Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lessons from big wave riders

Parts of this article will appear in 'Why Lawyers Should Surf'' (co-authored with Dr Michelle Tempest) which is now available on Waterstone's website here or can be ordered from XPL Publishing on 0870 079 8897 (p&p is included). Extracts from the book can be found here. To see a review of the book in The Independent click here.

In The Problem of Pain, C.S.Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”. Perhaps it’s this complicated relationship between insight and suffering which allows people to take even extreme risks. In The Book of Waves, Drew Kampion said:

“Picture a twister lying on its side in the ocean, pulling the water over and around itself like a ragged, raging blanket, its wider open end revealing a swirling hollowed-out cavern of spitting, hissing power, rolling like a giant tunnel toward the shore. Imagine the kind of man who’d want to put himself in the eye of this thundering killer, who – like a matador to an avalanche – would wish to stand coolly in the raging glass fist, while time grinds nearly to a halt and where the secrets of immortality are whispered to those who have ears to hear.”

Big waves as the forces of life itself. Sometimes bearing down, at other times careering us forward as if floating on air. Big waves directing us through life’s mysteries. Rainer Maria Rilke:

“We are the bees of the invisible.
We distractedly plunder
the honey of the visible in order to
accumulate it within
the golden hive of the invisible.”

We don’t all need to be big wave riders. But they can teach us not to fear the unknown. To rise to the challenge and see the benefits of taking some risks. To realise that through acts of courage, facing fear, insight can flourish.


J.P. said...

Hi Tim, I linked you on surfy surfy. Peace,

SlowPolk said...

hello from SD, CA...nice blog!

A Bowl Of Stupid said...

Great choice of topics, mate. I look forward to reading more!

Andy C said...

As a skydiver I can echo those sentiments. There is something holy when you reach into the unknown. What you draw back is something only you understand fully; yet it's impact is far reaching in those you touch.