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Issue 6: Making Waves

Turquoise & Brown

Issue 6: Making Waves

Turquoise & Brown

May 21, 2020


Turquoise & Brown 

By Olivia Vandamme | @olivialomasi

Poppies & Lupines 

Hawks & Pelicans 

Palm trees & Coconuts 

Burros & Nopales 

Turquoise & Brown

Tracking dreams where desert landscapes meet ocean point breaks 

California to Mexico and back 


Visiting memories through the smell of copal 

A Frida embellished candle burning reminds me that her art has transcended time and place 

Just like the cold California Coastal Current upwells nutrients for thousands of miles 

And humpback whales majestic melodies travel great distances knowing no borders 


Complex tidal rhythms 

Barnacles mark high-tide zones 

Seaweed as a clue to sheltered coves 

Turquoise & Brown


brown body 

brown skin 

brown woman

BROWN like the otter, like the plumage of the pelican, like kelp that protects & provides 

like La Sirena in Loteria, like the soil mi bisabuelo worked with in the fields,

like a refreshing licuado de plátano con chocolate

 

Who I am does not solely exist in the familiar or comfortable 

Conditioned to believe surfing was out of reach for a brown woman like me 

Pushing against these beliefs I pursued what began as a dream 


All five of my fingers cooperate as they form a perfect cup

Entering the water in unison and pulling it back - left hand 

Entering the water in unison and pulling it back - right hand 

Entering the water in unison and pulling it back - left hand 

With each stroke another layer of tension and doubt is released 

my beautiful hips rest easy on the center of the board 

my chest raised proud and shoulders back 


Where turquoise and brown patterns flow 

Seagulls give us clues to a falling tide 

Lichens help determine south facing rocky shores 


Black /  Orange  /  Grey 


A sacred space with 

Deep 

Powerful 

    Connections 


I replicate and improve my practice in the sea

I too can evolve to thrive on a sea salt shore, 

like the golden wildflowers growing galore. 

the ocean gives me space to connect to its ebb & flow 

to work on my style, my dance, my expression 

with my body & board on the surface 


learning to measure time with the sun, moon, tides and wind 

centering and humbling 

respect and persistence 

patience with my healing 


A new dream appears where I see women in the water celebrating each other 

Actively choosing to diversify the place we love 

Respecting the numerous ways to be part of a place 

Allowing our identities to be our strength and honoring our past connections to the ocean

Forging a future of togetherness, belonging, community 


I will continue to pursue what began as a dream. 

Where turquoise and brown patterns flow. 


  • Olivia VanDamme
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