This afternoon's win in the 8-ball tournament was made especially sweet because I was stroking with a brand new Moori tip (medium), just put on two days ago. Dave Whitsell, the cue guru, also likes to sweeten the shaft with some very light sanding. I worry that multiple sandings, over time, will alter the playability of the shaft. But I also love, really love, the feel of a lightly sanded shaft and a bare-handed (gloveless) loop bridge in a low humidity environment. It's very sensual, almost feels like living skin. Freaky!
The sensory experience is heightened even more when the stroke is flowing and the table and the balls behave well and kindly. Triple freaky!
It all gets flowing and good stuff happens. I win again.
I remember that I am still, and always will be, a student of the art. I enjoy doing these public live art performances. I like to focus on performing my art, which I have found, frequently leads to a tournament win. Focus on the process, not the result. One shot at a time.
More tournament notes: I lost the first game, but won the next 4, to make it to the finals where I lost the first game of the race to 2, but did what I had to do, and I got a roll. Gunny is always a worthy opponent, and it was close because he was playing good.
So it occurs to me that I faced six different games where I absolutely had to win, and I did. I also faced two games where it was not absolutely necessary for me to win, and I didn't. I think this is one of the more interesting things about pool is that it can be such a microcosm of Life in general. What we learn is that we can do almost anything we can imagine, although we actually do so little. The thing that keeps us from achieving according to our imaginings is that we so seldom take the next step, committing to the goal, and the process. Commitment is the key. Once you are truly committed, the result draws near.
Nothing creates Commitment more than a do-or-die situation. If you see your situation as do-or-die, then your mind will be focused, your stroke will be true, you will take nothing for granted. What more could you want than to have Victory hanging on every stroke?