David Cook




At Jardim do Mar, west of the point, the surf was up, breakers moving from right to left across the bay. A fine mist swirled on the raised esplanade from where I looked down on six surfers as they pushed out to sea.


At Fistral they had always been specks in the distance, so that here for the first time I was able to watch their technique: catching the wave a little ahead of where it was breaking, travelling along and in front until the board began to slow, steering back up the wave for a second surge.


One surfer managed three spurts which carried him a hundred yards towards the point. I was reminded of ‘overwhelming’, the manner in which being is described as reaching beings, shaking them with the majesty of its arrival.


How did the bookish Heidegger come up with a description like that? Skiing and she-ing, I suppose, although possibly not in that order.




We have been lucky enough to escape much of the British winter in Madeira for the last few years. Not of course 2021 - and 2022 hangs in the balance. Here is a memory from 2018. That year I had been reading Heidegger, especially his two postwar essays, ‘Identity and Difference’ and ‘On Time and Being’.

Both were translated and introduced by the excellent Jean Stambaugh who also wrote interestingly about Buddhism.