Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Timeless Classic Rincon

Rincon, California, USA

October 10, 2009

This essay, Timeless Classic Rincon, is the companion piece to
  1. Goleta Beach
  2. See A Chance, Take It
in that order.

It is also the third in a group of seven on Surfing:

Photography by Woody Woodworth
Timeless Classic Rincon

Some of the places I discover, visit, and fall in love with, take me way too long to get back to. Since immigrating to these United States from Fiji, I've returned there a few times. Each time I set foot on Fijian soil again, bask in its neverending summer's balmy warm air, and submerge myself (baptize  myself is closer to the truth, actually, given the sublime joy of the experience) in its crystal blue, skin temperature lagoons, I ask myself what takes me so long to get back here. I never have an answer. There isn't one. It's just the way my life goes - and doesn't go.

Then there are places I've never visited, yet am in love with anyway, which have taken me way too long to get to. I've known about Rincon since I was a teenager, gazing in a state of sheer awe bordering on disbelief  at ground and aerial photographs of this paradise in John Severson's original Surfer Magazine.

It's taken me way too long to get to Rincon, forty two years too long in fact. But now I'm here - I'm finally here. It's been worth the wait. I'm not disappointed. Unlike me, Rincon hasn't changed in forty two years, and my appreciation of it has only heightened during this time. This is it. There's a sense of ecstasy, of reverence, of awe, of coming home.

As with anything great - locations and experiences both - I've been this  close to Rincon before on many, many occasions yet didn't even realize how close I was. I've driven by within a stone's throw of this place and not even known it.

To get here ie for the privilege  of getting here, you have to know exactly what you're looking for. There's no sign indicating the off ramp for Rincon from the main road which runs close by. Yes there's a sign. It just doesn't say "To Rincon". It doesn't mention Rincon at all. I can't say if this is by design or by by accident. I like to think it's by design. Whatever the reason is, hopefully it won't ever change. Paradise has a way of no longer being paradise once the crowds show up. I wish this weren't the case. All too often it is.

Clearly those who've persevered and found their way to this perfect beach, to this waters-edge Eden, be they surfers or not, honor this place and treat it with all the respect it deserves. Noticeably absent ie note-worthily  absent is trash. I can't find one single piece of litter anywhere. Driftwood logs are tastefully and appropriately dragged and placed forming makeshift benches, each with a stunning view of the bay with its lush, gorgeous right peeling tubes, perfectly wrapping around the point. Carefully chosen smooth flat rocks and stones are meticulously placed underneath the driftwood log benches, offering a kind of elemental flooring on which to rest bare feet and toes encrusted with honey colored sand. Here in the sanctity of Rincon, human beings quietly and appropriately offer back the bounty of the ocean to the ocean in honor of and in homage to Rincon's bold exquisiteness.

Mother Nature obviously also gives special attention to this jewel. The beach sand is pristine - clean, as if it's replenished daily to its original level and condition. The rocks and pebbles on the shoreline are maintained immaculately by invisible angelic custodial hands, their pristine golden and amber hues and textures intact. I'm fascinated by them, drawn to  their hues and textures, and I can't quite figure out why. Then I get it. I want all the clothes in my wardrobe cut from cloth of these hues, of these textures. Being here inspires me to wear the shoreline. I want to dress up as a beach  like this one.

When the houses lining the edge of this mecca  were designed, it's very apparent the architects knew exactly what they were creating. You can't just build anything  on a treasure like this. You have to be respectful in your design because you simply can't top ... no, it's impossible  to top what's already here. You have to compliment  it, and you have to compliment it with reverence and homage. In a place like this, your house must be an offering to the location, an enhancement  to it. It can't simply take advantage of it. Blessed are those fortunate enough to call Rincon their home. Blessed, that is, not because they live here - that's only secondary, as awesome as it is. Rather, they're blessed primarily  because they've got the vision  to appreciate Rincon fully. They know exactly  where they're at. They get it. There's no mistaking that.

And the waves ...

I don't simply look out into the bay at the waves immediately. First I prepare  myself for the encounter. Treading carefully, I make by way over wet and slippery wobbly rocks as far out into the water as I can without having to strip off out of my Levis  and shoes, hoping not to get wet. I fail. A playful wave comes up to me like a friendly sea otter, and dances over my shoes filling them in an instant, drenching my jeans up to the knees. I swear  I hear that wave laughing  as it even tries to tip me, holding my balance on the wobbly rock for dear life, unceremoniously into its warm waters. Then I hear myself laugh: both in response to the wave's laughter, as well as at myself for failing to keep my socks dry. What glorious failure! Failure should always be as glorious as this. Then the wave subsides. I carefully get my balance back on the rock. Again secure, I set my hands in the pockets of my faded denim jacket, stand up tall, and lift my head up straight and high. Now I'm ready. I open my eyes wide and face the waves.

The reaction is so sudden, so authentic  it's overwhelming. Tears pour out of the holes in my face and stream, unstopped and unstoppable, warmly down my cheeks, splashing and merging with the ocean in which I'm standing. I cry out spontaneously, an undistinguished gasp. Ecstasy explodes any semblance of logic and rationality which remain.

The second  thought which comes into my mind is with regards to the technicalities  of these waves, these heart breakingly  beautiful perfect expressions of water, wind, and tide ... these inspired sculptures of liquid equestrian impeccability, and God! I want to ride them!

But the first  thought I have, the one that triggers it all for me, is I want to share this experience with Werner like a possibility.

This is my first thought. It's genuine. I go looking to find Rincon, a place I've loved since I was a teenager yet never gotten to - until now. I find Rincon. It's everything I imagine it would be or even could be. Given the elapsed forty two years, it waaay  exceeds anything I think it should  be. Yet the first in‑depth experience I have here, the essential experience I have here, the quint-essential experience I have here is beyond beauty, beyond awe, beyond reverence, even beyond surfing perfection  ... it's all of that, and it's beyond all that.

What I get at Rincon ie the bedrock experience  I have at Rincon, that is to say the space  in which Rincon can show up for me magnificently  this way, is Werner like a possibility.

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