souls * moondog, quasimodo, cliffdweller, kahuna

moondog * soul of winds

illustration Alexandre Flores Torrano

Legendary surfrider Tom Blake lived in the Wisconsin woods for a time out of his car, and of which is nothing new under the moon for our hometown fave Moondog. He’ll live in a milk truck on the beach if he has to. He’s surf “gist and jest in one.” As “eminence grise of our surf cult,” he eats, sleeps and surfs. He’s usually found between the latitudes of the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. He prefers southern climes as the Northern Hemi is hard on his lifestyle. He is surf truant living grass shack, ascetic style, under a palapa. He has been known to homestead in abandoned Quonset huts. As surf gypsy, he doesn’t think “surf bum.” He’s the “Winnie the Pooh” of surfing. As beach mendicant he’s found “whispering surf sutras about the Mother Ocean from behind the palm fronds.” With waves in the bank and the wind at his back, he’s “got stars in his future.” Our beachcomber is really busy surfing. He has to have water time. “If the conditions are right, he’ll walk away from any job or woman, to spend a day in the water with friends.” He has the courage to be true to her. As a true surfer, he lives in a tiki hut and sleeps in his board bag. Whether on the cliff or lying in marine grass, he blows with the wind and shifts with the tide. He is our Lancelot of surfing. As surf icon, he goes out again and again.

illustration Daryn McBride

Moondoggy wouldn’t trade his life for nothin’. He’s dug in, and just hangs out. All traditional workaday careers have long ago lost any and all appeal in his world. He is a slave to the rhythm, and “sheds clothes like distractions.” He’s a minimal man and doesn’t have problems to solve. He deals with things in an unorthodox way. Of a wayward and intractable mind, he never falls in with rules and regulations. Of valid discord and unequivocal in his disregard, he relates on another level. As beach savant, he’s telepathic and clairvoyant, and runs outside the norm. “Unorganized in our over organized world,” he is “deprogrammed,” and unbound by social censure. Misunderstood due to a lack of a goal or quantifiable achievement, he poses questions for others. He thinks for himself. A man of simple ways and means, he’s got no car nor TV, and comes unencumbered and unadorned. He’s priceless. He’s sacrificed his material well being to be at peace. He’s paid the piper and been humbled. Not self lauding, he aspires to spirit and is emotionally accessible. Noninterfering, he is passive, tolerant and patient. Serene and grounded, he takes his time and is thoughtful. When at ease and relaxed he can be quite personable and a storyteller. As beach bard, he is a tender companion with soft body and a gentle soul. As beach chum and safe harbor, he stays put and is forever resigned to the beach life. His natural bohemian lifestyle feeds his mystique, but his only real desire is to have food and herb for the day without exerting himself too much. He has no timetable and no watch, with no plans and no itinerary. He probably didn’t notice, and was at least oblivious to you, as he only wants to be healthy and happy.

Illustration Nathan Gibb

Moondoggy is the itinerate surfer wrestling with his white waters of emotion. Characterized by deep emotions that are not always well expressed, he can be found brooding and overcome by emotions. He can be a burden, as he is burdened by an uncertain destiny. Iconoclast and indignant, he finds social norms as nothing but a nagging irritation. Sometimes mistaken for a beach heathen or reclamation project, self doubt is his constant companion. As social discard or ragtag peasant, he is melancholic and feels marginalized, and is seen as troubled. His appearance of idleness leaves him looking slovenly, and of slackness. His perpetual inaction and indolent pastime, mark his languorous nature. People think he’s doggin’ it. He questions his esteem and can be hypersensitive. Irritable and territorial, he can be ornery and a bit crabby. Bottomed out, he is at his surf nadir. He’s a dog. Lazy and not ambitious, he can even be a bit scroungey. With no money, and no honey, he’s got no prospects, and “will never make a suitable husband.” He’s been rejected, neglected, and found out as generally unacceptable. At stasis, he’s been rendered near soporific. Of sentimental drift, he’s on auto pilot, “a symptom perhaps more of a societal sickness than a personal one.” Moondoggy’s got no use for technology and is not of the modern age. Not always of the best equipment, he surfs unevenly, “like he’s lugging something around.” He’s an enigma, and at once, of both a chimerical and low brow sensibility. At times removed and an ambivalent intellectual, with scattered thoughts and without focus, he maintains a frivolous aura. With others, he can be recalcitrant, and laconic, even pithy. “Peculiarity breeds contempt.” He’s a surf dope that just never left. More than anything, he’s just “tired of feeling guilty about enjoying surfing.”

Illustration Odile Schlossberg

“Drop your troubles by the waterside.” The beach life is a reward unto itself. “Plan for what?” The meek shall inherit the earth. Moondoggy accepts the ocean and earth lifestyle as his life. He accepts himself. Do not envy as the best things in life are free. “Solutions to what?” Technology enslaves. Material differences have become too pronounced. He shares of himself. “What’s there to evaluate?” Less is more. Be truthful. Tomorrow never comes. No worries. Moondoggy is right here, right now. Wow! He is in the moment, at present, and all the while, mired deep in his “compost for the soul.” His soul can touch you. He is modern day Dodah and owns “an understanding not known by our dominant culture.” Trying too hard? Vanquish the mind and learn to move freely with your thinking. Get by with what you have. Take only what you need. From materialism to spirituality, find a guide unto your underworld. With good mind and guardianship, you may well come upon, “unsuspecting divine mind.”

illustration Alexandre Flores Torrano

quasimodo * soul of waves

Surfing as a meditation makes evident our relationship with our ocean of creation. We learn a love for her, and for all our relations. There is a “solidarity among surfers in relation to the ocean,” almost as an act of thanks, or as if in a trance. We are in love with the ocean and are touched by her. “Deep surfing” as such, finds one “at home in the womb,” and at one with our surf satori. In testament, our grateful surfer has dedicated his “Quasimodo” head dip, in symbolic gratitude. As silent surfer, he surfs the song in his heart for all to see, and rides a spinning wave, alive with joy and freedom, high on pure stoke as the happy surfer. He knows the joy of the sea. As surf ballerina, he has a beautiful and smooth, natural style. Our surf Zen joyride reveals the ocean of Eden unto us, as we succumb to the Point of Pleasure.

Young at heart, we play the part of the lover and show our true colors. “Heartfelt emotion holds sway over reason,“ as we find our “way to harmony within and with our surroundings” without. Our state of “amazing grace” gives rise to an unobstructed expression of our heartfelt experience. With deep reverence and humility, we share of the wellspring within, of our gratuity and of our unending essence. Our action is louder than words as our natural response is non resistance and to flow with life. In the spirit of servitude and with veneration, we have deep feelings and think with our heart. Our behavior sets the tone and generates fraternal feelings. We are well liked and have our admirers.

Quasimodo is the quintessential “cosmic cosmo,” and entrenched within the “good vibe tribe.” Of an indigenous aesthetics, he is natural mystic and knows of the Unknown. His hidden spiritual power reveals itself during rapturous ritual and ceremony. Of an existential attitude, he shows up waxing philosophical, but leaves in deference to his more surrendered, humanistic side. Not of an intellectual approach, he opens more by way of intuitive introspection than just contemplative considerations. As an ahimsa adherent, there is a gentleness and calmness to him. His body language communicates his light and warm hearted, kind and sensitive nature. He is a gardener of redemption. He loves children and is an incurable romantic. He puts home before work, and needs to love and be loved. Friendly and generous, his contentment is felt in his bones and body. Perpetually young and of eternal youth, he is full of good spirits and laughter. Impromptu and spirited, he knows how to have fun. Playful and artistic he is open to truth and not out to dominate. Balanced and free of prejudice, he is humble and uncomplicated. Not afraid, he is fully alive and fulfilled. We’ve “got the love,” and are lost in grace.

Leonardo Da Vinci Chalk Portrait by Daryn McBride

All the same, Quasimodo can be emotional. Not objective with himself, he can be cut off from reality. Lost, but with good intentions, advice flows freely from our “surf drunk.” Self gratification governs his secret thoughts as he pours out flattery and compliments. Often left as despised, he is to be taken with caution. He’s got a wide circle of off beat acquaintances, but inwardly he’s a loner. Others rarely know him, although they think they do. As he becomes more withdrawn, he’s left empty in the long run.

Reciprocate emotionally. Make your feelings evident. As we feel towards her, we feel towards others, and for ourselves. Show love for her. Quasimodo takes the responsibility to care for her. Make a memorable gesture of goodwill, with “deeds, not words.” Plant a tree. Salute the sea. Be subtle enough to acquiesce to the waves without, and our divinity within. Excuse any “performance standard” and contemplate the divine. It’s a dance. You cannot be rigid. Relax. Surf in harmony. Live the dream. Invite perfection. Give thanks and praise. Nourish others with goodwill for all. Be touched and found. Be happy to just be. Bring a smile to others. Lighten things up. Humor others with dignity. Pause to reflect and yield to the ineffable joy of love and piety. It’s all “fair dinkum.” Tap your inner reserves and follow the “intuitive path.” The crown chakra opens unto your transcendental experience, with your joyride but symbolic offering, unto our “unification with the original source.”

Illustration John Mason

Her Majesty by Victoria Trujillo

cliff dweller * soul of rocks

Illustration Alexandre Flores Torrano

“It’s not that they don’t like, other surfers…. it’s just that they feel better, when they’re not around.” The cliff dweller is our surf stalwart and select member to any “sub rosa surf sect,” per se, with “minimal intersection on the whole” with our surfing world. “Sure footed in and out of the water,” he has never bought into the hype of contests, or in with any of our commercial, surf industry aspects. The cliff dweller sees the ocean and surfing as sacred, and gathers daily at cliff top. He spends quality time with his spot and makes daily visitations. He wouldn’t surf anywhere else. For most, winter predominates, with summer more for sabbaticals, as “the slow cycle through one’s home grounds, answers all need for seasonal movement, as swell and wind come from different directions, with somewhere breaking well on virtually every variation.” His homebreak is often already a natural surf temple, with “barrier to entry steep during periods of swell.” As “surfioso” and the “Unknown surfer,” the cliff dweller is baykeeper and keeps “baywatch” with his fellow “dogs of winter.” Whether rockrider helgie or simply the unlikely “unsurfer,” the cliff dweller leaves well knolled knots on surfing’s family tree.

Illustrations Alexandre Flores Torrano

golden surf sled by Ron Croci

The cliff dweller knows his place. Of an unadulterated, bedrock philosophy and majestic perspective, he is down to earth and understands our connection to the land. As faithful bay guardian he is custodian of our coastal treasury. As local caretaker of our “enriching environment,” he is single minded in upholding any locally held “bastions of tradition.” He walks and gets to the Point. He has staying power. He is keeper of the land and extols the complete exploration of your local territory. Of spiritual strength and prophetic vision, he has been gifted with “crow medicine” and is gatekeeper between levels of consciousness. Like ancient, indigenous souls, he is keeper of the sacred, and not swayed by, nor has much need for modern man, nor age. Not overly concerned with his popularity outside the tribe, he is protective of the clan’s silent credo and steadfast in his support of the tribe’s sovereignty. His deep conviction is of a wayward and intractable mind, and shows of his loyalty to the inner circle. He is always there for you. Garbed in local uniform, he is entrenched within a clandestine solidarity, a virtual encampment within our sacred surf Rota. Solitude is his seat of comfort, grateful for his own resolute and stable spirit. Like gnomes and “mudheads” before him, he is of an herbal knowing and midwinter weatherman, and sure that his “paraffin paradox” is in no need of change.

“The water molecule is unbelievably hard and hates to bend or stretch,” which is the core essence of the cliff dweller despite the “collective properties” of the surfer on the whole. Inflexible and unyielding, he is left isolated and stuck out in the cold. As lost surfer on the Lost Coast, he is “frustrated with our urban malaise,” and resigned to life as scalawag holdout. His stubborn intellect is short on compassion, as he is an estranger to strangers. His narrowmindedness limits outside opportunities and contact. Socially stranded, his character has a lonely destiny in waiting. Impassive, his steely eyed gaze will rarely change as he hides from within his pained mental fortress. Irascible upon intrusion, he holds other “knobheads” in contempt, with the harried visitors often unaware of his territorial imperatives. His dictates hold sway as his “ruthless maintenance of code” and logic is essential to enforce. His private province is well patrolled as the local beach heathen goblins reputation precedes them. Insecure under their armor, the unchallenged alpha males are like tyrannical “urchins,” whose overreaction shows of their weakness.

Our misanthropic intolerance and malevolent, untoward behavior looms ominous as the raven sits on exposed rocks. Sardonic and bemused at once, the cliff dweller will not surrender unto his sensual freedom. Our stone faced stink eye belies our genteel upbringing, as we ourselves are of the highland hoi polloi, and hole up with the rich elite. Such self betrayal begets a “reality that he breaks down and acts out what he most despises,” as “conditions can force a fellow to participate in the human drama and surf the more crowded breaks in town.” Long a symbolic holdout from mass globalization, localism is like the baying of sea lions. In this case of “beach melody versus urban malady,” the cliff dweller is a dwindling sub species and a cult of antiquity. Behind the scenes, and times, his primeval “patina of cynicism” has lost its luster and he feels threatened. His unexplained misfortune stems from his malice.

Gates of Bali by Ron Croci

kahuna * soul of rays

Our pagan high priest of the Pacific, is surf shaman and swami. She is the whole surfer, and often an avid surfrider. As surf metaphysician she puts “shingle” on her surf shack with the sign, “Dr.’s in!” She knows that “the ocean is naturally healing,” and that there is “nothing a good day of surfing can’t cure.”

Volcano by Zen Del Rio

Under thatched roof held over his bamboo tiki hut, our beach bhagavan is “catalytic conduit unto our spirit world” and offers passage unto the Unseen. With seeing eye she reveals what may be “unapparent to the untrained eye.” As channel for “Great Spirit” she communicates with ancestors and our “aumakua.” Of indigenous myth and mystical origins, she watches for signs from animal helpers and birds. And as shamans originate from nomadic culture, she “interfaces with all faces,” and “knows the Way.” Into the inipi she is deeply respectful and of shamanic counsel, as she shares of sacred prophecy. As she orchestrates sacred rituals she shares up of age old chants, or “mele,” and knows the heiau is for praying and leaving offerings. She does her work. Versatile with her tools and resources, she opens doors and carefully listens and attends to our requests. Devoted to spirit, she attracts good into our lives. As karma cleaner, she releases negative or stuck energies. She turns others on. Unassuming and accessible, she offers safe harbor and respite from storm. She accommodates the forsaken and mitigates the pain of the doleful. When in dire straits we look to her as oracle and spiritual guardian. Her wealth of understanding and deep pool of wisdom is life giving. Gentle and tender, her laughter is delightful. Enamored with life, she lives in full color yet retains her innocence and soft spoken ways. With “green heart” and healing spirit, she works untiringly as faithkeeper and collaborator with our unspoken truths. Patient and humble, she practices noninterference. She prefers not to be in the limelight and retreats within herself to renew her creative, regenerative power. Her “paranormal faculties” leave her as psychic custodian and untamed spirit helper. Into the darkness, she is pathworker playing with rattle and prayer stick, holding space as healer with compass in our healing circle. As simpler she instructs. As “echo beach patron,” wielding whalebone as her staff, she guides. Her counterpart is our "sensitive male,” who is “wholly man.” Our grandfather kahuna, like noble pagans before him, wears well of a developed feminine receptivity, and is still disposed of a virile, phallic energy. They have good mana.

Yet our unnatural ways persist. It is a challenge to remain “in our body.” We find ourselves emotionally detached, and at odds with our Western World of avarice. Our inability to change course stems from our internalized emotions. And it is from here we seek out the “temple of taboo.” Resigned and mischievous, we enlist the help of the kahuna who cautions us against borrowing black sand or collecting coastal artifacts. He will warn us of danger and imbalance, yet we are of cool ardor.

Acknowledge your hidden emotions. Be human. Move beyond fear. You have a natural immunity. Your inner jewels and treasures are found within. Defer the material to simplicity. Make a covenant with the occult. Use your psychic gifts to heal. Get the pono back. Creativity flows out from balance. Easier said than done? You have the right to remain silent. You cannot foresee everything there is to know. Pray for wisdom. The kahuna reminds the haole to breathe. You still have to leave under your own sail and powers. Be attentive. Look within your own heart, for the “wisdom of the heart.” Ask how to live. How are you in relationship to all things, and all our relations? “aho mitakuye oyasin.” Treat others how you wish to be treated. How you treat others is indicative of how your treat yourself. Show the way to a new day. Help others find their proverbial pot o’ gold at the end of their rainbow. Reveal the spirit world to others. Share of your shamanic journey and of the process of soul retrieval. If they walk away, respect that they’re not ready yet. The kahuna offers up redemption without stipulation.

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