The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418 Message #2376732
Posted By: Amos
29-Jun-08 - 01:05 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Saturday I returned before dawn to the long beach at La Jolla shores, and drove out onto the sand and unloaded my kayak -- a bright yellow plastic sausage with designer curves-- from the roof rack with much grunting and cussing, and after all necessary rituals, went forth paddling heartily, through the surf, slicing the waves with my bold little prow, onto the deep waters beyond the offshore beds of wide-leafed kelp. The fingerlings flip and flitter near the water's surface, the deep breathing of the ocean itself rises and falls; an occasional harbour seal comes by, breathing noisily. The stillness of deep water is entrancing, in a way, although nothing there is still. It is more the sound of quietude, that steadies the nerves the way a mother's heartbeat does to an infant.
Retuning from my wanderings on the water, paddling in toward shore I could see the breaking surf as a faint white line of foam, and feel the march of the waves rising and falling under me, as they headed toward their crashing destiny on the shoreline.
You could just sit there and wait, let the waves carry you in, and in the end, swing and drift beam onto the crest, until the rollers threw you out, crashing and tumbling in the mix of sea and sand and shards of kelp, onto the saving shoulders of the shoreline.
But you don't.
You insist on doing things to control your fate. You study the timing of the foam, watch how the water moves out after each crash, look for the moments, and feel the rhythm of the sets as they rise under your stern. You use your paddle to keep your prow intersecting the line, like an arrow crossing a bowstring, until you think you have found the right moment. Then, you reach and pull and paddle like a fool, accelerating toward the shore from the startled water where the surf first begins to form, just as another wave moves in under you to make its fatal approach to the sands. You paddle madly and find you are lifted up, going faster, faster than any human could ever paddle, lifted by the hand of God like a toy boat, fighting the back of the wave to keep yourself straight. If you turn, you will roll, and in these moments that is anathema. You stroke wider and stronger, fighting the swerve, and the crest picks you up neatly and you are in the slot, and the break comes out from under and you launch into the shallows like an arrow truly shot, the paddle aloft in triumph as your prow cuts through shallows, riding the wave out straight and true, and the slope comes up to welcome you home on the rustling sand, and the waters recede again.