Wednesday, 29 July 2009

In the Present - Part One

We sat on the headland as the sun was warming the sky. Looking out to sea, the lines of swell were already marching in. The sea churned in organised chaos. The surrounding terrain; rocky, dangerous cliffs - reminding us how beautiful the coastline could be. The sky looked unpredictable, reds colliding with black, blue and grey. The resultant collage reflecting the state of Johnny's mind.

I sat there on the damp grass, cross legged and watching. A light morning breeze cooled me and contrasted with the first warming rays of the sun. Was I warm or cold? The conflict played on my mind, as did the events of the last 6 months. Peace. That's what we had come here for. To get away from everything and find some peace.

I sat watching Johnny for a while. He appeared to be watching the swell roll in, but I knew he wasn't paying it much attention. Like me, he was mulling over recent events and trying to make sense of it all. The build up to it, the loss, why did it have to happen? What a waste.

We sat there for maybe an hour more. In silence, just watching. Waiting.

We heard the tyres on gravel as a car slowly pulled in behind us, both turning as it slowed. A figure stepped out and spoke. 'You ready? Let's go.'

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The journey is a Marathon

Impatience can be a terrible trait. I've always seen myself as a sprinter, rather than a Marathon runner. And by this I mean, I want everything and I want it now. I'm the kind of guy who would rush a relationship and cram 2 years worth into 2 months. Why? I don't know. I've never felt or had the urge to really tackle something slowly and methodologically and reap the benefits after I have put in the bulk of work. I see and want the end product, with none of the dedication to the craft that is required. I'm like a walking, talking, breathing 0% finance Buy Now Pay Later deal!

It could be that the good influence of some people has finally rubbed off. Perhaps seeing how well Merlin is doing in NYC, that Sampras now has a family, including a 12 week old daughter or even that the Boss is in Afghan defending his country. I'm no longer grasping after a youth, feeling I wasted it and need to relive it. I was there, I packed in as much as I could and I'm all the stronger for the rest of the journey.

Now, I've got a long-term woman, decent job that I worked for and made mine, career prospects and I'm studying some new qualifications in my own time. I've practically forgotten that my leg is still in a cast and has been for nearly 9 months. Priorities have shifted and I learnt to be patient.

There's one thing keeping me patient without fail. The thought of surfing once again. Lately, I've read a few surf fiction books. Very creative, expressive and linguistic. They've really amped me for getting back in the water.

I no longer care how good I can be or whether I'll ever be anything but ordinary in the water - but don't mistake it for a lack of competitiveness. I'm just glad I will get the chance to take part once more. A shattered shinbone could have kept me out of the water permanently. Take a step back and realise what it means to be merely competent at something. Is there anything wrong with being, just ordinary?

So what's my point? How does learning to be patient, being prepared to put in the work for the reward, looking forward to something again and seeing the bigger picture link up? Well, finally I do see the big picture. It isn't about the destination at all. It isn't about everything culimating in a one-off moment. It's all about the journey too.