Monday, January 31, 2011

Stuff to say, year 3

First there was this one. (Halfway down the page, not so fun. Really don't need to relive it. Too many bright lights and records waiting to be broken, makes me dizzy.)
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Then there was this one. (Better. Much better. Relief and pride brilliance in the middle of the black hole that was the strangeness of last season.)
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Now this one. We meet again, Cougars.
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Watching generations turn and grow, watching two halves make a whole, seeing something that almost can't be seen except for all of the little bits together. The roaring crowd, the pull-up trey, the tap turn swat over, the pointing passing pounding together to create this heart-hustle that we needed, we so needed.
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You can see the boys start to understand it, I think, the ones who've just begun. What a frustrating beauty to watch it all start from scratch, I've only just understood that in the last two years, when I was suddenly the old-school, the glory days, I was suddenly the history lesson looking into the fresh-faced future. And now they're here and they're watching and doing and slowly it will come.
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Busting out the beams, there they were. Clint and Will on the bench, straight up gleeful. Brendan, button-down senior, blazing pride, he knows this to his roots; De'Mon, serious eyes until that final three smacks a wide toothy grin on him that doesn't go away, his thumbs up, arms waving; Tom, hustling on the court (you wanna be like Jason Richards? Those drives are a damn good start) and shouting encouragement off it (that is, too); the roommates, Pope and Rabbi, Jake/JP, struggling of late but so strong and stalwart still, lanky one and wiry the other, both with the same determined gaze the same set jaws and I trust them; and their classmate, Nik, all cool head and no fear, talking it out and then making it happen, he'll find a way around you, he'll twist and breathe and dive right through, he'll smooth it out and fire.
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Carrie: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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The noise is deafening.
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In the midst of the bubbling pink-cheeked buzz, hands sore from clapping, voice hoarse from screaming the dream, I notice three men standing in the bottom right corner of the arena, inches from where they used to wait in the shadows to hear those familiar strains of guitar. Legends in this house of ours. I see them clapping for these boys, still in a way their teammates, even if they never stepped onto the court together. I see their faces and I think of moments. Bandaged thumb, blocks and charges and much-needed screens, laughing jubilance on the front page of USA Today ... Coming off the bench into a glorious 17-point beatdown, name being chanted and echoed through the depths of rows and aisles of thousands ... Wrenching rebounds, a ball off the floor and into his arms, head bowed and gleaming with sweat, Good Friday deep breaths before free throws that helped write the history books ...
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"If I can learn it," Andrew said before the game, standing in the lobby getting so many hugs, so many days and even years after that fleeting moment that started to change so many things, "then so will they."

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You are so young; you stand before beginnings. I would like to beg you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer ...
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Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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