27 January 2020

All the world's a stadium

How does a sport look?

It looks and looks
and looking finds its way
to one of many scores
its weary truth.

. . . .

Is a sport a record?

Always the body needs
to muscle limits
as predators learn
to outrun for food.

. . . .

Is a sport an art?

Perfecting a difficult pattern
is nothing but an exciting

—Excerpts from What Is a Sport? by Alex Gregorio ("The Rosegun", 2004)

Tears, mine, flow as I read reports on the death of Kobe Bryant. I have to wonder why as I don't care about the guy, and these news — celebrity deaths, tragedies and its casualties — rarely affect me. At most I respond with short-lived shock, which mellows into empathy before fading back into indifference.

Perhaps the reason is he's become real to me through the people I know. And being a sportsman, I find him a symbol of vitality.

This event has also made me realize the stronger kinship I feel towards athletes more than artists. When I think of the Olympic motto, Faster, Higher, Stronger, I think, What meaningless pursuit! Yet I practice the same straightforward principle. All this fixation on records, difficulty, and repetitions that aim at but never reach mastery.

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