Monday, October 25, 2010

She Surfs, She Sits, She Doesn't Go

The buddies and I went out Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m.: all of us, I think, leaving our families blissfully asleep while we went out to catch some Santa Monica waves.

The air was super cold but the water - super warm. That was a very pleasant surprise, especially compared to life at home: which this week had been filled with many unpleasant surprises. Husband was having an existential/marital crisis of unprecedented darkness and I had been spending much of my energy and attention holding things together and not making them worse by having fits or screaming my head off in fear and exasperation.

I was tired and a little disoriented on the way to the beach; there was some very ordinary confusion about parking lots, dollar bills versus quarters and whether I should get my caffeine infusion before or after our session  (I was also on the first day of my period: a detail from which I shielded the guys). But I was nearly ecstatic to walk into the ocean with my board and all that was quickly forgotten.

Kind of. I caught some good waves on my knees, which is how I'm taking them these days. Rather than focusing on the full standing balance, I'm focusing on the novel act of...focusing. Turns out I've spent my life focused on the tip of my nose rather than what's in front of me, and there is an entire chapter of an entire book to be devoted to that metaphor.

Nevertheless, after only about twenty minutes I felt fatigued and not interested in surfing. Instead, I was interested in sitting on my board and looking at the ocean. My identity, the new "surfer mama" identity I've created, was like "NO! You must surf! You must show the buddies that you can do it! You must go!" As they say: "Eddie would go!"

But I didn't go. My identity wanted to show off. But transformation, which is what this is really about, is not about identity. It's about transcending identity to come from something deeper. Call it "capital 'S' Self," call if "soul," call it what you like. But what it said to me on Sunday was this: "You've been working really hard all week to keep it together. You've been doing a lot. Take some time to yourself. Sit a while. Look at the waves. Rest. You are going to need it."

So I did. And it was good.

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