Kale's blog

Will-o'-the-wisp, where's that wrinkle in time?

Month: September, 2012

About those Tears from Before

This is about those tears I wasn’t able to talk about back then.

If you read that one, you’d understand it when I say, In all honesty and truthfulness, I swear I didn’t shed any tears on that game.

You see, crying in a ball game is for athletes, sportspeople, sports fans. I’m not either one of those and I have not yet come close to understanding the feelings of people who are engaged in sports.

Unlike Twilight where I feel like I already have an inkling of comprehension of their passion. Unlike the followers of J.K. Rowling whose fervour I understand by more than just a bit. But with sports, I’ve not much of a clue.

I still think of games as games and are meant to be so.

But those tears didn’t spring from any particularly deep emotion during that game.

And, despite the fact that a person was crying, I call it the lighter side of the entire event.

You might think badly of me, call me evil, or want to stone me; but the misery of people I do find amusing. Especially ones that they brought upon themselves. It does sound like a rather dark source of amusement.

But you must note that I personally do not make an effort to put misery in the lives of people. I do not exactly revel in watching people’s misery. In fact, I would be perfectly happy if such a state did not exist for any of Earth’s people.

It’s not the truth. It’s not the reality. It’s not the way things are. For ours is not the perfect world. And we must all learn to live with it. Otherwise, we wallow in the have-not’s and that leads to nowhere other than even more misery.

I’ve digressed.

Now, back to those particular tears.

The previous narrative was in no way complete. If that could even pass for a narrative. Anyway, given the tears, it should be obvious that the game didn’t end in an entirely happy note.

Especially not for that game official.

Given the circumstances, there was no way that game could end in a happy note.

She wasn’t the chairman of the officiating team. The chairman who normally gets all the trouble. She was the scorer.

Firstly, some players weren’t happy about the scoring. Especially about the strike outs. She received too many questions she probably felt the wrong things her eyes started reddening and watering.

That was about the time when I discovered the real score – our turn during the third and last inning.

Next, she made things worse for herself by calling us imbeciles.

That wasn’t received well. No one would’ve received that well. Instead, it gained stronger reactions than the questionable scores.

Yes, that amused me. That part exactly.

I thought of taking myself out of the game instead of taking three people out of the game. In the end, I still took three people out of the game.

I was such an idiot.

But, before that, we reached the second bad bit of the game: the opposing team was playing with ten defenders. When, supposedly, there should only be nine.

I didn’t notice it. Nobody noticed it. Except perhaps the game officials who answered us it was not a violation of the rules and that it was pretty normal.

I didn’t know what to do with that. I didn’t know what to do with that statement. I had absolutely no idea how to deal with such a declaration.

As for me, this was another point of idiocy that tells me there was not a single moment during that game when I acted smart.

See, now that I think about it, my first kick was on the right direction. I recognised a shortstop on the other side of the infield*. My ball was caught. I should have realised then that they had two shortstops. But, no. I was blind.

As I’ve mentioned, nobody noticed something was wrong until the third inning. Not that it took one player away from the field. Like she said, it was normal to have ten players on the field.

And, it wasn’t just about the one single excess shortstop. There was also the fact that the outfielders were already infield. I didn’t ever think before that more than two defenders were allowed inside the diamond.

I don’t blame those errors, really. I bear the burden. The fault is in my hands.

Now, I’ve digressed too far.

My dark amusement, yes.

Those tears didn’t arise from fervent passion for the game. Neither was it a celebration of victory. Nor was it from sadness after a losing game.

Basically, she didn’t need to be in so much trouble. Had she not offended us, everything would’ve stopped and the game could’ve continued as normally as was possible. And, had she not uttered even more unnecessary words, the discussion would have been over before the game was over.

It wasn’t merely dark amusement.

It was a reminder that, indeed, one cannot fight fire with fire.

The one way to fight fire is with water. The one unmistakable character of water is that it does not have its own shape. It does not impose its own way but abides. It is gentle.

And in this manner must we settle arguments. More than just arguments, it is in this manner, too that we must receive other people if disorder is not what we seek.

Only then can we avoid that which is unnecessary.

Know that the world is already not at peace with itself. Creating more confusion will only fuel the flames of chaos which are already burning bright. Turning those flames into reality can only end in destruction.

* Yes, I did say infield. My kick wasn’t right. I received the ball wrong. I knew it wouldn’t fly well. I recognise that much. Not that such an assessment helped me later. This is what one gets for not practising even once before an actual game.

Although, I would’ve made it, and the rest of us in the field, if there weren’t too many infielders from the opposing team. Yes, I could be miscalculating but, judging from how the game went for the rest of them, I would’ve made it.

If she wasn’t there, the second shortstop, the ball wouldn’t have been caught. I could’ve ran. But, of course, they could still have caught me before I reached the base.

Defeat, Tears, and Bitterness

“Ferrari is a team and I am the goalkeeper. If we lose, it’s because I’m an idiot; but if we win, it’s down to the while lot of us.”

– Enzo Ferrari

I’m the idiot. A bloody idiot.

It’s the games again at the university. But, unlike before, participation is mandatory. Personally, I think that decreases the sense of enjoyment that can be gained from such an event because freedom is severely diminished with such a rule hovering above our heads.

In such a situation, a person would have to choose and pick a game or any event whatsoever that one can participate in. Even if your athleticism is but a pinch. Even if your skills are only remotely acceptable. Even if your talents are beautifully hidden.

Now, what works for me is to not participate. If I don’t register, I don’t have to be in school. If I don’t have to be in school, I can be in front of my computer. If I am in front of my computer, I can get things done.

Nevertheless, I had to. However, when it comes to sports, I’m quite lethargic. Especially ball games. For gone are the days when we could play ball games the way we wanted to and without someone watching us imposing rules created by the people who first met a certain ball.

I bike. And that’s it.

We played kickball. For the unfamiliar, it’s a rather hybrid game. You play on either a softball or a baseball field. You use the same rules. However, instead of using a bat and a softball or a baseball, you use a football. Now you should already have a general picture of how the game is played.

We lost.

And that defeat is my responsibility in more ways than one.

Firstly, I lead them. We played softball for an entire quarter in P.E. during the Team Games year in high school. Nobody else seemed to know about it. I’ve absolutely no idea what they did in their own high schools. Naturally, they listened to me.

By Enzo Ferrari’s words, I was the proverbial goalkeeper. We lost. I’m an idiot.

Secondly, I was the one who sent the ball flying and got me and three of my teammates out. Fly balls are easy to catch. I knew that much. What I didn’t know was how weak I kicked that ball. As it flew, I knew that it would have been more surprising if it didn’t get caught.

It was the first inning. We didn’t score a single run. I’m still the idiot.

Thirdly, the worst and the exact reason why I feel the way I do right now, I gravely miscalculated. I thought I had the correct statistics. I thought that if we only defended so well that they wouldn’t gain another point, we would’ve won already. We did manage to have better defences. They never gained another point after the first inning. We played defence so we get to have the last turn. I was so complacent I didn’t bother about getting a run.

Turns out the statistics that game official gave me was wrong. It was off by five for the opposing team. I thought we were ahead.

We weren’t. I couldn’t have counted the runs myself. I’m such a bloody idiot.

Nevertheless, the game could still have been saved. We still could’ve won. We only needed five more runs. If only I didn’t make another mistake. If only it wasn’t my turn to kick next.

You see, instead of risking a fly ball, I deliberately kicked the ball weakly so that it wouldn’t fly. I knew I would risk not being able to reach first base because the ball would be too near but I did it anyway thinking I’d be the only one getting off the game.

Wrong.

Again.

Apparently, me not reaching the first base also meant the rest of the people already standing in the bases getting off the game, too. It made three of us. Game over.

Idiot, idiot, idiot.

Defeat doesn’t come to me too often. (I didn’t mean to brag.) But when it does come, I never like it. I can accept it; but I can’t like it. Nobody does. We’re all but humans. And humans naturally hate to lose.

We’re also naturally competitive. And this was all but spurred by the doctrine of the survival of the fittest. Darwin’s theory of evolution hails man as the ultimate species.

Such an attitude isn’t the source of evil. But, like everything else, it has to be kept in moderation. A healthy sense of competition has pushed mankind to the technology and progress that we have achieved. Otherwise, we all might still be living in caves and you wouldn’t be reading this.

On the other hand, having too much, or too little, for that matter, can be very destructive. It can divert you from the path to your goal. It can even blind you from seeing your goal. Ultimately, it can derail you.

I haven’t experienced defeat in a long time. Not like this. Bitter might be too strong a word. Yet I cannot find anything else. My teammates trusted me, I lead them, and I let them down too much.

We all laughed about it, of course. I didn’t hear anyone complaining against me. Nobody attacked me.

But I’m not cut from the same cloth as they are. I will bear this. I will remember this.

I can tell myself, If it’s any consolation, everyone knows you’re not an athlete. Everyone knows you don’t play ball. That wasn’t so bad a performance. Besides, it was just a game. It’s not as if it was a major league tournament.

I can’t. I can’t accept that. That can’t console me.

I was there. I don’t play just so I could lose. If I wasn’t such an idiot, we would’ve won.

I’ve learnt not to get disappointed. But that only covers other people. By not expecting so much from others… By not expecting anything of others, I can’t get disappointed.

However, I expect so much of myself and this type of performance is way below any acceptable personal standard. I will not forget this. I might never do.

Nevertheless, I don’t ever let myself dwell on that which is past. The show must go on. Life keeps moving forward and I can never let myself get left behind.

From this experience, I learnt my lessons. And lessons exist so that we may be guided on our way forward. And the way forward remains no matter how many times we fall. It’s all a matter of standing up and taking off from there.

On another note, I haven’t said anything about the tears yet. They weren’t from me. That I can assure you. This was supposed to be the lighter side of everything. But I’ve already talked too much here I’d have to put it somewhere else.

Of Materials, Things and Possessions

I am a collector.

I collect things.

I started with cards when I was little. All manner of cards. Almost.

I grew up a bit and wanted to collect hats. I had a good start. Until I started losing them one by one by leaving them on the vans that I used to travel on to go to school. So, that stopped.

This time, I collect books. It started when I relearned how to read and appreciate books. How to enjoy a world apart from that which we live in. Worlds not yet created in the silver screen. Worlds that live only in our mind’s eye.

I have a couple of a variety of magazines on the top of my shelf, too. Some CDs in one drawer. And a bit more than a few DVDs.

They’re things. My possessions. Materials I own.

Last night was also when I realised that I still have too many of them.

I used to keep everything. Even my books and notebooks from preschool used to still be with me.

Until three spring cleanings ago. That was when I started to learn to let go of things past. I started throwing things out. Little by little they disappeared. Now, the oldest ones I have are ones from high school – senior year.

Still, I’ve acquired new materials and last night made me feel that, while they pale in comparison to the sheer number of materials that the rich and affluent own, I need to cut off more.

I’ve always been fascinated about how people of old can move around. They could go places with only a single backpack on them – necessities. They never did have too many yet they are able to live.

For people of today, that doesn’t seem quite possible. I couldn’t think of anyone who can possibly leave their own place without at least a luggage bag on them. Well, for people who have a decent roof above their heads.

What I want to be able to do is to cut off my attachments towards these possessions. They have become nothing more than excess baggage. I want it to be so that when the worse becomes worst, I wouldn’t spend many a nights grieving over the loss of these things.

These things have become too much a part of me. And I realise now that they can become poison if I let them grow further. I do not want to be the person who makes her own poison.

It’s not bound to be easy. And I know that I can’t stop wanting having more things. Yet I recognise the fact that I have to want them less.

I will keep them.

What needs to be done is to cut off my strings from them so that they are no longer able to weigh me down.

These things are perishable.

We are perishable.

Attaching ourselves to that which can only come to pass does us no good. They only serve to diminish us. It is time we realise that there are better things and these better things we cannot find here.