Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


The Wall

Several years ago, on a cloudy, long-sleeve t-shirt sort of afternoon, I was sitting on the wall at Kewalo's. For some inexplicable reason, with as many mornings, afternoons, and evenings as I've spent there, this one sticks out.

I was sick that day and couldn't surf, which was why I found myself relegated to mere wall duty. Normally, this would have been considered a sadistic sort of surf-self-torture; in fact, I think it started out as just that. In ones, twos, and threes, I saw boards of every shape and size carried down the Steps and into the water. Sometimes stretching would precede the entry, sometimes a bit of last-minute waxing, but no matter what, every surfer had at least one ritual in common: they all stopped at the wall, stood tall, and gazed out at the surf.

It's what we do. We stand there, shield our eyes from the sun with one hand, and if we have other surfers with us, we'll point out what we see in the break with our other hand. Sometimes, if we're alone, we forget and point anyway. Smiles play on our dark faces; eyes will squint and lips will "O" at the sight of a particularly glassy face and thick lip; thoughts and worries are driven from minds that know they will soon be enveloped by the ocean.

Only on that day, there would be no enveloping for me. Instead, as a steady stream of water-bound board-bearers passed me by, I took in the view before me: waves and surfers perling over in a graceful, violent dance; blues of periwinkle, steel, cornflower, denim, azure, baby, cobalt, and sapphire in a sky of blues; an ocean, seemingly endless and wonderful beyond comprehension.

I look back on that day, and many others like it, and realize with great irony that as close as I was to the water, there was no way I would be able to get in. Even then, I was able to appreciate what I was missing out on. It helps me to appreciate it now.

posted by Bolo | 1:01 AM
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