D I A R Y
of a

P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.




Saturday, February 10, 2007

From One Thing Know All Things...

This past Thursday night was another APA match.
The ball re-arranger was Joel,
who I have played before, and won,
but it was close.
He shoots fast and true,
so El Maestro's advice was to slow down,
and the strategy was working,
but the best of strategy will fail
if I miss, and I did.
He didn't.
He won.

It was the tiniest of tables, a toy.
Lots of clusters in 8-ball.

As soon as I entered the place,
I wanted to get outta there.
(It's the hermit in me!)

The night before I played straight pool
and had some good runs
and overall I played well,
winning both matches by wide margins.
So I should have been strong for Thursday.

I was jittery and apprehensive on the drive north,
but with controlled breathing exercises
I was able to calm my body/spirit
in time for the match with Joel.

I haven't seen him for at least a year,
and as he walks up to me to say hello,
he's coughing and gravelly-voiced,
explaining he's been sick as a dog for weeks,
and me being a germophobe,
the last thing I want to be doing is
breathing his exhalations and getting his bug.

What's with all the head trips?
Why do I allow myself to think other people's thoughts?
El Maestro's advice has always been
to not look them in the eye,
not communicate with them,
ignore them.
It's not about them,
it's only about me, the table, the balls.
He has told me more than once
that I have some need to be seen as a nice person,
and that this is a weakness
which will lead to defeat.

I must learn to completely ignore my opponent,
my surroundings, my past, my future,
everything that is not
Here
(on the table)
and
Now
(preshot routine to follow-through and stay down).

As Miyamoto Musashi said, so wisely:
"From one thing know all things,
From all things know one thing."


(Miyamoto Musashi, the greatest of the samurai)

and one of my favorite philosophers

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