17 May Rediscovering History
I had a vaguely alarming experience recently when two colleagues, reminiscing about our shared media past, related an incident that involved all three of us. It was one of those media events where various TV and radio personalities take part in risky, ill-advised and potentially fatal activities, such as riding race-horses and flying upside down in open airplanes. This particular event was a wind-surfing foray (it would be silly to call it a race) around English Bay. The point was to surf out to the markers, turn the corner, surf back and run up the beach to the finish line.
This isn’t a memory I pull out often, to dust and stroke it for the pleasure that brings, but it is something I remember. Or at least I thought I did. I remember a very windy, slightly chilly day, with the water rough on English Bay and most of us shivering with cold and apprehension. I had wind-surfed once, for an afternoon on Maui. That ended with me putting my foot down onto a sea urchin and being treated with fresh uric acid on the beach. Use your imagination.
On English Bay beach I recalled the pain of that first encounter, and obsessed, as I have all my life, with doing something that might be less than perfect in the execution. That’s about it for my memory of the day.
My colleagues, on the other hand, had quite vivid recollections: they noted that I was the only participant to complete the course, doing the requisite turn and return to the beach. They also remembered that I “looked better than most people in a wetsuit”. Thanks for that, guys.
It’s facile to note that we are all more critical of ourselves than we are of others, and notice flaws and inadequacies far beyond those visible to the naked, unrelated, eye. That’s all true, but I believe something else was going on that day. My two colleagues, I believe, had just started to discover a mutual attraction which took them on to partnership and marriage. On that day, though, it was early in the process and my theory is that details stand out in the memory with much more vivid detail because of the hormonal zing they were in. All I know is, if that hormonal zing bathes all around it in a complimentary light, let’s have more of it!