Sunday, October 12, 2014

Turning Head over Heal Pt. 1

I have sense of these buried lives
striving to come out through me to
express themselves.
                                --Marge Piercy

“Grandma, how do you hold this thing?” 
“See this hole right here?” Her grandmother pointed to the bottom hole on the ball. “That is where you will put your thumb.  The other two holes you put your pointer and middle finger in.”  This time pointing to the top two holes. “Now, you try it.” 

Diana put her three fingers in the adjacent holes and automatically the ball fell and hit the floor. 
I guess that one is too heavy for you, let’s try this one instead, okay?  Her grandmother picks a really sparkly green ball and hands it to Diana. How does that one feel sweetie?
Diana tries this new ball. Grandma, this one is way better!
Now, Diana, we are going to try throwing it down the lane. That is what this area is called before you reach the pins. Never step over the line you are standing at, okay? You are not really going to throw it, but propel it to a fast roll. Ready to try?
Diana moved to the line where she had seen her grandmother standing so many times before. She underarms the ball into a perfect tailspin, the number 9 spinning head over heel down the sleekly shined parquet floor. When the ball gets to the top of the lane it rams straight into the top pin, someone behind her yells, STRIKE! The crowd disrupts into chaos, everyone shouting Diana’s name, she continues standing at the top of the lane, she doesn’t even hear the cheering, she is stuck in the age of 8 years old; the first time she had thrown the ball and made a strike. Her grandmother had yelled her name, but more importantly she had picked Diana up and spun her around in a huge hug. 

Diana, you did it! I am so proud of you. You have worked so hard this past year to get that strike. See how perseverance comes out on top? That isn’t going to always happen, but the steps that you take now to learn the game or anything else you do in life will make you a better, stronger person. The one thing that I would ask you to do is to never compromise your values to come out on top, okay, sweetie?

What the chaotic crowd didn’t see was Diana stepping over the line ever so slightly, just enough to get the farthest reach that she could. She had cheated, she didn’t stick to what her grandmother had taught her, she had done what her coach had told her to do, “Win at all costs, or you’re washed up.”