El Pescador This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , calabasas, CA
It is morning at El Pescador. The sun has shown its face, but has yet to grace the sand and air with its warmth. The water won't be warm for another month. I write from here, but this beach that will soon manifest its tranquil beauty is not the world from which I come.

My home is a cliff, a canyon, and a highway away. It takes 25.86 miles to reach here from home, but my broken odometer reads 222. The car ride here was a peaceful one.

Sequestered, I sit in the second of El Pescador's three sections. The first is well known and easy to access. The others are hidden away, secluded by an impassible high tide, and only found by those who already know of their presence. Of these few, even fewer find the ethereal dimension of solitude and serenity that make this place sacred.

For all of my life I had obsequiously reflected my parent's thoughts. Without question I followed their rules, worshipped their God and professed my ambitions in accordance with theirs. My unavoidable rebellion from this lifestyle was the hand that opened Pandora's Box. My quest for free thought was the release of countless evils and the escape of hope.

The world I had been born into did not like that I wished to leave. My future as a hedge-fund manager or a similar recognition oriented job was already planned for me. I was to be ascetic in my duties to the degree that duty would be my pleasure. Every fiber of my soul resisted this, and the slaps and newspaper whippings I received since before my memory, amplified into the kicks and punches that made my dad famous on the Tae Kwon Do tournament circuit, number one in the United States. When I voiced my opinion on political issues, I was beaten. I questioned their unthinking compliance with the Christian church and I was beaten. I relinquished my faith, for if true Christians beat dissenters and forced conversion, I didn't want to be one. Each kick and ring adorned punch landed over me to the refrain "it was out of love." But I knew better. Fear cannot be the heart of love. The only love I could know then was conditional, given only to the me that said what my parents wanted to hear. If not for the care bestowed on me during my infancy I would have run away a long time ago.

In my naiveté I believed I had weathered the worst of my life's five rounds. My body would heal from the blows dealt to it, but soon my mother found a gap and broke through. She sequestered me from people all summer and most of my junior year. Weeks I went without communication except for necessary conversation with my parents. Once a month I was allowed freedom to see friends. The other days I spent in my room alone.

Loneliness hit me harder than my father ever could, and the absence of facebook messages and emails exaggerated the hurt. I realized that for so long I had been one of Ken Kesey's acutes, quickly shrinking into a chronic and at this dosage, the little freedom issued to me was was more a tease than a cure. Freedom was the girl I could never have. She walked briskly past my life, leaving only her sweet perfume memory that always lingers a few paces behind her.

It was in my life's sweetest serendipity that at this time I stumbled into surfing. It was sitting on my epoxy board that I learned to see the world clear of illusion: Income is not important; reputation does not matter; friendships, the kind built waiting between sets and the ones made on starry night hilltops, are a bond stronger than family. It was sitting in simplicity that I realized what I want for my future. I want to give back to the world that has given so much to me: the people that have raised me up, the ocean that has done the same. I want to heal the sea from what man has done to it, in return for what it has done for me.

I think to myself that surfing is life in miniature scale. It possesses a certain metonymy that is expressed in its various situations. The sinking fear evoked by my father's raised fist is engendered by the rise of an outside wave. Tumbling white water to my rear possesses the same crushing power of demons left behind. Isolation can be summed up by being held under during a long set and freedom by the sweet release of sliding across the glass face of a wave just caught. Surfing's ever-changing landscape calms me. No two waves are the same here, and "what is past is prologue."

So here at El Pescador, The Fisherman, I think of all the good in my life. Here, the rest of the world slow fades into nothing and the now is all we have. Here I smile, reminiscing about all of the leopard sharks I have caught, the sunrises I have seen, and the love I have been taught to participate in. Forever 222 miles away from all of my worries, the Fisherman catches me. I had been pulled from clear waters by my father's right hook, held gasping above it by my mother's isolation and set free by the grace of El Pescador's salty breath. Here I cannot hurt, my future is bright, and my past is a cliff, a canyon, and a highway away.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

hr54 said...
Nov. 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm
Great essay! You'll get into Stanford ; )
 
Anonymous16 replied...
Nov. 15, 2009 at 8:04 pm
Thanks! You'll get into Colgate
I wonder how to make other people read it?
 
Hilary R. replied...
Nov. 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm
You're welcome! To make other people read it, you have to get lots of hits...meaning you should have your friends read it over and over and rate it five out of five stars...which i tried to do but it only let me do one star lol....
 
Anonymous16 replied...
Nov. 20, 2009 at 11:16 pm
defenitly not going to do that haha
im glad you liked it though
 
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