Thursday, April 09, 2009

That Extremely Good Stuff

An excerpt from Jaimal Yogis's new book Saltwater Buddha:

On this particular day, the waves were like endless frothy barricades. I'd been paddling for twenty minutes and I still wasn't outside. I pushed and pumped and heaved and whined. The sea punched and kicked and jammed sand down my throat. And in the midst of this abuse, I realized how much I loved surfing.

I loved the actual riding of the wave, of course. But I also loved the challenge of the paddle.

It wasn't always like that. And maybe I was just happy to be back in the water after living in India for months. Or maybe my mind was more accepting after hanging with all the ultra-happy Tibetan monks. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized every surfer has to like paddling, at least a little.

This was because extremely little of each surf session is spent actually standing up on your surfboard on a wave - maybe one percent - so if you're looking to have a good time it's essential to find a way to enjoy paddling, or at least good naturedly bear it. And in that way, I thought surfing is kind of a good metaphor of the rest of life.

The extremely good stuff - chocolate and great sex and weddings and hilarious jokes - fills a minute portion of an adult lifespan.

Is this true of things you love doing? It is for me, as far as illustration goes. The actual illustration I do seems to take up maybe 10% percent of my "work time." Is it worth it? YES.

p.s. I found out from Louise Rafkin's story in the Chronicle that Jaimal lives in a pink house nearby that I've photographed lots of times because of its color, seahorse shutters, flowers, and the big mural of St. Francis that takes up one whole side.