air and it's hard to breath, you know in the yoga sense, Pranayama. Here, the air is always replenished. It's what you call en plein air, right?

Guy: Indeed, surfing teaches the wisdom of Monism. And now I must, as you say, hit on the road and go back to sharing the bad air of Dualism on the campaign trail.

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