I recently had a conversation with a friend about life. Each of us is reaching a new stage in our lives and so the discussion led to all the distractions that we indulged in to cover the simple truths that we knew to be true since the beginning. In summary, we both came to agree that life is in fact very simple, but our aversion to the truth makes it complex. The ideals in our head, the shame in our decisions, and the fear of the unknown that we have all get in the way and before we know it, we’ve built a fort around the truth. Ahhhhhhh, and then we go looking for it and get frustrated we can’t find it, don’t we? It’s the game we love to play, but the one that hurts.
As I headed home, I don’t know why I thought about surfing the whole way. I don’t know if I saw an ad or something as I got onto the cab, but the idea stuck with me. (I don’t know anything about surfing, but this is a creative writing blog so just go with it.) So, with that, I wrote this out on my phone. I don’t know if it will ever work, but I thought I would try to remind myself of this clarity the next time something seems overwhelmingly confusing. I need to remember that most problems don’t start out that way and the fog I’ve created can be stripped away.
Whenever you feel very confused about a decision, remember surfing. Imagine how simple-minded one must be to head out to sea to tackle a wave. Imagine how light one must feel. We’re not meant to enter the water carrying everything we own. Though one feels fears, it is more of a suggestion than a paralyzer. One could even argue that the awareness of fear coupled with instinct, could make the ride more thrilling.
Before heading out, one must take off their shoes and worldly possessions in order to properly glide nature’s wave. One must take it off—all of it, to enjoy their own strength on this earth. One must remove all things that distract and add weight for optimal performance.
After the watches (timely worries), shoes (past), and the coverups (masks and excuses) come off, all that is left is you and the water. After that, all you will be is legs, lungs, and heart on the deep blue of life, where decisions can be taken free of everything else. Only there will your answers be swift and true. When you’re confused, remember surfing. Remember that things are simpler than we make them.
Like the issues in our lives, the sea is the same with or without the surfer. Whether the surfer decides to be light or heavy changes the experience for him only. The sea is the sea as life is just life. It is we, the surfers, that choose how complex the conditions of our ride will be. It is we who make it simple or complex.
I’ll see you in the water,