Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chasing a dream

I am currently reading a review copy of Andy Martin´s new book Stealing the Wave about the battle for supremacy at Waimea Bay between two legendary surfers Ken Bradshaw and Mark Foo. Although I intend to post a review later on, for the moment suffice it so say that it´s a fantastic read for surfers and non-surfers alike. He describes how Ken Bradshaw came out of Texas and took on the North Shore of Hawaii. However, for him surfing was not just something which he happened to be doing. It defined him. Just as Michelangelo took a block of marble and might produce an elephant by carving away everything that did not resemble such an animal so it was for Ken Bradshaw and surfing. Everything else was jettisoned. Reminds me of the comment by former Malibu surfer Bob Cooper about Miki Dora in Dora Lives by C.R.Stecyk II and Drew Kampion, “Was a waste of a life worth a few good waves and a legend?”

For many surfers the answer to this may be yes. However, it raises the much wider question of identity. It is only a very few people who truly take on a single mantle of identity. Some people become over the years the archetypal barrister or solicitor. Judges sometimes do the same. The question it leaves me asking is whether these are people who live with such passion that they end up truly being themselves in all their glory or whether on the other hand, simply through sheer force of will, they shut out all the other myserious and varied parts of their personalities in favour of a dream. Kind of like Bradshaw´s search for the perfect wave. As Andy Martin said, for Bradshaw "[N]othing real could ever match up to his imaginary, ideal wave."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am going to have to get this book. Thanks for the post.

Paula the Surf Mom said...

A very good book, I am in the process of reading it now.

The Barrister Blog said...

Agreed Paula. Glad you´re enjoying it too. Kind of reminds me so far of a good old fashioned western showdown.

Anonymous said...

agreed again. check out his other book walking on water - intense!