"I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves." Ludwig Wittgenstein

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not Quite A Drowning

The approaching five-foot wave had initially looked as if it would pass by and break safely behind him, but unexpectedly, as if it had been hit by a sudden surge of backwash or riptide, had peaked, and broken directly in front of Buck. To avoid being caught inside the break zone, where he knew he would be pushed violently back toward shore, Buck immediately thrust the sharp nose of his surfboard down beneath the on-coming avalanche of roiling whitewater, as he frantically attempted to press the board down into the safer depths, toward the sandy bottom.

With his eyes closed and the rush of gritty sea water sounding like a strangled roar, he felt the resistant buoyancy of the surfboard push him back up toward the bubbling surface. For a fleeting moment, Buck's surfboard had become a writhing body on which he lay, one that violently resisted his downward intention, and refused to be 'drowned.'

A few seconds later, gasping for air, Buck surfaced on the backside of the breaker and felt a moment of relief, as he turned his board around to face the smooth backs of the successive waves rolling toward shore. With much effort, Buck had managed to paddle out beyond the breaking waves, and now sat upright on the glassy, gently rolling surface, where the undulating groundswell of the early forming combers offered an illusory sense of peace and tranquility.

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