The international show attracts people from far and wide. It's a joy to be part of a conversation I spend my time trying to understand, from fin degrees to business there are so many intricate angles.
We exchanged greetings as I hurried to get warm. The wind still strong from its rainy arrival in the night and the sea a turbulent playground from the storm. Not a soul showed up to the demo session advertised. Although they read the conditions well, it wasn't right for me not to show up in case I missed an over-amping warrior hoping to share the curves as promised. I enjoyed a solo session and thought constantly of my early surfing years when most bigger days at the secluded beach would be ones just like this; only more fierce and back to back for up to 10 days at a time with no relief in the gale.
In the cold parking lot I was greeted by a shaper I know who just rolled up to check the sea. Our conversation was genuine and picked up from where we left off the previous day discussing guns and long rail line designs. We would be in the enormous building again soon talking to the interested folks and others for the duration of the day. He looked at me slowly and began to bravely describe how disheartening it felt to be less noticed than an adjacent craftsman who seemed to be showing similar craft and was busy talking all day. I smiled to show he was being heard, making an effort to display empathy and let him finish sharing his feelings. His plan to do things differently today was mostly centered around rearranging the boards and risking the initial display of the intricate art works, hoping the rearrangement of more interesting tail shapes would draw more people in to chat.
I’ve thought about what I said in response since. It's an uncomfortable observation, but includes all of us and seems to be true. “We are all insecure" I said slowly and confidently as the cold wind blew my words away. “Insecure shapers showing things to insecure surfers." When you acknowledge this it seems to take time to settle down in ones vulnerable mind. While the sensation of its crippling effect can begin to dwindle, managed day to day with a confidence that deep down we are all so much alike. I had been thinking about this way before this dialog began and my own need to asses the motivation for every detail at hand, never mind my intent for my own acceptance. It's a freeing place to be and perhaps better defined as a more comfortable coat to swim in. We might never rid ourselves entirely of the urgency to be liked and noticed, but when it comes to your own creative path, set up to your unique dreams before you, this must be shaken and consistently shed.
The boards displayed were well made and looked beautiful together, but the vulnerable discussion might be more valuable and effect the future more deeply than just another high five or a "hell yeah" from a fan.
The show was lovely and I learned a lot, hearing what people like and seeing what things they found fascinating.
Thank you to all the friends and friendly people who took time to come past and say hi. I'm excited to continue refining my vision and hope to keep sharing joyfully with you all.
Approach with wonder leave with joy.