the kook * XVI
Illustration Gomez Bueno
Our surf goon has been enshrined as “Wilbur Kookmeyer.” He is surf plebian, val, troll, over-aged amper and the occasional pseudo surfer. He is one of us, but not. He is not a waterman and has no style. The kook is adorned with a kook cord or matching top and bottom aloha wear. He doesn’t know the trail, wears his (neon) wetsuit down the cliff, dons a colored board with stickers and is a stink-eye magnet. As the vocal unlocal he is overstoked and has had one hassle too many, surfing beyond himself and his abilities. He is undergunned and in over his head, always a stroke too late. “On a wave like an avalanche, with cascading lip,” he gets pitched and free falls, falling off his board, “left behind in the pit, and swallowed by the peak,” riding too steep and too deep. He is our plastic fantastic and ding repair extraordinaire. He rides a pig board and surfs like one too. He snakes us, drops in and cuts others off. The straight south is his symbolic wind, with storm surf over lumpy horizon, and chop in the face perfect for his bumpy rodeo ride. He is our surfing effigy. Sunburned and washed up, he is the sulphurous surfer. Unbeknownst to him and many others of us, he simply desires surf solidarity and needs clarity from the older locals.
illustration Shannon McIntyre
The kook is exposed and out in the open. We hold his foibles as folly. As beach Babylon resident and tenderfoot, he looks the part, but is not yet living the part. It’s his vice versus our status quo. We think we’re better than the kook. We have a superiority complex. Pride lowers our vibration. We play the “vice squad.” Whether mokes or hodads, we are kooks when our ego and aggression outweighs our ability. Subsequently, a “heavy” event or cataclysmic “happening” gives way to disgust with oneself and leads the kook to a new perspective. His process of ascent is one of awkward growth and incalculable catharsis. His is baptism by beach bonfire of the vanities. Any abstinence finds ego and vanity in its stead. It’s supernatural versus superego.
The kook is an unnatural. He is out of rhythm, disconnected and has no roots. The relationship is analogous to a fallow field. Our crops haven’t been rotated. Monoculture and pest(icide)s have overcome his natural defenses, as our soil lies fallow with the invariable insect surfers decimation to follow. His is a worthless yield. His spot (to be) has been oversurfed with cars, pavement and kooks. A modern man of the modern age, he is an inlander “burdened with taxes, divorce and a day job,” with an office that has a “400 times greater concentration of chemicals in the air than outside.” He breathes car exhaust and eats pesticides, and it shows. He contributes to industrial waste and electromagnetic radiation. He uses an electric blanket, watches television, and has a microwave, computer and clock; but still he is unconnected and without connection.
He suffers the indignity of our betrayal. He is an unknown, a nobody, he’s not really from here. Abandoned by his tribe, he is the estranged. Ostracized and dismissed, he is our discard. Yet we are impervious to our own imperious tilt and lean. With few regrets and little remorse, we remain indignant and contentious. He is dumbfounded and soon incommunicado. He just doesn’t get it. However perverse and irrational, he is held with contempt. The loss of dignity and self respect leaves him feeling unworthy and ashamed. His guilt trip is complex, feeling part masochist, but more a deep seated fear that he has been neglectful of his home locale and our local code. He is an expatriate faced with a loss of identity. Our fall from grace leaves relations ruptured as mental slavery finds sway. As drama queen or trauma king, the kook can be recalcitrant towards the locals, but a bad attitude is his biggest threat and will attract trouble. Disharmony begets dullness and the kook is without glow. Floundering and degenerate we are confused and unimpressive. We are rude and bellicose and can be inconsiderate, if not antagonistic. We’re not in the spirit of good vibes. But when the pariah is persecuted it destroys the vibe and experience for everyone.
Even so, despite warning or insult, the kook still takes his waves by hook or by crook, and surfs by the seat of his pants. His movement is one of ridiculous jerking motions and unneeded actions and maneuvers; and whether copycat or just grossly overconfident, our surf media blows up his ego. As the tower of babble, his talk precedes any action, with little or no follow thru. The big mouth digs a hole for himself. His open trap door is foolproof tool for self entrapment. As a high rolling low-life, the yahoo has a fat head and a big ego. He thinks he’s the king, but he’s more an incompetent pauper. He’s not committed nor dedicated. He’s a burn out with no pulse. Relapses render a dinosaur mentality that is individualistic and attached. He just can’t let go. Thick in the head and with body in excess, he is a knobhead that is overextended and at times even aggressive. He can cause accidents. He resists spirituality and the feminine, and is our interrupted silence.
The kook always gets taken down. Sacrifice your ego. Show some humility. Make changes. “If you do not like where you are in your life – move.” Draw a different line. Divorce yourself from hindrance. Clear away debris. Purge via positive elimination. Renew and become anew. Get wet. Water absorbs the charge of negative energy. How can you be a kook in paradise? Don’t be a donkey. To drop in on another is a cardinal sin. Don’t cut others off. Share waves. Don’t be a wavehog. Let one go. Go surfing. The ocean is naturally healing. Be one with the ocean pulse. Ask not what you can do for yourself, but for what you can do for this ocean and earth.
Look to what’s sacred. A kava ceremony can be sudden enlightenment. An inipi or sweat lodge may allow for a new opening. Detox. Suntrip for a new vantage point. Burn out impurities. The medicine circle is a catalyst for insight. Prioritize. Get a Bali massage. Soak up the feminine sway of the Big Island. Find your oasis without then within. Go from warrior without to goddess within. Reemerge liberated. Look to make a major transformation. The bolt of inspiration “descends upon us like the fury of the heavens.” Surf in a rainstorm. See rainbows. Change is inevitable and unavoidable. Revamp your quiver. Wave size clears out kooks. Take off. Shut hole. Free fall. You are the fallen victor. Surf clean, live clean. Eat clean. Don’t buy into the stereotype. We need more surf farmers of the wavefields. Eat green. Surf green.
The kook is beach compost for our souls. She is our “mutant message from down under.” As disguised messenger he is surf heretic and mistreated revolutionary. When his “words not deeds” go unheeded, we lose out on the chance for mutual illumination. Her foresight is misunderstood. Remember our roots. Are you being unkind to your own kind? How much does your ego show when you ridicule the kook? Are you threatened by her? Do you think of him as lesser, or do you see some of yourself in him or her? Identify the fear within you. What are those barriers to intimacy? We are imprisoned by our fears. Do you feel trapped, walled in or stifled by your job? Break out. Shatter what’s artificial. Break free. Reveal repression. The walls will come down.
Illustration Gomez Bueno
How long can you endure separation from the tribe? You can’t hide any longer. The debate is over. Hide and seek ends, ready or not. You desire union and a return to soul. Feel good. Allow people to be who they are. Be supportive. Do not interfere with anyone else’s life. Rediscover your humanity. Allow people their freedom. You want yours. “The separation in the world is a result of a separation within each individual’s own mind.” Words can be like weapons, they can hurt. Stop projecting. Discard unneeded beliefs and believe in people. Believe in yourself. Convert anger and aggression to compassion. Regulate the inner flame within and turn rage into hope, instead of out-rage. The kook portends separation and fear. Take heed and face challenges within. We must acknowledge the kook within and overcome with Providence. The challenge is to love, and to connect, to bring love and connection into your life and (all) our lives.