August 11, 2014

Surfing. ~ Kelly Russell

wave sunset tube surfing

I fell in love, once.

There were rules I had to follow. “You text too much,” he would say. “You are so damn needy.” And so, I’d leave him alone for days.

“You don’t care enough about me,” he would complain. “You are so cold to ignore me.” His rules were always changing.

I saw them just the other day. He pushed her hair back from where it had fallen into her eyes. He was tender. I stood there like a fool with my mouth hanging ajar. I marveled at her mastery.

“Do you miss him?” my best friend says. No.

I miss the person I was before I met him.

Sometimes when something breaks you and you put yourself back together, parts of you are crooked. I can’t get straight. It seems impossible.

We walk the beach at night. He tells me stories. I laugh like stars. It feels easy. But, easy is the snare that always catches. Nothing ever is… easy. When he kisses me, he never closes his eyes. This does not mean he sees me.

“We always want what we can’t have,” he says. And I agree, but I don’t really mean it. I throw my hair back and laugh. I never admit the things that hurt me. Until I do. And that is when he leaves me.

“I’m sorry I am not enough for you,” I tell him. “The surf is going to be perfect Wednesday. Something to look forward to,” he answers. “I’m sad,” I say.


He is already busy looking for the next wave. I mean very little to him.

On the beach, a powerful mermaid tells me about anti-fragility. I look at the muscles in her arms as I struggle to carry my board and the trash I keep collecting. Anti-fragility goes beyond robustness. It means that something does not just withstand a shock, it actually becomes stronger because of it. I can’t stay small forever.

Surfing. It’s not just an act but such a beautiful metaphor. Today, I struggled. I will eventually get upright. My arms are tired, but they will get stronger. There is salt in my hair, and on my skin.

Everything is water. And, yet land exists. It simply has to.

I walk back to the car and my wet feet become sandy. I pack away my board and take one last look at the horizon.

I simply let things go as waves crash and retreat. The shoreline constantly reforms herself.


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Apprentice Editor: Yaisa Nio / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Trevor Murphy / Pixoto

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