Updated: Jul 8, 2018
Earlier this year, I decided I was done treading; my constant curiosity of the
cause of my predicament made me exhausted. I started to swim with the current
as hard as I could, trusting that I would make the legendary landfall. Whilst
swimming, this perpetual pondering proceeded to exist, as my body needed all
my focus to keep afloat and in motion with the current. One day, in calm waters, I
saw an object refracting light off the liquid on its flat surface. I trampled in place
as it moved towards me. Once in front of me, I made contact with my shriveled
hands and held on for, feeling relief. I had an ally made of wood, long, with a
round nose and a flat back. I pulled myself out of the water and laid on my back,
feeling this mysterious support and solidity. I took in the vast sky above and did
not want to question why, where or how this object had arrived or what its story
was. I just knew it was time to learn how to maneuver myself on it as it the only
thing holding space between the sea and me.
At first, I played with the sensation of staying somewhat dry and learning how to
sit and look to the horizon while we would rise and drop with the waves. New to
sitting on a solid surface, there were moments of topping the vessel and being
submerged in the familiar sea. I felt humbled to just sit and would pull myself
back up to find my center of gravity on the board. It felt so different from
swimming; now I had to resource from the center of my own space as waves
pulled me in every direction. To create posture from my center was a foreign
experience for me, like singing to a room full of people for the first time. I did not
want to disappoint, be out of tune nor entertain my barrier from the sea. This was
about trust and harmony.
Once I trusted my ally to keep me afloat, I started to play more with movement,
like standing on my hands and knees. I even learned how to rest and sleep on
the wooden slab. Gradually, I could kneel and attempt to stand. I was in the
beginners’ mind, like a baby learning to walk. I was quivering on the water, trying
to stand on the narrow platform, terrified that it would send me back into the sea.
I managed to stand, inspired by the infinite possibility of walking upon land.
From this view, I could see the motion of the ocean with a new perspective. I had
the intuitive feeling of the waves in my kinesthetic memory while me and my alaia
would rise and fall. I developed the gift of periphery; I could see what was coming
my way and for the first time, I was learning to veer to and form rolling waves. I
gained new insight to these once scary yet blissful waves. Instead of hurling in
anxiety, I could simply ride with equanimity and love. From here, the waves could
show up and I’d be able to just ride.
Today, I am still on my board and expect to be here for a while before I reach
solid ground. I still have yet to encounter unknown mystery and waters alien to
my psyche, but I will continue to stay cool, calm, and collected.