Forget The Boards We'll Swim Out

We swam out to the buoy today. The wind was up when we got to the beach and would have blown us and our boards down around the bluff, so we just swam. The first hundred yards was the hard part, the second hundred yards was impossible, but by the third hundred yards we were both gasping. Nick hit the bell first and turned back for shore. No sharks as far as we could see, but they were probably there. When we walked out, our heads were ringing. The ears hurt from the cold water, like an ear ache in both sides. The homeless crew gave us the waves that can only come from the knowledgeable crazy to the outright insane.

The thing is, we are basically twelve, but with jobs and cars and trucks and surf boards and nail guns. We are not as dangerous as that sounds. I've always said Vegas is what a 13 year old would build if you gave em an unlimited budget. Pyramids, roller-coasters on every roof, pirate ships fighting, volcanoes, and magic shows every night with matinees on Sunday.

But being twelve is slightly different. We are stuck in adventure hunting, tree climbing and baseball hitting and running even though we aren't being chased. Riding bikes and playing jokes on friends. Every morning I threaten to go to the ocean and spend time in it. Every morning I try to back out. Every morning Nick or some other friend convinces me to drive the big blue truck out to the lot next to the sand. But really what else am I doing? Some time in the last month sleep became boring so three hundred yards out into the ocean I turned back and looked at the shore. The water was choppy and rolling, I kept rising on waves and then dropping into the trough. Nick was already twenty yards away back toward the shore. I was alone for the moment. Just floating in the ocean, spitting salt. As I try to remember what I was thinking at the time, it seems to me that I was just there. I was just present in the ocean. No other thing in the world mattered. No bills to pay, no people to please, no one to worry about except myself and surprisingly I wasn't worried about me. I was just floating, shark free, feeling strong enough to make it back. Strange moments when you can be absolutely free of worry or doubt. Suspended for the moment in just being.

This was not zen as I understand it, zen should be warm, or at least calm, I was floating in a windy choppy cold ocean at 6:30 in the morning, pre-coffee. This was not a moment of clarity. This was a moment of swimming, which is like walking, totally familiar and normal. I felt normal for just a moment in the semi deep-end of the water. Tomorrow I will try to get out of it again. But tomorrow I may have more company, which makes it harder to dodge.


  1. your blog is making my day. Its like walking around with a balloon.


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