The Ocean & Us: Sharing the Energy of Waves

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the updated The Ocean and Us! I am so proud of our new focus, and so proud of our original episodes as well. We are starting off our renewed series with and interview with my friend Joshua Greiner. He is a fellow Speller, and also an active poet and surfer and more. And we had a great chat about our shared joy of surfing with Waves 4 All! I am so looking forward to sharing more stories of disabled folks and the ocean. Thank you for being with us! (Transcript below)

Here is a link with some of Joshua’s poetry:

Your Friend,




D: Hi my Friends! I am so excited to share our new vision for The Ocean and Us Podcast!

T:  Yeah, well, as you know, we’ve not been really able to regularly keep up with the podcast in its original form which was interviewing friends about their work in ocean conservation and inclusion. I think it was a really great project and you learned a lot and made a lot of connections, and we’ve definitely heard from many people who appreciated it and really enjoyed it but Danny was feeling like it needed to be freshened up… not that it was stale! but he wanted to shake things up a little bit

D: Exactly! It was a lot of work and it seemed that we weren’t reaching many people. So I wanted to take a step back

and reimagine what we can do in the ocean realm while connecting to more people!

T: So, do you want to share what you have come up with?

D: Absolutely! We will focus more on how disabled folks access the ocean!

T: And why have you chosen this focus, this approach?

D: I have grown so much through my own experience in learning how to play in the ocean! And also my perceptions of what you can do have changed a lot, too

T: And my confidence as a support for you has grown through our experience working on your ocean skills together as well as watching other people help you access the watersports that you want to learn. So that’s been important growth for myself as well

D: I am so proud of my journey and have met some amazing people in the process!

T: Absolutely. I’ve really enjoyed meeting for example some of the other Spellers we’ve met through surfing through Waves4All, which you’ll hear more about. And it’s definitely a common thread that seems to run through many Spellers – many of you are drawn to the ocean. I think that’s a commonality that most humans share

D: I agree. And with that, I want to introduce this interview with Joshua Greiner, who is a friend through poetry and surfing and a community building project in Arizona!

T: You and Joshua have crossed paths in several ways

D: I so enjoyed chatting with him!

T: I think this was the first Speller interview that you’ve conducted with another Speller

D: Yes it is indeed

T: I know when we were starting this series, we were wondering “how does this work with Spelling to Communicate?” And we were like “Let’s just try it, we’ll see!” That’s why it’s in video format, so we can have the captions and transcript

though your speaking enunciation is progressing phenomenally!

D: We tried it and it worked and I want to explore options for more audio-only options

T: So you mean so people can just listen and follow along even just in their car when they can’t be watching a screen or reading a transcript or captions, right?

D: Right!

T: Yeah! We’ll figure it out Back to this interview: I must admit that… so, I have met Joshua several times online and a handful of times in-person. I very much value his company and, embarrassingly, I kept calling him Jeremy in this interview, which makes me cringe because I know and value Joshua as a complete person on his own. But Jeremy is another of Danny’s friends and he and Joshua overlap with this Arizona project, and Danny had been hanging out with Jeremy a lot. And I kept calling Joshua “Jeremy” and I am very embarrassed about it and apologize very much to Joshua. And thank you to his mom and CRP Amy for kindly correcting me. I don’t know what was going on with me that day

D: Haha he thought it was so funny!

T: Well, that’s gracious of him if that’s how he felt. But really, Jerem… I just did it again! Oh my gosh. Joshua is quite a talented poet as well as surfer, so I really recommend – we’ll find some links for some of his poetry and include it. I do recommend checking out his writing in addition to this interview

D: Totally!

T: Is there anything else you want to tell folks?

D: Hmmm… Not for now, other than I am so appreciative of Joshua’s time and friendship and also Amy’s!

T: Yeah, likewise!

D: Let’s go!

T: Enjoy!

Chat with Joshua

D: I am so excited to chat with you!

J: Me too, Danny!

D: How are you today, my friend?

J: Wonderful

T: Good, good!

D: I am so lucky we met through so many cool initiatives, and surfing is one of them!

J: Yes, so glad!

D: So I want to learn more about how you started surfing!

J: I started 5 years ago in San Diego with John White and Waves4All, with my dad and my cousins and my brother

T: Wow, it’s been a while, Josh! That’s awesome

D: I loved surfing together with you earlier this year!

T: It was really cool to see the 2 of you surfing side by side

J: Yes, I loved it!

D: So how does surfing make you feel?

J: It is too incredible, feeling the tremendous energy of the ocean. I love showing it my energy. I love that its energy is so much bigger

T: Wow, Jeremy – sorry – wow, Josh, that’s beautiful!

D: So gorgeous, and I totally relate!

A: It must be amazing for you guys to have something that has bigger energy than you, because the energy you feel must be so big and to encounter bigger energy is a cool concept!

T: It is, absolutely!

D: Absolutely, it is so absolutely freeing and so awe-inspiring and so profound!

T: There’s seems to be something that any Speller we’ve talked with about the ocean, they say there’s something very special about it about the energy they feel there, how it can regulate them how it helps them feel more a part of the world somehow

D: Totally! Josh, I am so wanting to know how Waves4All feels as a community!

J: It is love. When I’m there, I feel safe and understood. I am testing them, but they always know to bring me back My body wants to run, but I want to stay. We fight our bodies. They understand.

T: Yeah, I think they’re really remarkably good at helping – I know that with Danny, work through some of that nervous, anxious energy that anyone would experience when trying to learn how to surf and helping him get back to what he actually wants to be doing

D: Totally!

A: Yes, so many other people think that he doesn’t want to do it, but they definitely understand – they’re like “Let’s keep doing it!” They don’t listen to the body

T: Yeah! For years, I thought that Danny didn’t really like being in the ocean. I knew he liked walking by it. Because whenever we’d try to bring him snorkeling he’d just be really uneasy, really anxious. He’d go kayaking sometimes,

but we just thought we’d be making him do something unpleasant if we tried to push it And actually, he loves it!

A: And Josh too! And you’re snorkeling – I’ve seen you, that’s so awesome!

D: It is so amazing with communication how our lives open up!

J: I agree

T: And Josh, you’re very active, too – you’re involved in all sorts of things, which I think is really amazing

D: So inspiring that you do so much even though you are still so young!

T: So Danny just wanted to say that he loves the chance to speak more to Jeremy [Joshua] and he wants to ask him so many more questions as would I, but he doesn’t want to tire Jeremy too much so he wants to give the option to…

A: You mean Joshua?

T: Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry

A: I know you guys see Jeremy a lot, so All these “J” names

T: Thank you for correcting me Yes, there’s so many J names and you and Jeremy kind of look the same, Josh – the dark hair, tall, slender… Sorry, I’m so sorry Josh.

Danny wants to make sure he’s not stressing you out by keeping you on too long so he wants to give you the chance to say any parting words. And if there’s any additional things you’d like us to include, you can always send them to us later. But Danny wants to be really sensitive to your energy level, Josh.

D: I love talking with you but don’t want to stress you out!

J: It’s really uplifting! Well, I’m okay to keep talking

T: Great, I’m glad to hear it, Josh!

D: Fantastic! Can I ask you what you think about conservation and what we nonspeaking folks can contribute?

J: I think there’s so much we can contribute, like what the importance of depending the planet is. We know, looking in the same truth, everyone who is autistic will illuminate equality of experience in nature.

D: I absolutely agree, Josh, and our perceptions of nature are so profound and the world could learn so much from us!

T: I liked the word you use, “illuminating”

D: So Josh, how are you feeling now?

J: I’m feeling tired, but I love this!

T: Oh good. Danny, you’re feeling kind of the same, huh?

D: Haha, same indeed. Well I have one last question, and that is: when will we surf again?

J: I think soon. This summer.

A: We’ll have to arrange something

T: Definitely! We look forward to it

D: Totally, my surf buddy!

T: Danny spells, and I echo, thank you so much for your time and energy. I appreciated the chance to get to know more about your ocean journey!

J: I loved it, kind friend

T: Great!

D: See you soon in Arizona!

A: Alright, well this has been so great

T: Thank you so much, Josh and Amy – Josh, I’m so sorry I kept messing up your name. I did not get a very restful weekend so my Monday’s starting off very scattered. I do apologize again.

A: We know the feeling. Okay, done now I think!

D: So nice, you two! Bye!

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