Skate Sensei: Suggestions of a Sage

Illustration: Tully Flynn

It is my true will to guide you, my dear student, on a journey—a quest into the realm unbeknownst to the many—a path less tread. In realization of certain mystery, I must be careful to speak in clear, concise language free from elicit jargon and fancy-free phantasmagoria. The concepts I allege apply to mystical acts, known by the blind as skateboard tricks. Once we clear the cobwebs of confusion, the simplicity of skate mastery can be seen clearly. I have chosen to gently persuade you through a thought I call “The Manhole Theory.” The Manhole Theory is a scientifically sound objective lesson designed to prove the existence of God, but more importantly, teach a novice skateboarder how to kickflip (or switch heelflip, which is what I have demonstrated) a 10 stair.

It is not my will to sell you into slavery of some new thought pattern to be used for material gain and ultimately your imprisoned demise. No, the machinations of the perverted soul (the mass of you carrying the cross of capitalism), will not easily be attained through my cosmic-tested, mother-approved methods. Oppositely, the pure of spirit (the few imaginative truth seekers treading lightly in muddy waters), will thrive in skateboarding bliss as the young apprentice divulges, meditates and actively practices the soon-to-be discussed lesson. And finally, as our pagan roots unearth, we find the type who simply yearns for pleasure—whatever his/her desire might be regarding the outcome of aforementioned stimulus. But let’s not denounce the heathen. In fact, praise be on them from up high. However, stimulus will be your end result, missing out on the ambrosia when you divert course for the Kool-Aid, man.

Let us begin with a fresh mind, seeking truth and seeing reality. Our mission, namely, is to demystify the simple machine we will investigate metaphysically. Devised of common Egyptian pyramid building mechanics (go figure), the skateboard becomes a magic carpet given the proper circumstance. Forgive my jest and I will get down to brass tacks. The heart of the skateboard would be the wood, or deck, which is (when activated) a lever. Now, the other obvious machines at work here are the axle and wheel—mounted to the trucks using a pivot system, they engage the soul of the setup. All that is left is you, the pilot, and you know who you are and what you are made of so let’s move on quickly, before we muddle ourselves in philosophy. It has been said by the magician/yogi Aleister Crowley, and I will make mention to it once again, “For, like all great things, it is simple; but like all great things, it is masked by confused thinking.” With that as our guide, let us make a vow of beginner’s mind as we venture the causeways of mystical skateboarding.

Lesson #1
The Manhole Theory

As our first lesson, I see it fitting that we start with a universal theme and at beginner level entry. Now let me quickly state, as we lose ourselves to semantics, we must find ourselves again through universal truths. In this case, we must ponder the territory of physics, more astutely—speed and time. These two laws generally add up to the universal idea of space and, in our case, the diameter of a sewer lid. Being earth stricken, men are on average within the maximum size limit of being able to fit down a manhole, thus they are, universally speaking, the same size. And so I can, with confidence, state that any trick done over a manhole can be done down a 10 stair. I care not to verbally describe the trivial details pertaining to The Manhole Theory (i.e. stair size, etc.), given that stairs are not a universal size, the count could be different. For those of you who wish for visualization, I have drawn up a detailed schematic pinpointing your spiritual liberation on the following pages. It comes down to the matter of speed to clear the manhole and time to do the feat—simple as one plus one. Two manholes, equal trickery down a 20 stair and so on until your knees explode, and riding away cleanly is of a completely separate matter. The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

This same theory can be chalked up to a handrail equation, but given the differing variables of differing handrail heights, I will keep our first lesson novice-worthy and stick with stairs/gaps this month. Now that I have offered this incredibly idiosyncratic idea, you must want to tell me how I speak ideally on purely relative terms—making me quite the naif. Expecting nothing less from my pupils, I applaud you. However, the grand variable that always wiggles in is our arcane, truly unevolved minds. Do you really think that if you used your gigantic brain for little more than survival, we as a species would be where we are today and where we are going for that matter? No! For Christ’s sake, it’s going to take a miracle to open the mind however briefly, to accomplish the obviously possible impossible. To you, my devout, I conclude with this obscure relevance that may have profound consequence: You either know The Manhole Theory or you have faith in The Manhole Theory. Faith being the eternal component, coursing throughout every cell in our bodies as it strives to liberate the soul. I find it hard to believe that without it the impossible is possible.


As a post-script, I will address the nature of the seeming madness I just discussed. To know is simple. It is to use one’s senses and intellect to devise a mind pattern regarding an object or idea desiring knowledge of, making this object a piece of the mind, a phantom in that endless abyss of the imagination. This, then, is an infinite of chaos, where nothing is as it seems and therefore there is no truth. In a world devoid of truth, we cannot become masters of spirit left to roam the murky waters of bondage in complete servitude to the material world of suffering and the like.

Now we will redirect our intent to its desired course: that of faith. Faith is pure like light and exists in the realm of will, love and truth. It is what cannot be destroyed because of its eternal nature of only existing in the present moment. Only able to live in the now, it can never decay, become mutated, corrupted, exploited or given to chaos. Now that we see faith is our freedom in a dark world, once we fix our stars, orbit with the light of faith, we find that love is our true will where infinitely anything is possible. I say these things in the name of Bear Christ, amen.

Illustration: Tully Flynn The proof is in the pudding. The Manhole Theory soundly applied. Photo: Adam Dorobiala