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small advances

January 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Last week was a bad week at the bowling league for me. Had a nightmare game where I only scored 91 and I think my high game was a 128. It seemed to be impossible to roll the ball over my targets. But while I was frustrated, I tried to keep my eyes and ears open, keep observing what I could from the surroundings. And I overheard something, something by one of the better bowlers in the league giving advice to a member of his team. He said that one being advised was not synched up, his left foot was arriving way too soon and his right arm was swinging through way too late. I thought about how my own approach and swing felt, and I realized that it was happening with me. That my left foot would slide and plant, and then my right arm would be swinging forward late. I heard that early in my 3rd game of the night, and I began trying to adjust and closed out strong enough to roll that week’s high game of 128.

So last night I thought about all of that again. I struggled with the new rhythm during the warmup. The old habit of how my body went through the sequence would try to assert itself, sometimes even causing me to step forward first with my right foot rather than the left as I’ve always done. But around the 5th frame of the 1st game I finally got my mind keyed right to get the sequence going and feel a sense of rhythm and a sort of magic to how it ought to feel. I rolled 128 in the first game.

The second game was one of the nicer games I’ve ever rolled. It wasn’t my best score ever, but it was my best bowled in a sense. I began to feel good and confident, and I had only 2 open frames. Just one strike, but I was really good on picking up the spares. The two spares I missed were because of one bad roll and the other because of a 4-6 split from when my first ball just hit that headpin nearly dead on.

The third game, I was a bit less consistent, but got a 155. It was the 6th, 7th and 9th frames where I lost focus and missed spares I ought to have made. But anyhow, I rolled a 443 series, my best series so far in league. If I can keep up with what I figured out over the last 2 weeks, I think I should be able to start rolling above a 150 average. When I have the approach right and in rhythm, it is so much easier to hit the target, or be close to it. The arm swings correctly, and there’s no sense of it being pulled across the body because the left foot planted early.

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I definitely like seeing the sunsets coming later and later. The sun still sets too early, but it’s a bit of a relief now to look out a window at a quarter after 5 and it’s not dark dark. Sometimes I wonder how I survive those days of early sunsets. The darkness is suffocating, I feel trapped and nearly hopeless, not that I’m ever really all that hopeful, but sometimes it feels like that darkness of winter is so wholly destructive.

It’s no wonder then that the sun and light are often used in writing imagery for tales and poems about love. From personal experience, I can remember how there were a couple of winters when the darkness wasn’t so oppressive, it was as though there was a light from her and a light that burned inside of me, and that filled me with light, it filled my lungs with warm smooth air, that if one could breathe silk, that’s what it was. Silk that burned with a gentle fire. I had a poem which had a line, “lit the sky like silk on fire,” and I’ve always loved those words which just took fire in my head the first moment they whispered through my lips. It was an otherwise melancholy poem, imagined from an old person’s perspective talking to a longtime friend and how he has become old, but how he remembers a time when there was a moon that lit the sky like silk on fire.

But there’s no silk in my world, and there’s no silk in me. Now I feel that all I have left to me is hard, sharp, and broken. So maybe that’s the comfort now I find in the idea of strengthening my muscles. Maybe I’ll still be broken, but I’ll be a strong broken, whatever iron there is in me will become steel. I wrote a line in a poem once about becoming steel. I thought it was about what love could build in me. But love is probably never so direct, it’s a sly one and maybe prefers to break some people in order to remake them. I don’t know.

Who was that person I was 3 years ago? Was he real? Was it illusion? One thing to always remember is that unreliable narrators aren’t just unreliable to the others they tell stories to, they are often unreliable to their own selves. It’s a hell of thing about the human story making capacity. It’s just a hell of a thing. Truth is very slender and thin, and only shows through the tiny cracks, cracks which you might only see out of the corner of the eye.

Oh well.