Monday, November 24, 2003

Evening Surf

The location is top secret, but I can say this: it is the Pacific Ocean. Towards evening the wind dies, and waves turn to sculpted glass. They are about head-high to a kayaker, nothing intimidating. Once you’ve known waves, what they feel like, it’s hard to look at them as if you didn’t know them, like a friend or lover. It’s hard not to imagine yourself moving with them, the way you know. Just being here is pure joy, on the water, surrounded by ephemeral art, drenched in it.

Body and boat are one animal, and we move to the rhythm of the ocean. A swell steepens and grows into a perfect emerald slope. Energy of 1,000 miles with the evening sun glowing within it. The crest thins to translucent, bends, and crashes into white. Momentary crystals hang above the foam, then fall into it.

The wooden bow of my boat arrows through the dissipating tumble. Sunlight on wood grain. Rays grow long and orange. The kayak etches line after perfect line down the sculpted curves. On my right, nothing but rushing air. On my left, a wall of green whose topmost edge now steals the gilded sky, now crashes over me in holy baptism.