top of page

soul surfer * IX

illustration Zen Del Rio

Water speaks to our soul. Illuminated by waves, we atone with the pulse of the ocean. In tune with the laws of nature, we cultivate the peace that surfing has to offer. We surf to live and live in silent union with the Ocean Divine. When you live as a surfer, you bring what it is to be a surfer into everyday life. As the Unknown Surfer we give expression to our watersoul. The ocean is our temple and each sacred surf spot an outpost of Soul. The soul surfer sees each wave as sacred, willing to share or let one go, knowing there will always be another wave. She is our surfin’ bird, a messenger putting thoughts in motion and aspirations in flight. As lone mystic she is truthteller and surf scry. As witness to the truth she has found her own way. Surfing is her path. She knows how and when to cutback. She stays in the flow. Hers is a surfing aikido as if prescribed by surfing Zendo. As surf sage she knows that surfing is good direction.

Illustration John Mason

Where island and ocean intersect, and whereto the land meets the sea, there are waves. And where the conscious and the unconscious come together and whereto ego finds id, we come upon our mind’s eye at soul level. And as that land is symbolic of ego, and the sea symbolic of the Unconscious, the breaking waves become symbolic of soul. Hence the term soul surfer. He is curator and custodian, caretaker of the sacred. He is sober and solemn. He appreciates our surf culture and knows well his, and herstory. He reminds us of our roots. She carries an aura of mystical groove. As beach bagwhon her beatitude is beat steady. She is beach betty friendly. As barefooted dreamweaver she is crone soothsayer and songstress. She gets her sleep and awakes at dawn well rested. She is tuned into all the elements, and is nourished. Disciplined, she knows that eating meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion. His clifftop contemplation is tribute to his deep relationship with Her. He is clear and calm. Free and uninfluenced, he has an unconscious understanding of her many moods and feelings. As beachfront bard he refrains from innuendo. He is a golden ray. Golden means have become his end. Quiet by nature, he is not distracted. He is intuitive. He waits for swells and subsequent set waves. Donning a cowled, hooded sweatshirt, he is pantheistic Merlin, intent on pursuing his sport regardless of external forces surrounding the rest of his life. In truth and love he cannot deny his relationship with our ocean medium. As wayward soul, he can be nomadic. He appreciates the subtleties of his own personal soul searching. The raw inner voyage entails meeting his needs within, not of answering those without. The soul surfer has a need for peace and quiet. His need is for wisdom from within.

illustration by the Boda Surf Family * Marco (Lomal)

The soul surfer is our missing link: “One God, One Country, One Fin.” Of an arcane existence and archaic lifestyle, he takes solace as North Coast gnome sequestered by bucolic abode. He is misinterpreted mysterioso. He appears apart from reality, lost in time and space, from out of this world, sometimes even spectral. He comes and goes like a wave. He leaves no trace. As lone surfer and surf ascetic, his withdrawl from day-to-day distractions is to ponder the deeper truths. But taken to the extreme, the soul surfer as dogma becomes nihilistic. Surf dementia sets in, perhaps from psychosomatic imbalance. He reeks of surf. He has to have the ocean breeze in his nostrils, with all senses in touch with the ocean. He doesn’t need anybody; he has a relationship with the ocean as sea goddess. He is wrapped up in the experience.

But he is acutely oversensitive and suffers from a need for separation. Emotionally repressed, he suffers alone. Learned via separateness and aloneness, he is sometimes socially awkward, and dying of loneliness. Penetrating and even critical, he finds it difficult to communicate. Irksome and unreasonable he retreats to solitary isolation. Ostracized and lonely he becomes secluded underground resident. Growing lifeless and lethargic his singular lifestyle is an unnecessary slowdown. His surfing is not animated. Too much flow and short on go, he surfs as if in a trance. Adamant that he doesn’t buy into any stereotype, his soul arch is nonetheless a mockery and misnomer. Bereft of modesty, an arched back is symbolic body language of a burdened, if not bruised, ego. As stubborn simpleton he deals without assistance. But as he is sensitive to other’s pain, he senses he may have to ask for help. Soul retrieval requires both shamanic journey and counselor. A healer needs his own healer.

Green spot by Remi Bertoche

Illustration Nathan Paul Gibbs

When confused or ambivalent, the soul surfer yields. She stays within herself, knowing that “one’s way of life is spirited from within.” She accesses resources within for new direction, and transmutes pain into love, as it is all compost for our soul. As she eludes impurity, she seeks purity. Her self examination scores her spiritual self discipline. She is self taught. She is her own woman. She knows who she is. Her flexible body is of flexible mind. Her natural state of gratuity is graceful. Concord, charity and her humanity bespeak well of her. She is at peace with herself, “grateful to be a surfer.” Content with everything and desiring nothing, “the quiet security of a fortified heart emanates a quiet, wordless, self-contained joy.” She knows soul is without color or sex, not defined by age or gender, as her deep love for others offers respite for all of us. Our soul expands in the presence of her beauty. She colors our soul. Her gaze dissolves ego attachments and gives cause to look within. A wise woman is always humble because she knows that she is part of everything. She knows her soul is her connection to all things. She is self-actualized. She sets the tone by example, as others learn from her actions. In harmony with nature, the soul surfer talks softly, and “walks in truth and dignity no matter how poor of means.” He surfs with humility no matter how revered. He often doesn’t remember anything specific about the wave or his ride. He has no need to control, conquer or dominate. He only wants to be with It. In the soul surfer we sense the need to get closer to It, ourselves. His is an unspoken invitation to a reunion with our soul. We ask of ourselves which values and disciplines answer our sense of what one does with a life. The soul surfer answers to himself. He has a profound insistence on authenticity. His way is of believing in an identity our culture does not reward. Intimately tied to the ocean, the soul surfer embodies a timeless epiphany. He is a gentle soul who touches others with his gentleness. He is cooperative, unobtrusive, and prefers to keep a low profile. He is an “environgentleman.” With ineffable dignity he emerges from the heiau, guardian of the sacred and godfather of soul. His incorruptibility of spirit beckons our fulfillment. As we reach for the unknown he takes us beyond words to leave us only with the experience. We learn that we need time to set our roots in, and that positive separation leaves us dormant long enough to germinate. We withdraw to be closer. We intuitively know that the truth in life is a solitary experience. It does not come from a god, it comes from experience. Our soul reveals without speaking. Look to your soul. It is your direction in life.

Illustration Nathan Paul Gibbs

Recent Posts
bottom of page