I first came across Laird Hamilton when living in Brighton, as a 21 year old, in a cosy Hanover home, with a lively old skool skater hippetyhop emcee named Richy…he introduced me to many a fine sound, and we found kinship through skunk and muppet racemania, but the finest memory is one night, with the room full of sweet scented smoke, and he shared with me this video…I had no interest in skateboarding, which was the usual focus of his videos we watched when stoned and I had beaten him black and blue as Animal in the sportster. Yet this was different. This introduced me to a man, and several others, who spent their lives seeking intensity which so few will ever know, let alone seek every time dawn breaks…
‘Its that whole leap of faith…you make a commitment, you jump or you dont…you dont kinda jump, its real decision making…its like with surfing, you cannot be kinda on a wave , you are either on it, or not…you have to make the decision.’
I can relate, which warms my haggard, lonely soul…for I care so little for anything I cannot throw myself into with my everything. I suppose the two most prominent and pertinent examples are True Romance and riding a sports bike. With the latter, every move made at high speed, even low speed sometimes, is literally do or die, there can be no half measures, nothing tentative, when your life is at risk, which makes every single milisecond, every moment count for an eternity…
As for the former, true romance…its the same. There can be no half measures, there can be no tentative offerings of heart, that kinda scene is for others. Not the romeo corpses or more kindly put, his lineage, who still persist to this very day…those few and far between hearts of men and women, who are either all in, or nothing. For there is only half, measured and tempered with something else kept back, to be gained by throwing yourself on and into the flames of passion, when you make a half offering of your Everything…The problem, the risk, when seeking the intense, when giving your everything, is that your everything can be killed, ended, at best maimed beyond any semblance of recovery to become as it once was. I am inclined to solely the giving of my everything, in all my relations, above all, in those rare and precious inklings of the finest wine which can be drunk in this human journey; true love…
‘its a very natural thing, its very pure’.
‘you better be afraid…for anyone who comes to the wave and isnt afraid is going to be made to be afraid or…they are maybe not going to be around…’
‘the ocean has always been a place for me where I could experience a certain solitude you cant find on land…’
‘it truly humbles you and invigorates you at the same time…’
‘people have died a lot of ways…riding a big wave and dying wouldnt be a bad thing’
These men are singular. They are well meaning, have pondered life, and found something which makes them always feel more alive than anything else. And they seek nothing other after finding that gorgeous, sublime perfection of man and the glorious power of Nature, and the fact that they can be ended is respected, but not the attraction, its the vitality which courses through their essence…which keeps them coming back.
‘its a scary feeling…its like going to sleep and knowing the next day might be my last…’
Such immense Spartan understanding and application, is so rare and perfect to find in the present age of tentative, if any, showing of real passion, real feeling, total, unwavering devotion, to any cause…It is remarkable and amazing.
‘they will all risk their lives to save his’…
Such powerful words of a Woman, a beloved Woman, of one of the lunatics seeking to not tame, but become One with the most fierce waves the ocean can proffer. Magnificent, lunatic and so powerful and inspiring.
They risk everything to feel more alive than all humans other than those who seek similar extremes in other ways…and they seem brotherly, loyal, respectful and amazing,
As a friend told me, after relating a story of Laird finding his mate crunched, a leg pulled out a socket, a fin cutting his body to the bone, and he swam and swam and raged against and with the elements, and saved his soul…Laird is a Water God.
Such glorious people nourish my sense of adventure in truly, madly, deeply gorgeous and dangerous ways…the shallows are for minnows, the wild surf is for those who seek more.