So good to have this vibrant lady as my new friend. One of surfing's most special gifts is the people you meet in the sea.
The wonderfully elegant sliding of Lauren Hill. Intrinsically, surfing is dance, & few dance as gracefully as this lady. Lauren is a special human being & it was my deep pleasure to spend a space in time with her recently. It means a lot to me have such beautiful, generous, humble surfers in my next film.
Another framegrab from my next film: the clean sculptural beauty of a pandanus tree. These trees cling to our beloved points up north & I'm always appreciative of their angular form & ruggedness & endurance. They have a kind of grand symbolism in the small personal landscape of my soul; I associate them with clear warm water & perfectly stacked ribs of shining powdery sandbanks.
I had the lovely good opportunity this week to visit such a place to do some filming & to connect with friends old & new. In between, I managed to partake in riding some long waves at one of my favourite places. It was a good, simple journey & I was full of thankfulness. On the drive home today I was thinking about Alexander Solzhenitsyn's seminal poem Freedom to Breathe:
A shower fell in the night and now dark clouds drift across the sky, occasionally sprinkling a fine film of rain.
I stand under an apple tree in blossom and I breathe. Not only the apple tree but the grass round it glistens with moisture; words cannot describe the sweet fragrance that pervades the air. I inhale as deeply as I can, and the aroma invades my whole being; I breathe with my eyes open, I breathe with my eyes closed - I cannot say which gives me the greater pleasure.
This, I believe, is the single most precious freedom that prison takes away from us: the freedom to breathe freely, as I now can. No food on earth, no wine, not even a woman's kiss is sweeter to me than this air steeped in the fragrance of flowers, of moisture and freshness.
No matter that this is only a tiny garden, hemmed in by five-story houses like cages in a zoo. I cease to hear the motorcycles backfiring, radios whining, the burble of loudspeakers. As long as there is fresh air to breathe under an apple tree after a shower, we may survive a little longer.
Sure, I know Solzhenitsyn's circumstances were vastly removed from my own experience this week, but his intrinsic expression of gratitude resonated with me as I played upon that pandanus pointbreak, dodging the crowds & surf schools & rain squalls.
Humble thanks to you, Maker of trees, pointbreaks, poems & people; friendships, hopes & many other richly wonderful things. Always, Lord, deepest thankfulness for the gift of fresh air to breathe & the wide wild sea to adventure in.
My old mate, Macauley. Used to carry him on my shoulders when he was a little grom, now he likes to ride all my surfboards & borrow my wetsuits, and he leaves junk all through my car: shoes, skateboards, bowls of cereal, boardshorts. He is a living tribute to the wildly generous goodness of his parents, who are my dearest friends, too. Love ya Macca.