July 11, 2014

In the Heart of a Surfer

by Fayruz Abrahams

The ecstasy experienced by surfers is a simple manifestation of Majesty.

The euphoria of surfing is enabled by the ions created when waves break, when the surge and culmination reaches a climax and then falls in submission is the moment when energy is released and joy is experienced at a profound level.

For a surfer to surf – the dynamics are:

1) Witnessing the majesty: the absolute force and might of the wave; something that is by far greater than you, with a force beyond what is possible to ‘manage’. The surfer can only be in awe of this Phenomenon.

2) In Awe, the surfer has to submit, because trying to overpower the wave is ludicrous! You have to submit to it.

3) This takes requires TRUST, not control. Trust enables courage; Submission enables Power!

4) Patience – the wave does not arrive when you are ready, it is synchronised to a larger rhythm and ‘time-piece’. The surfer can only wait – and has to accept the divine scripting.

5) The surfer, lying in wait, has to read the ocean, its rhythm, its motion. Waves (culmination and climax) come in sets of three. On the horizon, the surfer sees the rising mounds and knows the approach is imminent. He prepares for his approach, cautiously but with great effort he paddles to meet the wave’s crest and then launches to become one with it and get in sync with it. It is synchronised and in step with creation.
6) The surfer, suspended only by a ‘plastic boat’ – floating amidst the vast ocean. Nothing and no-one can shield him from the vast and majestic force of the ocean. Nothing separates him from the innumerable creatures and factors that could inflict harm, nothing except the Benevolence and Grace within which the surfer is enveloped. A surfer fundamentally connects with this – whether consciously or not, there is a deep knowing and a deep connection: which religious people may choose to call faith.

7) He does all this, suspended in a ‘nothing-ness’ and a vastness beyond his own comprehension, in order to be one-with the crest and climaxing of the rhythmic shifts of our primary element.

8 ) When he reaches the pinnacle of the activity, within the barrel of a wave, and is spat out with great force – he knows that he is a mere witness, not in control – and he has to submit, bow to the Totality of the Other.

photo credit: casch52 and Hani Amir

2 Comments on “In the Heart of a Surfer

Ross Duffy
January 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Hello Fayruz. Thanks for your article . Poetry is our connection with nature. We need more of this. Ross.

July 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Hi Fayruz. During our Cape Winter in August- a throng of the worlds best surfers will descend on Cape Town to catch and ride the “Biggest Waves” off Hout Bay – one of five such sites in the world. Having read your article I can only stand in awe of these surfers for what may appear on the surface as a show of conquest and bravado, must be be a celebration of faith within their bosom. This event will be on a day when the wind and rain pelts the Cape and most of us privately curse “the miserable weather’. I will make it my business to go out into the day, witness their artistry and render an ode to the howling winds and surging waves.

Thank you for your inspiration.

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