A drop in the ocean
a grain of sand on a beach
I haven't surfed in a while. Why would I? It’s winter. Funny thing? The winter is the greatest time of year at the beach. Without surfing, I’m missing play. I miss playing in the waves. I miss the shrieks of delight when I pull something off that I only imagined before. I love scooting ahead of a wave an instant before it closes out. Improbable take offs with my tip toes lightly touching the deck of of the board - an exercise in nudged control - executed successfully? Bliss. Just the thought of this stuff lights me up.
The adrenaline of it all is quite fun. But I really miss sitting in the water and experiencing just how powerful the ocean is. Floating there, waiting for the right wave, when a swell passes, the feeling the ocean’s pulse inspires fear and awe at the enormity of the ocean’s power. When the swell passes, you’re lifted with authority. In the ocean I really know how I’m just a very tiny speck that’s part of something much much bigger. We’re all eightyishpercent water right?
The waves we sit in while waiting to surf are echoes of storms long passed. The wind blows thousands of kilometers away. Over time and distance, the waves slowly organize and grow from choppy ripples, to messy waves to well organized ground swell. Surfing is a way of playing with history while being part of something vast that’s both alien and familiar at the same time.
Sunsets at the beach steal my breath. Everything is just so big. Life is amplified with the sinking of the sun. The clouds scream with fire and torment. Ice greys and platinum plumes roil like shields held by gods marching into battle. The fires of last light burn at the horizon burn like smouldering cities of myth. There, overwhelmed by the beauty of it all, I feel small, tiny, insignificant.
I feel so small in fact it’s as though I’m not here. It’s as though I’ve never existed. I feel light. Weightless. Insignificant and free. It’s soothing to imagine just how short and limited our existence is when faced with the power of the ocean or the vastness of the sky.
All there's left to do marvel in the light at the just how bloody much we don't know.
(we’re specks in the enormity of existence. smaller and less lasting than dust!)
In these moments I embrace what I can't experience. I wonder at what can’t be known. I lament what can’t be felt. It’s all too big. Too much. It’s enough to be filled with awe at the enormity of all the things. The things above above, and below below. Everywhere you could look, what you’ll find is that beyond a shadow of a doubt we are frail, tiny, limited humans.
We can have whatever heroic stories we want about life, the universe and everything and our basic invincibility. But, if George Lucas taught this man anything it’s this: even Han Solo dies.
Can you kill your heroic story?
Can you find the lite /light in your absolute insignificance?
Can you find liberty? Can you escape from that story you always tell yourself where all the things including you are oh so fucking important all the time?
Remember, you're less than a speck in a sandy beach. And that is wonderful.
I’m devoting 2023 to finding and registering the Remarkable Fools of the world. For Remarkable Fools, what was once an embarrassing or awkward, is now a thrilling leap to a life more fulfilling. How will we find the fools? A series of pop up live talk shows where the audience are also the guests. Highly interactive and playful, you’ll laugh till you cry or cry till you laugh.