the stoke

The other night my family & I went to a new restaurant in Muizenberg.  While waiting for our food, we discovered a pile of surfer magazines.  Upon reading an article or two, my husband said, “Surfers have their priorities straight.  They are all about the stoke”.  aka – the whole reason for living…the “pinch me I’m alive”…the “sick, bru!  just rode a killer barrel (wave)!” flavor of it all.

I have to say – the first time I went surfing, I did feel the same way.  I was Giggling.  Literally.  I have to say in total honesty that it was one of the most fun days of my entire life.

I grew up water-skiing & downhill skiing a Lot.  It was part of life.  We ice-skated, swam, & water-skiied in our backyard.  We road our bikes to school, etc. etc.  We weren’t Trying to “be active”.  We just were.  It was just part of our lives.

Now that I look back, I am so grateful for all of this, & also recollect that the absolute best times in my life have been on top of a mountain, flying on a wave, or sitting next to a campfire. (bonus if all of this was followed or precluded by a 3rd-class bus ride in a very colorful country with a taco in hand!)  😉 But – that’s besides the point!  (kind of!).  The essence of what I’m talking about here is often so simply and primarily:  The outdoors.  It is, (also):  the things/places/experiences in life that remind us and connect us again to the “life!” in our lives.

And, this brings me back to “the stoke”, & the whole premise behind every piece of art it seems I’ve ever gone about creating.  When drawing an apple, I am celebrating that apple.  I am taking the apple out of it’s ordinary context and saying, “Look at this apple!  It’s freaking gorgeous!  It”s freaking delicious!  The flavor!  The ripeness!  The plumpness!  The color!”.  When I take a bed into a city street & have a kid, a garbageman, & a famous politician jump on it, I’m saying, “Look at how cool this bed is!  Look at this!  We can jump on it!”

It’s regaining that fresh perspective and appreciation for it all.  To quote myself again, “My intent is to take something simple like a leaf, or a carrot, or a fat lady’s bum; and give it the glory it deserves.”

And I’ll end with this haiku I wrote one recent morning:

Loving the surfers

Outside my window flying

Salt-crusted soul-food

———————————

Thank you, surfers, for your “stoke” & your inspiration.  cheers.

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