Waterman * IV
illustration Roy Gonzalez
Surfing has been called, “a royal sport for the natural kings of the earth.” The waterman is a complete water athlete, the whole surfer. He is intimate with every nuance of the sea and devoid of beach regalia. He is a prodigious paddler, big wave rider and lifesaver. He is rough water swimmer with “Kahanamoku kick.” He is human fish. As merman, he is seaworthy, and becomes one with all sea life, a tribute to the Original Way of our water peoples. The tradition of waterman comes from Polynesia, hence the waterman paddles outrigger, free dives and learns spear fishing. He is our Popeye of the Pacific. As tandem surfer, the waterman is symbolic of working with the waterwoman, in harmony with natural law. As Lancelot of the waves, he sits furthest outside and is driven by the biggest, gnarliest and most testing of conditions. “Surefooted and with feet squarely planted,” he takes majestic drops and makes sweeping turns. He alludes modestly to giant surf, but his forte is power surfing, and it’s all in the name of romancing the sea goddess.
In seeking out the sea goddess, the waterman shares with us his affinity for the sea. He is attracted to the integrity of the ocean, and like her, wishes to be sovereign unto himself. In overcoming his fear of an ocean bigger than the all of us, the waterman has gained an amphibious wisdom and character. He knows that a real understanding of the ocean lends confidence. The waterman presides with an equity due his prolific nature. As our unspoken chief, he penetrates with a water knowledge, gained over a lifetime. His experiences afford his clarity when he speaks. He takes down confusion, and as jovial storyteller, lifts the curtain on the mystical. As overseer he is expansive and gentle, and knows when to listen or wait. As father figure, he is benevolent authority. He takes responsibility for himself and leads by example. He is imperturbable, patient and steadfast. His stability is due to a belief in preparation, proper handling and completion. He is solid, disciplined and has the will power of a warrior spirit.
Often obsessive about his manhood, his training regimen affords him superb physical condition. The waterman wears water well. He is in top shape, if not statuesque. As our Brahma-built, beach Adonis, the waterman is straightforward, but is often only taken at face value and dealt with on a surface level. He is form over substance, structured, and emotionally detached. The male inspires, but still must seek out the feminine for balance. The waterman is yearning to be intimate, to feel deeply within. Unfortunately for him, his orientation is external with little accommodation for the internal. There is tension between doing the heartfelt or in keeping with convention and order. This leaves him emotionally overwhelmed and resigned to encumbrance. Subject to dullness, he now requires a daily dose of the wild. He becomes aggressive. His ego tempts his daredevil within to come out and play thrillseeker. He is stubborn and with dogged resolve, he pushes his body over the edge and to exhaustion. This threatens his sexual potency. He is then hard on himself and becomes judgmental. He can be an imposition.
The waterman gains motivation from a repressed anger within. His inner fire burns restless, not still. He becomes industrious and learns to build upon his achievements. Are you fulfilled? Do you keep growing? The waterman is a reminder to immerse yourself in life and to not be detached from nature. Refine your daily rhythm. Are you too focused? Do you need to loosen your grip? The waterman knows the secret to paddling is to relax. He gives in to the rhythm, as he is deeply connected to the constitution he feels in nature. The waterman is a call to the wild, our return to nature. Enjoy your body. Be mindful. In preservation of our Mother Ocean and by taking care of our sea life, the waterman knows that the ocean will stay intact. The waterman embodies the strength of purity and the glorification of goodness. Virtue is a most fragile thing and most difficult to find. In turbulent times, we look to the waterman.