Despite the time I've put into surfing, I am only understanding what surfing is now. It takes years of muscle memory and mindfulness to get into the flow state that all the best surfers have: that oneness with the board, that unity with the wave. Each time I take off, I try to funnel my focus into opening my shoulders or reaching with my backhand, but my spools of thought unravel the moment I am buoyed up by my board, unable yet again to locate that elusive clean line.
It is a vocabulary we don't stop building. What is surfing if not enacted language? Years of reading waves and stitching their sections together like you would do to letters so they may form words. We surf until we get that ride that reads like a sentence. The surfer as subject, and each section, a predicate. I feel awe each time I see a surfer get a good ride. I smile at the recognition of a message, and that I knew how to read it.
I like reading poems because of the images the words conjure. Surfing is the reverse. It presents a dynamic and layered and powerful and symbolic image. Now find the words.