So I pull up this morning to this beautiful surf in Long Beach.
Head high-ish ( I guess you could call it head-esque high) and I just start going stupid.
I rush down the beach dragging shit, puling on my wetsuit as fast as possible, nearly forgetting which ankle to put my "leg rope" on... and paddle out double time not even timing the set.
Just too excited.
Of course a set comes right when I paddle out, then a second set.
And I'm on the 8'1" Andreini so I'm dogging that a bit.
And I'm getting pounded. I mean, not really, you know, really pounded, but I'm exhausted for some reason, just dead tired and I can't hold my breath for shit and every wave is just killing me.
I actually get pushed into the middle between the jetties and I'm fucked so I just belly in and start again.
Second paddle out and I don't care how tired and cold I am... and I am freezing to the core, but I get out and paddle a bit far outside to catch my breath.
I can't believe I need to catch my breath. It's so short.
I catch a set wave but get out pretty early so I don't get pounded... I'm too cold!
While I'm paddling back to the spot I look down. I'd forgotten to zip up my suit.
In 30fuckingsomethingdegree water.
That's when the chills really hit.
I zip up the rubber, take a couple more nice closey rights and call it a day.
Mary Oliver's poem "Wild Geese" is one of those shining, bright, perfect bits of poetry that make one realize poetries irrefutable importance.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
In other news, if you're around Williamsburg, Brooklyn within the next little while... stop by the Williamsburg Art & Historical Society to check out the Mototaka Takano show.