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hell island * XV

Drop by Jesse Miller

Sea water is full of life and so are we. Whether it’s a Todos drop, the Waimea boil or Maverick’s ledge, surfing is full of wild excitement, with every session a blessing. Surfers of fortune honor their wild hellman within by an intent to fully infringe on all god-given opportunities. The hellman goes over the edge and comes back. He needs to feel alive. He surfs on edge and is agile. Our swashbuckler is a eurhythmic. He is a gone surf cat and his surf settlement a surf rat haven. He is of the surfing underground and not to be found at name spots. Leave the surf rat race behind. Welcome a radical change of direction. Sober up on pure unsweetened island juice. Let that Halloween swell test your surf sobriety. Be a surfer, not the stereotype. A surfer without responsibility may wait until ready for bigger days, but remember, waves are perishable. Get on it. Charlie might not surf, but you do. Surf anew. Surf in the rain. Taste waves for yourself.

Illustration Marcelo Vieira

For many the myth of Hell Island is an invitation to the Unseen or “otherside,” a call to the wild, an inevitable imperative imposed upon by the great Unknown. Surrounded by mana, mystery and madness, we go without mentor, and are soon without pride or vanity. We find the enchanted isle unfamiliar but festive, as we are receptive to her hypnotic rhythm and exotic display upon arrival. We are greeted by music and the wild beachlife as merit for our intrepid, fortuitous souls. The uncharted island is an ocean wilderness complete with underwater caves and fingers. She is the untainted source and offers epic perfection in a sea life sanctuary. Our untamed spirit and earthly desire, heretofore an untransformed power, taboo and raw, are now safe within her “mindblowin” vicissitudes. Surrounded by emotion and haunted by our shadow side, our visit is replete with chance and but a test of faith; nothing more than opportunity to face challenge and seek measure of how we deal with our shadow or evil within. A near death experience for some, it is darkness like chocolate for others, an ecstatic journey to the wild unkempt fringe, a chance for the vital and uninhibited personality to find emancipation and playtime, having left dogma behind at home.

Illustration Maritmo

We lose flow when distracted away from the natural path. We become selfish, drive others batty, and can’t enjoy life for what it is. Estranged from nature, melancholy forces us to reconsider our Beach Babylon netherworld. Our material attachment has us mired in a confining job, misled by false notions and false gold prophets, thinking we have no choice in the matter. And in our faux rebellion against tedium we take the path of least resistance, turning and running from ourselves. We can’t escape from between the rock and a hard place. Our concrete slab of inexorable excess and surfeit here on Turtle Island is hell on earth, a perfidious place of the living dead. What once smelled of exuberance amid the rot is city air three or 4,000 times more polluted than sea air, with toxins in our waters, and in our bodies, which can no longer be ignored. With more we have less.

Our fallen star is loathing in anger at being abused. Intolerant of limitation but crippled by fear of change, we load up on paranoia but remain insulated from our pain and fear with pot bellies for ourselves and blame for others. Intestinal fortitude gives way to sugar relapse and an intestinal permeability and imbalance. Our fall from grace has us clawing for self respect and self worth, but our weaknesses hold sway. We succumb to temptation and revert to old vices, as we come up lame and weaken. Our craving and compulsion for junk food and junk sex is our escape from dealing with daily phobias. But you cannot run from yourself. No matter where you go, there you are. A belief in suffering follows from our failure to embark upon our inner journey.

Held back? Argue for your limitations and they’re yours. Afraid of what? Exceed your limits, lose your magic. Violate propriety, disrupt the status quo, destroy dogma, and voila, you’re the social goat. As sinner and compulsive iconoclast, we’re frustrated in our struggle between (sensual) freedom and (sexual) bondage. Our random spent energy leaves us undisciplined and without results. And when we come out of our stupor, our surf hangover finds us sunbaked and burnt, none the better for our surf bacchanal. Once haole demigod we are now surf harlequin.

We fell in with the wrong crowd. We coulda, shoulda, woulda, oughtta, gotta – go to Hell Island. We should have said no. Something wasn’t right. It was the nightmare trip hype, the curse of the scorpion. We were the damned, the disenchanted. It was for the experience. You were the hairy, out-of-kilter madman, but a yes man. You didn’t follow your intuition. You were a night owl on the brink of a nervous breakdown, a brooding volcano. You found yourself in hell.

There was no cure for your fever because you were stuck on the rock for the duration. You wouldn’t let the shaper chart your course. You refused the new template. You were a surf addict, but couldn’t find any speed because your board was like molasses. You were dryfuss and got skunked. There were no waves and no “zip-piddy-doo-da” to your surfing. You were a surf glutton for punishment. You were gone and over the falls while exposed reef, boils, close outs and cleanup sets mercifully and mercilessly washed you clean of unwanted ions and inflictions.

Erstwhile fears of mysto localism are not long to find you imagining things behind the bug-eyed, furrowed brows of the local, feral surfers, and while the grubby surf squalor does nothing to belie the illusion of evil and treachery about. Home to a helter-skelter, mutant surf culture, Hell Island is a surfing Alcatraz, a place where thresholds were made to be broken, a spot where truth and fiction do indeed collide. A forbidden island with forbidden knowledge, Hell Island can break a man.

Feast on negative ions. Frolic in the shorebreak but keep your awareness during the frivolity. Educate yourself. Wisdom comes from the love of life. It’s ok to have crazy fun. Get wet. Free your wild spirit within. Skip and go naked surfing. Exercise your free will. Only you can break the chain. Rethink. Choose humanity. Alter your mind. Explore your genius within. Alter your line. Go off course! Enjoy the unknown. Appreciate what life has to offer. Our common bond is our respect for our Mother Ocean. Celebrate surfing’s joy. Unleash your passion. Dance upon the waves. Life is for living. Sundance. Show people another path. Open our eyes and hearts.

Illustration Maritmo

Escape from the scapegoat. Get out of the dogma house. Deal with it. Use the fire’s ire for exorcise. Rid yourself of evil and excess. It’s just ignorance. Return to equilibrium. Balance your self. Meet chaos head on. Rebound off the soup. Respect the locals. Go native. Listen to your elders. Be cool. Our surf gods promise enchantment. Be sensual. Be a belly dancer. Don’t stop. Drop in. Visit with fairies. Be easily amused. Laugh in the face of the devil’s advocate.

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