I went into my local Whole Foods last weekend. You know the one. It used to be Wild Oats and before that, Alfalfas. To your average shopper, Whole Foods looks ideal for a quick market spree. The layout, as seen from above, strongly conveys the plan of a board game. Anally precise pyramidical arrays of avocados and potatoes create a khaki cropland divided into sectors of plumb-straight paths for shopping carts. There is no funnel. From the entrance, arrayed walls of fruit and vegetables look laned like sprinting tracks of olympic proportions, the strategic design replete with modern angles and colorful signage. By then, either the impulse to fill a cart with an assortment of health and health related items has either just materialized or soon will.
For some, the objective of this game might not be about speed rather than navigating the circular experience without falling victim to the annoyingly enticing hot food bar or sleek brands of organic cotton articles of interest protruding from any unadorned patch of polished stone floor. I can’t help but to ponder over the variety of health orientated brands. How could I easily escape the refrigerated section on a hot Virginia day while envisioning my afternoon with any one of the fifty yogurt varieties featuring milk from coconuts, almonds, cows, or goats. No sooner had I chosen a yogurt, had I conceived a brand of my own using the next trendy nut or fruit ingredient with milking potential. Walnut milk? This familiar self conflict is made possible by the comfortable ambiance not unlike every one of the 342 Whole Foods across the country. In fact, If I were transported to the cafe section, near to the brick oven pizza and burrito bar, which is predictably the same in every WFM, and asked what to order, with the possibility that I was anywhere in the country, I would know exactly what to say. That is okay because the affinity of shopping the whole court creates enough welcomed dilemmas such as which variety of Kombucha will go best with my vegan cheese pizza.
This guy on the eukulele..
Last month, during the week of my 21st, a concentrated rough patch with a fairly long-time girlfriend culminated in a split. Short version — I got dumped, and didn’t see it coming. But, all is better than before.
Imparting a surfer-specific brand of dealing with the aforementioned event came as the best and most obvious remedy. A truly freezing afternoon logging session at Long Sands seemed to be an ice pack to this wound. Lately I can’t get it out of my head – the way it looked, the way it felt tearing across those waist high peelers, paddling out beyond the break and charging my log towards the beach. I wasn’t even bothered that I couldn’t feel my hands and face again heading back through town, board in tow. To be honest, I miss surfing and the cold. The two have become somewhat synonymous.
The other night, a buddy of mine visited me in Charlottesville. Having a beer with Clark, and having dinner together was a real treat. It was a small testament to all that I have to be grateful for. Getting back to school was also the most constructive way for me to swiftly move past the struggles of heartache and start rebuilding.
In truth, there are many incredible people to meet here in Virginia and waves to be ridden (however far out of the way). It just may require sifting. Post cold which I headily recovered from (I felt, and likely looked like death off and on for two weeks), I began to embrace the future. (for me it’s club running and free yoga at the mem). I met an interesting friend who I nearly knocked out during a class, hitting the ground hard while trying (working on?) my donkey kick up to a handstand pike. Had I not taken the time to get myself out there and strike up a conversation or two, these types of connections I have built up would never be forged and my existence would be less rich than it is now.
Most things in life go as planned. What I once thought would be a lasting relationship went up in a blaze of emotions. What I once thought was going to be a week of epic surf in Acadia started out with two miserable rainy nights alone in my Jeep, followed by a few days of seriously on shore wind. I can’t neither consider the relationship or the trip as a waste of time. Both contained moments, experiences and subsets which shaped me as a person. In any event, both are in the past and can’t be changed regardless. The next time an opportunity for love or the set of the day presents itself, I’ll be ready and more experienced than the next guy. And If my longest board won’t catch a glide, I’ll explore the area.
Whats on my mind this winter…
I’ve had plenty of people ask where they are, these waves. How they might find them, when they occur, or if they’re easily accessible. If we’re friends, I might show you someday, one, or maybe two of those water hills which I’ve discovered for myself. But for anyone else, I’ll point our fingers towards the coastline and mutter something like ‘they’re out that way.’ Because some secrets are worth keeping.
“I was born at the end of an era; when film was ending, and digital transformed itself into the standard media for how people took pictures and shared stories. My mother had this old nikon camera that I remember using when I was a young kid on trips up the coast. Trodding through neglected cottages, wild blueberry plains, and forgotten civil war forts with it around my neck, I considered myself an explorer charting newfound territories around Maine’s most privatized inlets and neglected infrastructure.
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