Alone

 

“Alone!” he wept as he wiped the tears from his face. “Truth! No longer truth!” he cried.

The confused scholars surrounded the boy…

“We are but fallen angels cast of the kingdom and free from everlasting pleasure! We are the defiled, we are the shunned!

The group of scholars grew larger and larger; all gathering around to hear the boy speaks his delusions.

“How dare he speak in such a foul tongue, “a scholar yelled.

“Blasphemy!” Another yelled.

“God is dead! God is dead! We are the forgotten, the disillusioned and abandoned offspring!”

One young scholar found the man’s words full of substance and truth. His mind began to wonder of all the wrong doings, men and women had done unto him, and so he begun to feel enraged with anger and hate.

“God is dead!” The young scholar cried.

The crowd turned their heads towards the back of the auditorium, where the young boy stood.
Mothers and children cried and screamed at the accusations that now swarmed the room like some great black cloud

One of the elder scholars began to speak and the squawking of the crowd simmered down to a quiet mumble.

The scholar continued… “Young man! What is your name?”

“Ezekiel! Son of Agathe!” the young boy shouted.

“Ezekiel! why do you reprimand the Lord in such spiteful rage?” asked the old scholar.

“There is no more God! fools! all of you! Fools! you are misguided sheep! how can you be so naive?” the boy cried with a splinter of agony.

“Zeke! fear not! what is troubling you my boy!” the scholar asked with empathy.

I sat in disbelief at what was unfolding before my eyes. No one had ever questioned the scholars or challenged them on this matter. I was experiencing a paradigm shift, and I didn’t know what to feel. I hung on the boy’s words like they were string – I wanted so much to hear what he had to say. As I looked around I could sense the feeling of uncertainty and worry. My hairs stood up on my neck in anxiety. The air around me began to thicken and suddenly I could feel the inner linings of my shirt, as beads of sweat ran down the side of my body. I was scared, we all were. Why was the boy speaking this way? What was happening?

Ezekiel continued;

“For what do we owe this perjury? are we not bound and chained by this belief we lay in the God’s hands? for what cost must we continue to pay? God is dead and he is taking us with him!”

“BOY!” the scholar screamed, “what madness has driven you to commit such foolish disobedience? For what is the purpose? Answer us!”

The crowd gasped in fear as the boy reached into his pocket to pull out a sharp blade.

“Ezekiel, NO!” The scholar cried. “God will save you, please boy… put the knife down!”

Ezekiel continued “as my own body as sacrifice, I challenge the Gods to one final score of judgement. If God is not dead, he will come down and stop the blade!”

He took the blade in his hand and begun to move it down to the right side of his exposed flesh. The mothers cried and the children hid their innocent faces in their dirty little hands. The scholars bowed their heads in shame and in hope that the young boy would draw the blade away from his body.

I could not help but watch. I had never been so frightened like this before in my entire life. Here I was, filled with spirit until this young boy came along and challenged everything that I had to stand for. And now, the deciding factor; whether or not God really was dead like Zeke had claimed, or if the all willing Gods would come down from the heavens and stop the blade.

“GOD IS DEAD! GOD IS DEAD!”

The boy pushed the blade into the side of his body and into his ribs as the crowd screamed. The children and women screamed as loud as lightening cracking in front of one with their hands now covering their faces.. It felt as though the ground was trembling, as if some great earthquake was bound to shatter the scene into rubble and dust.

As Ezekiel dropped to his knees, the old scholar rammed his way through the crowd, knocking over women and children to come to the child’s rescue, but it was too late. Ezekiel’s bloodstained the barren stone he laid on, a red puddle of what could have been a bright future had been spilled in the name of God, once again. Great. Well written.

Suddenly I could not hear the screaming around me anymore. My eyes transfixed on Ezekiel’s cold, dead body and the scholars huddled around him in disbelief. Dust and people now consuming the air around me, running around mad and in shock; their lives had just taken an unexpected turn, as had mine. I felt numb and paralysed. Not at what I had just witnessed, but at the thought that Ezekiel could have been right.

“Are we but caught adrift in some ocean of uncertainty and chaos? Is there no hope or resolution now for the human race? What have I become?”

I look bleakly into the future. Why were the God’s absent and why did they let that boy kill himself? If they let Zeke kill himself, then why? Why did they let this young boy die as a sacrifice to challenge our belief? Is God dead?

Feature article about Ethan Hogan

As the waves gently crash onto the early morning sand of autumn at Dee Why beach, a young man drags himself out of bed and into the cold, brisk morning air to put on his wet suit. His wet suit is still cold from yesterday afternoons late evening surf, and as he puts his hand into it, he feels a shockingly cold rush of adrenaline – a feeling that he has come to confide in, a feeling that reassures him of himself, and it is a feeling that reminds him that what he is doing is right, purposeful and wholesome. The young 15 year old by the name Ethan Hogan, whom hails from the northern beaches of Sydney’s east coast, is a rising star who is bound to take surfing in his stride for a lifetime.

Ethan is the kind of person that likes to challenge himself, and luckily for him, surfing is one of the most challenging sports one could endure; you need to be able to negotiate the ocean, study it’s habits before jumping in the water, and also gamble the risk of being attacked by some great big shark swimming below. I asked Ethan personally what kind of challenges he would regularly face both in and out of the water; ‘A challenge I would always face is the constant changing conditions of the water and the environment around me. The waves, the wind, the crowds of people… Sometimes it was too busy in the water to catch a wave.’

So what drives a person to continue to pursue a challenging task like surfing? Is it pride, self-assurance, fitness or fun? Some of the greatest athletes in the world are people who have put their passion before anything, and it is such a priority to achieve greatness that most things aside from that passion pale in comparison to that feeling of finally overcoming an obstacle. I think this applies to Ethan’s attitude towards surfing, and probably something that he has adapted to his everyday life. Waking up early is already a bit of a hassle for most people, but to go out and then purposely make yourself colder by jumping in the water, some cannot begin to fathom it.

When I asked Ethan about the reason why he continually pushes himself to the limit he said, ‘I noticed that I have become more in-touch with nature and I have found a new appreciation for it, and also just how addictive and incredible riding a moving force of nature is… I don’t think you could accurately compare it to anything else. That’s why I started surfing, and that’s why I’ll never stop.’

I personally find this deeply profound and inspiring. if surfing has the ability to bring man and nature back together in such a glorious fashion, why aren’t more people surfing? It could be one of the more easily accessible forms of therapy out there for people to participate in, and if we can learn anything from Ethan’s attitude towards surfing, it would be to never stop moving, and to do whatever it is that makes you get out of bed in the morning.

A god-like appraisal of everything easy going and simple

A sullen night on these streets doesn’t add up to much
except for a few empty beer bottles and a couple of
homeless guys begging for money.
It’s everything but focus –
It’s chaotic, gritty, dirty…
You’d think it might have a pulse of it’s own sometimes.

The city lights that glisten in the night could blind you
if you’re not careful.
The trick is to sit back and observe, let it all
wash over you like some big wave.
As the lights hit your eyes and the wind
blows your hair back,
you start to remember why it is you were born in the first place;
not to get your little old hands dirty for some big time,
but to experience life as it is and always will be…
a god like appraisal of everything easy going and simple.

Whatever?

Sometimes I like to just sit back and take in my surroundings.

I like to let my mind do its own thing for a minute, and

there are no particularly recognizable thoughts and there

is only silence.

I think that it’s important for a person to have this ability,

and to use it as often as possible, because I think that it is healthy.

Human beings have a tendency to run around, ticking off

goals and accomplishments throughout the day, and I can’t blame them

for that, it’s how we recognize and measure success.

But I think that just for a moment,

taking the time out of your day to quiet your mind will be beneficial

for the soul.

 

SETTING SAIL IN THE 60’S; OPPORTUNITY AND THE SACRIFICES THAT COMES WITH IT

In 1963, a young Scottish woman by the name of Iris Parkinson set sail to the land of Australia with her family. Seeking opportunity wherever they could find it, Iris found herself on the shores of Perth, understandably bewildered at just how different the Australian people and landscape were compared to her home in Glasgow. When I asked Iris what her first impressions of Australia were she said, “When I first arrived in Australia there was a sense of urgency, excitement and adventure”. Her opportunistic attitude would later be a testament to her success in Australia.

 

Unless you came from a substantially wealthy family in the 60’s, holidays weren’t exactly a common luxury most people now have the benefit of indulging in. When I asked what Iris was thinking when she first heard the news about her new adventure ahead of her, she said, “It just felt like a holiday for four weeks. I never thought too much about Australia, W didn’t have too many holidays away as kids so it was just like a holiday”.

 

During the time Iris and her family migrated to Australia, under the Arthur Calwell (Minister of Immigration)’s new scheme called; ‘Populate or Perish’ Australia saw the mass influx of immigrants and refugees from all over the world, mostly including great Britain and Ireland. These immigrants alone contributed to to an astounding 654,640 between July 1959 and June 1970.

 

Although Iris and her clan stormed the Australian shores in large numbers, Iris still felt the brunt of an expatriate experience, with feeling isolated, dissociated and alone in a foreign country that can make one quite understandably homesick; “I missed the Scottish chat, over there everyone talked to one another but in Australia no one just chatted, it was odd for me. I’d never had to make friends either, I just had them, I grew up with them so having to ‘make friends’ was different”. Even despite the large numbers of Scottish counterparts immigrating to Australia, Iris seemed to be the only one at her school with a ‘funny sounding’ accent.

 

When I asked Iris about her family establishing a network in Australia (and how long it took before she made a friend) she said, “I would say about 6 months.  It was very hard for me as I didn’t know how to go about it”. She continues, “I always remember a teacher talking to me I the playground. I was around 14 at the time and she asked me how I was going and if I had friends. And I told her, ‘no and I didn’t want any’, I was so homesick.  She told me that I had to remember that I was in their country and I had to make allowances and try a bit harder.  I realized then that I had to change my mindset and from then on it gradually got better”.

 

This mindset that Iris talks about is something that happens to an immigrant child. As long as you are afforded the room and ability to live a fairly privileged life and go to school, the shift becomes one that you learn to love, and actually ends up changing you for the better. The shift in mindset comes from a growth in personality and identity that you earn through the hardship of feeling lonely and isolated, to changing your mindset to a more open and accepting one and eventually making friends.

 

Many immigrants find the migration difficult and I suppose that some only seldom make a happy and successful life for themselves. Here is what Iris has to say of her experience moving to Australia; “From 6 people, including mum and dad, who took the opportunity with both hands to come to another country a world away from our birthplace our family has grown to over 60 including partners, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren; a source of great pride for me. Our family is one of hard workers and achievers who are good people who contribute on a daily basis to everything that makes Australia the wonderful place that it is.  That is my legacy and I smile every day of my life when I think about it”.

Choosing the right equipment

 

As most people are aware, surfboards come in various shapes and sizes to best suit a variety of different peoples body types. Purchasing a brand new surfboard can be a stressful challenge for some people, especially if you don’t know what kind of things to look for in a board. Fortunately, there are plenty of websites who lend a helping hand to novice and inexperienced board-buyers, which make the whole process of selecting a suitable knife as easy as pie.

 

In my experience, I’ve found that picking the right surfboard comes through the process of trial and error. Buying a board, not liking it. Buying another, it works okay, etc. This alone is an impractical and costly avenue to venture down, and I urge all board buying grommets to dig into some research before finally purchasing one. However, when all is said and done, and you’ve spent countless hours labouring over your computer, comparing, watching reviews and attempting to find the right volume, you find it all boiling down to a dramatic crashing end once the board has finally hit the water. It is in this moment that you know whether or not this is the right board for you.

 

So with that, I am here to attempt to assist you and give you a bit of advice on what to look for in a board to best suit your needs, figure out the volume best suited for your height x weight, and the style (shape) that would best suit you. Let’s dive in:

 

For a beginner, you’re going to want to jump onto something quite thick. Generally speaking, you’re going to want to look for the equivalent of a bus. Something big, slightly heavy, and holding a lot of volume throughout the entire length and width of the board would be good. Looking for one of these boards shouldn’t be too hard, as all you are really looking for is something that will float you. I’d say something around 8 ft. and possibly even bigger would do the job.

 

For an intermediate surfer, you’re looking for a board that is a step down from the ‘bus’ to something more like a 4 wheel drive; something a little more manoeuvrability than a bus, but still something that carries a decent amount of volume (baby steps). I jumped on a shape called a fish, one of the more versatile shapes on the surfboard market. This board not only carries a lot of volume, but also is also quite manoeuvrable and will do wonders for you during the ‘learning how to shred’ faze of your surfboarding career.

 

For the intermediate – advanced surfer: By this stage you should have picked up a fair few boards, observed the curves, assessed the weight as best as you could, and perhaps have collected a few boards to make a bit of a quiver. If that were the case, my only advice to you would be to continue to experiment and play around with different shapes. Maybe try and take a few inches off the length and add it to the thickness or width of the board. I’d recommend giving twinnies (twin fin’s) a crack if you haven’t already.

 

The beauty of surfing is, there are no set rules or regulations as to what boards you should ride. It’s completely subjective and up to the individual to decide what ‘floats their boat’. We now live in a modern age where technology and innovative thinking has driven the direction of design to futuristic heights, as well as the re-inventing and rehashing of old ideas, and turning them anew. I like to pick a craft that best suits the waves of the day, something that will get me into something with ease and comfort, where I don’t need to strain my arms too hard paddling into waves. The idea is to get into them early and enjoy as much as the wave as possible. But hey, that’s just me.

Reason for blog

I’d like to give some context to the meaning and purpose of this blog. Aside from writing I’m an avid surfer who spends almost as much time in the water as I do on land (not really). I’ve been surfing for about 5 years now and It’s fair to say that I have long since become addicted to the thrill and the drive of surfing a wave. Not only that, but I’ve found an insatiable interest with surf craft and surfboard design.

In this blog I will regularly I upload different pieces of writing that I feel will hopefully inspire, or at the very least, inform people about the nature of surfing and what it means to be a surfer in the 21st Century. I’ll also speak about different surfboard design aspects and general current events within the surfing industry worthy of discussion. I hope you enjoy what I have to say.

 

Jayden Hogan