Saturday, March 12, 2011

Be a Surfer

Today was a glittering gorgeous day. One of those days that makes me extra-aware of the fact that I live in Southern California and not The Bronx, London or Chicago.

Still, I was on the fence about going out. There were so many ways I could have used those precious two hours during which a friend promised to watch the kids: a last-minute private school tour, a coffee shop wi-fi session with my book proposal, a yoga class, a veg-out with Netflix or Hulu.

But surfing is fun, serves my life's purpose, stirs my creativity and keeps me fit. I mean, really. There was no contest.

The waves were flat at first. There was a lot of paddling. I got lazy. And I got pounded. By some really small waves. Why? I wasn't paying attention. I was lollygagging, hanging out, non-committally going for waves, but not really meaning it. I was a "kook", as surfers would say with derision: in surfspeak, a loser.

But then I remembered something, Many years ago, I had a boyfriend named Tim. When I'd told him that I wanted to be a filmmaker, he pulled an old business card out of his rolodex. It said "Spike Lee. Filmmaker." This guy that no one had ever heard of had given it to him years ago at a party.  If you want to be a filmmaker, he was telling me, BE a filmmaker.

And then I got it - be a surfer. Even if I have to pretend. Even if I have to put it on.  Don't ask what Jesus would do. Ask "what would a surfer do?"

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