There was a storm offshore that day, I forget which one, but everybody raced down to the coast to surf.
Except for myself, I brought a board but was present mainly to chill beside a cooler, doing my thing as Surf Director. Not that I was ever a real good surfer. But this time I had an excuse to lay low except for a few sorties out to pee in the ocean and make it look like I was jumping waves. I was still recovering from a broken hip. By that I mean a hip socket crushed like a saltine cracker, not a grandpa-type break, not a help-I’ve-fallen-down-and-can’t-get-up thing.
Anyway, the sound of crashing surf pummeled my ear drums in sync with gulls ,screeching, I’d been feeding crackers to.I watched my friend walk down the beach with his board, saying he was going to give it another try. Then, in the other direction, I watched another guy limping along carrying his shorty in two parts.
I wondered what he planned to do with it. If it was me, I’d have saved it as a wall hanger, a trophy of sorts, a Metal of Honor for fighting the waves that day instead of just sitting, drinking, thinking about nothing, accomplishing nada except my bag of empty cans.
As we were driving home I thought about that ruined surfboard. The image of it in my mind, for a reason I didn’t understand just then doing 85 on I-26, made me decide that one of these days I’ll paddle out there and try to stand up again. Keep the dream alive even if it’s broken in two.
Good art does that. Makes us turn in directions we’d given up or never considered in the first place.
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Check out what others have done –re-purposing surfboards as art. Article: (Old retired surfboards get a new life as artwork.)
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— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill