Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yogi Don’t Surf! (El Yogi Cynico en Costa Rica Parte Cinco)


He who binds to himself a joy
Doth the winged life destroy.
He who kisses the joy as it flies,
Lives in eternity's sunrise.
William Blake

...someone told me the forecast for Philly for the following week, when we’d be home, had highs in the upper forties...which’ll feel just balmy, said she....or would if we hadn’t just spent ten days down here, said I...


Charlie don’t surf!
Colonel Kilgore, Apocalypse, Now

...the Pacific coast of the Nicoya Peninsula is renowned as a major surf haven, attracting incredibly buff wave riders from around the world...including most everybody else on our little retreat...and yet...alas...this cynical yogi...(with a history of ear problems...culminating in chronically infected scar tissue from operations meant to remove other chronically infected scar tissue resulting from previous operations meant to stop chronic ear infections)...(all of which makes water sports that involve submerging the head highly inadvisable)...does not surf...


...and, anyway, there are an awful lot of underwater rocks, there...so ya never know, when floating about the surf, just what might be lurking underneath....and this is starting to sound like yet another metaphor...

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
attributed to Swami Satchidinanda

...there’s a book called In Search of Captain Zero, about a couple of surfers and ex-weed smugglers who, earlier in their lives, decided that someday they’d find the perfect beach with the perfect surf break...paradise...to spend the rest of their lives...


The Paradise is in the desire, not in the imperfection of accomplishment...
Allen Ginsberg

...in time, though, they lost one another...and the author, Allan C. Weisbecker, has the idea that his friend, Christopher...Captain Zero...may have finally found it...so heads down through Mexico into Central America...doing lots of surfing along the way...

That ‘s how thick the wave was and how deep within it I found myself. I was in a crouch, which is pretty much instinctive in that sort of situation, but I could have stood up and still not gotten my hair wet. For the three, maybe four seconds before that wave spit me back out into the sunlight with my feet still planted firmly on my board, I was exactly and without doubt where I wanted to be on the surface of the planet earth. And there was not a drop of water in my universe that was out of place.

...eventually finding Christopher, and it, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica...only to learn that, having found his paradise, Captain Zero’s developed an addiction to crack....sometimes, it seems, there’s nothing more dangerous than finding your ideal...especially if the plan is to try and hold on to it for good instead of simply enjoying the perfect moments you get before letting them go...


...back in slowly-melting-snowy Philadelphia, found my difficult adjustment to cold weather after ten days struggling to stay cool, itchy skin flaking off from sunburn, arms and legs so bug bitten they've been compared to Saint Sebastian, garnered little sympathy...

...and, anyway, here’s where I am now...and, with temperatures reaching up toward the low sixties, and purple flowers blooming where snow was days ago, it's probably best to let go of that beach...for now...

13 comments:

Bob Weisenberg said...

Still another beautiful blog. Keep this up and you'll have a beautiful book.

Bob

Bossy Betty said...

So lovely! Thanks for these photos.

berenice said...

wonderful passages Dr. Jay, your reminder of Blake's words, your fantastic pictures, specially that one of the underwater rocks, and too the idea of blooming on the snow are a lovely closer of the evening, gracias y buenas noches

Eco Yogini said...

adjusting....

i also don't surf... but then I think it's because I'm an east coaster lol.

WR said...

Very good post! Love the Ginsberg quote.

Memory - it is a wily little devil, isn't it. The good is that your vacation is sitting in your mind ready to be summoned forth when you need it. Good deal. AND you came back to the blustery Northeast with intrepid bulbs doing their best to bring you SPRING. Ahh the season that renews!

Great photos.

Emma said...

just got back from the nicoya peninsula myself (nosara, samara, ostional). i feel what youre saying about the american/surfer/yogi vibes and scene. it's an odd place, but mighty pretty.

earthtoholly said...

Thanks for sharing your gorgeous pics, drjay. I especially love that pelican(?) and the big blue sky over the beach.

Love the Ginsberg quote!

I hope you're not expecting four days of rain like we are down here...

Bird said...

I have a lot of catch up reading to do here (as ever) but before I say anything else may I just insert a big fat OMG because it appears that you have just blogged post after post of beautiful pictures to go with your words. This is a dangerous precedent Dr Jay - your readers will come to expect them...

I hope the cold and the itchy bites lay don't give you too much of a comedown :)

Melinda said...

It sounds like a little slice of paradise, Jay. Always wanted to learn to surf but just never got around to it. I did take a surf lesson in Hawaii but boy did I suck at it. I was fine as long as my belly was planted firmly on the board but as soon as I started to try to stand, I flopped off the board like a wounded big mouth bass (how's that for descriptive language--lol).

I loved the photos--and would have liked hearing what was under the "Jesucristo."

Costa Rica is one of the strangest mixtures of folks from all kinds of walks of life. There are definitely the crack-addicted badasses that were forced out of the U.S. for either legal or partying reasons, then there are those who are furthering their search for spiritual enlightenment, then there are the tourists with their white socks, sensible shoes, and cameras hanging off their necks--and then there are the locals (of course). It makes for a colorful bouquet of humanity, I'd say.

I've read the last few of these posts (catching up on my blogging)_ and I am really enjoying reading about your trip! Sounds like it was a good one--better than the last!

Melinda

Laura Hegfield said...

"it seems, there’s nothing more dangerous than finding your ideal...especially if the plan is to try and hold on to it for good instead of simply enjoying the perfect moments you get before letting them go..."

Well said...our own breath is a constant reminder of the rhythm of receiving and letting go...and trusting that the next breath will come (if it's meant to!)

Beautiful photos.

human being said...

wow... that lines by Blake... exactly what has been dominating my mind during this past month...

leave it to live longer... possession and keeping just kill...


really enjoyed reading your account... always full of witty points to ponder upon...

thought-provoking point about the danger of finding our ideal...


glad you had a fun time there...

Christine Vyrnon said...

Nice.

Richard said...

Teaching My Son the Joy of Surfing

I went to visit my cousin a couple weeks ago and he got me into surfing. It was incredible! Ever since then I've been trying to find ways to work surfing into where I'm going. In a couple months I'm going to Costa Rica with my family and I'm already hyped. I'm hoping I can find a costa rica surf school before I get there. I think it would be awesome to get lessons for my son and myself. It seems like it should be pretty popular there. If I can't find anything online before I go, I'm sure that some of the locals can help me find an open costa rica surf school like www.laescueladelsol.com