THE BALLAD OF LOST GLOVES
This is the final event of our storytelling exercise devoted to seasons and to the objects characterizing them. Winter is just gone and it belongs to gloves, items we lose on our way too often. Is it simple distraction, or is it something else?
Glove n. 3
The Legend of Bagger Vance is a movie I often rewatch on TV. It’s the story of a young talented of golf, interpreted by Matt Damon, who, in the early 20th century America is recruited for World War I. On his return, he’s devasted, the conflict is too painful to be back on the golf course as if it didn’t happen. That’s why he starts to drink and lose control: when he thinks he has reached the bottom, life gives him a chance to play, to love again, to meet a caddy – Bagger Vance, aka Will Smith – whose role is to remind him why life and sport both make us face several challenges.
In one of the main scenes of the film, Bagger Vance explains to Matt Damon (I can never remember the main character’s name, sorry), move by move, his competitor’s strike, with a monologue in which athletic performance and metaphors blur. Thanks to the numerous TV rewatches, I almost know it by heart, it goes like this:
‘The golf player always seems to be searching for something. Then he finds it. He finds a connection with himself. He finds concentration. He can choose among several strikes, but there is only one strike that is perfectly harmonious with the course. A strike that perfectly suits him. An authentic one. And he’s going to choose that. There’s a perfect strike trying to reach all of us. We only have to leave its trajectory free. Leave it free to choose us’.
A perfect strike towards us: what’s better than golf lessons to catch it? Here I am on the green course. Sequences of sharp, precise, measured strikes every week. My trainer says they’re ‘mirable drawings traced in the air’, I think they suck. I improve day by day, the distance between me and the last hole is shorter, but I cannot see perfect strikes yet.
What if the secret was saying no to this wait, Bagger Vance? Giving up to the idea that the perfect strike may come, but in the meantime we can live. This thought comes to my mind in the blink of an eye, and years of anxieties and worries disappear all at once. The small golf ball goes through the sky, dividing it in two.
It’s a warm winter, I sit down on the ground. Tonight I’ll be home earlier, the perfect strike didn’t pass to say hi. I could keep trying. Or maybe I could go back to my family. Surprise it. Give it more time. Find out that it’s able to accept me despite my flaws.
Today I played without my glove on. Maybe I left it on my office desk, maybe I lost it on the way. No problem. The wind is blowing gently. As I go away with my sporty bag on my shoulder, Springtime is the call of someone who wishes to see you again.
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