Today at Kanehama I was lovin’ it… I think I’m finally getting a feel for getting into a wave, so from now I have to figure out what to do once I’m there (maybe turning?). It was an amazing day, and there were only three of us in the water. I love surfers. They spend hours together, and don’t feel any pressure to fill it with chitchat. As long as they are sitting in the water they could just as easily be doing zazen meditation in a temple. But anyhow, there are many places in the world that would be just crawling with surfers clamouring for a wave on such a perfect day. That thought makes me a little sad to be leaving fair Tohoku.
I have a new muse now for surfing, too. My heart was full of her today, and it was the best day of surfing in my short surfing career. Like Quixote’s Dulcinea, I will dedicate every wave to her honor, for the rest of my life.
If there is anything better than teaching folk dances to a gaggle of elementary kids jacked-up on sugar, I wouldn’t know what it is. I went surfing at Kanehama before that too, and I think I actually got into the good part of a couple of waves. The speed and touching the smooth part of the wave is incredible, too hard to describe.
Yesterday I climbed the climbing rope to the top.
I could never go anywhere on a climbing rope as a kid. It’s such a cliché symbol of an unsurmountable obstacle, I’m sure it has been used in tens of movies and tv shows. Jump, grab, hang, maybe grunt, give up quick. Those Presidential fitness award kids could do it, and the rest of us couldn’t. We get another chance with puberty, though. I’ve probably been able to do it since then, but never had the chance. That’s not true, I’ve played on those ropes with the kids for the past two years.
But yesterday I was alone in the gym, and I realized that I’ve never actually done it. To go all the way up, and touch the thing at the top… what the hell. I didn’t think about it.
So that symbol of childhood frustration has melted away.
Yesterday we also played a funny kind of dodgeball that had no end. One person on your team stands behind the other team, and if you get out you trade with them, but nobody gets out or trades sides. It seems like a lot of games that I get taught here are like that… non-progressing.
The water at Uge was beautiful today. Grey-green & icy clear. The waves were soft and playful. Still learning, still learning. Caught a couple of little ones, and almost caught two real ones, but then at the last moment they decided to see if they could fit up my nose. My tidal neti pot.
I was driving and saw a crow take off from the side of the road. Could a human learn to fly, if they suddenly could? It’s seems really complicated, but my argument is that if I can learn to surf, flying wouldn’t be much harder.
first day outsight
magic-hour light dancing on every tiny disturbance in the watersmell
wetsuit’s rubbery, wax’s coconuttysound
wave crashing over to icecream headache landtaste
escudo’s heater on chilly flip-floppy feet
sand in my toes, sand in my hair, sand in my pants, sand everywhere
I’ve been in the ocean a lot this week. Not as much as Hana, who works the red eye as a bar tender in Hachinohe and then surfs for 5-8 hours before sleeping… but a lot. My body has that nice letting-you-know-that-it-is-there feeling that come with taking up a new sport, and it feels good to be alive.
I’ve face-planted into the water more times than I can count. The wave smashes over me and makes me tumble around–makes me forget which way is up and which is down. I hold my breath and think about what went wrong, then surface, ready to try again. Today I did better, my body is learning where it has to shift its weight to keep the nose of the board above water. Now I just have to figure out how to stand for more than a moment.
Yesterday I woke up at 4:30 to go out and meet him at Uge beach. It was one of those times in my life where I would have really loved to have had a camera. I’ll have no problem remembering it clearly, but I wish I could show an image to the people I love. Fog was clinging to the cliff-like mountains; the clouds were pink with the new day’s sun; a local train was slowly making its way around the bend; my new acquaintances were floating in the water next to me with their boards poking out of the water, like funny little sea birds, waiting for the next ridable wave. Truely cinemagraphic.
I stayed till 7:15, then went home to shower before work. I didn’t know how my body would handle waking up so early, but I felt more awake than average. Lately I thought that I was malnourishing myself, but my father said that being lethargic is a natural reaction to being trapped in an office 8 hours a day. It is summer vacation, so I don’t have classes, but I still have to “work.”
A typhoon is coming, so I’m going to head home and make sure my windows are closed. Don’t worry mom; I’ll stay away from the ocean.
PS: Shameless political linkage: http://www.deanforamerica.com
(Back to Taneichi Index)
I think Dean is the one.
My uncch buds used to make fun of my shorts, but today on my run I saw one of my students that said “they are like sexual harassment.” That has got to be one of the best clothes cracks ever.
In other news, Hana just called to tell me his friend is *giving* me a board.