the remembering and the telling
The deadly black-base of a rampant Guillotines
the scouring rock-race at Bawley or the rarity of smoking fifteen-foot No-Toes peaks sneaking past Brush Island and being ridden by fearless locals and skinny young schoolkids
the perfect day at Collaroy or the miniature Kirra that Kiddies @ south Palm puts up every twenty years,or Mona Vale blowing a blending offshore wall all the way from Yogi down to Mick’s Rights
– or Turrimetta doing a long hollow sweeping peel under a summer Nor’wester
– or the Joey smashing its twenty-foot unridden and majestic path from the Button to the beach
– or Newport Reef sucking out double on a wide surprise
– or North Point breaking clean all the way through its confusion of rock platforms and dry pours
– 0r the Basin, looking like a foreshortened Malibu, or Cooksies with the perfect peel on every bank
– or Rockpool’s blessing of every wave with a rigid face, a fold and a triple sectioned length
the endless track of Pumphouse working in a heatwave, or the mystical join up of Coffee
Grinder and DumDum
– or the Path’s stacking take-off when a southwester beats off swell from a north coast cyclone
golfers and tennis players and the footballers and swimmers and runners and walkers
gymnasts and weightlifters – all of them have their means of measure and their rule-books
their note-pads, scorecards, stopwatches, laptimes and records
– but we have what?
Memory and vanity is what we have, and no witnesses worth the validation of either
Our puzzle is remembering what’s just happened, and where does it all feel best?
In the legs, as the rail bites deep on that quick flatwater?
In the fade, as the darkening raceway bellows open?
In the take-off, as time slows and the drop promises a speeding and airless fall down
that slope of dreams?
In the quick-folding wall, as trim bets speed to win against the nature of a
breaking wave that zippers down a barely covered reef?
In the hoot of a stranger who wishes you flight and cover on the set of the morning, or the ripping acceleration and wrenching torque of that skeeting cutback, or the change from streaking to stopping, then the tight gouging bury of it in a sandy close-out?
_ Where does it all feel best?
in the remembering?
– or in the telling.
A solid question for sure Pete, but the answer lies outside of the ego.
Some of my most vivid memories are days that I surfed alone in special conditions. Conveying that imagery has it’s moments with your mates, but it’s not what keeps you up at night wanting more.
Remembering is way more powerful and it’s personal.
There is something about the telling though Mike, especially if you can put it into words less commonly used – and if you are the type who can slow down down that rapid succession of sights and instinctive moves into a coherent tale that can engage a listener – not like the old ‘ I caught this wave …. ‘ yarn
Kind of a combination of experiences being the pump house while memory, forgetting, context and craft hone something into a story that drives the reader or writer back for more but also more of the enchanted connections and unwitting perfections the compendium of life can throw.
Nice words Pete, they keep me nourished. Have surfed two of the opposing faced locations in the last 3 weeks with zero to 3 others.
I miss the south coast adventures. Keep the words flowing. I have a feature in ProPhoto magazine on Jack Mc Coy’s new project. Nice use of foreshortened dry pours.
cheers Bruce – at least when memory fails I can read this stuff …