In Golf I Trust

Golf is my teacher, my meditation, my compass, my punching bag, my fortuneteller, my escape, and my mirror. It has been called everything from “the perfect asana” to “a good walk spoiled”. I prefer the former.

For many, golf is an “activity” for lazy, fat, rich, white men. Thankfully, Tiger Woods came along 10 years ago and uprooted that with his pure mental and physical domination of the game. I like Tiger. He’s a performer and winner, yet he grasps the nature that golf is a pursuit to be continuously explored, studied, and mastered, yet will never be conquered. He’s traditionally dodged any questions pertaining to the “deeper pursuits” of golf, despite the fact that his mother is Buddhist, however I sense a deeper connection to the game beyond his physical and mental fascination.

Golf, and more precisely the golf swing, tells me a lot about what is going on in my life. I’m open to the possibility that it’s all projection; but that still leaves the beauty that the swing is an echo of what’s happening in the moment. By the way, Michael Murphy wrote the seminal work

on the subject of golf = life = spiritual expression, so if it peaks your interest – start here.

For simplicity’s sake, let’s just accept that the golf swing includes 5 parts: the grip, the setup, the backswing, the downswing (pre and post contact), and the follow through. I find that as my life goes through stages of development, both as a whole, and in parts of everything from relationships to projects, aspects of struggle and success manifest in my golf swing accordingly. For instance, the last few years I was “coincidentally” working on reconstructing my setup and backswing (preparation) as I was developing and creating new projects in my work life.

After several years of preparation on both fronts, I realized I was in a perfect position “at the top” (the moment the backswing ends and downswing begins), however the contact and follow through fell apart. What was going on in my life? I was spending an immense amount of time sculpting and perfecting recordings and albums, however when it came time to launch, the records fell flat.

I assumed that the publicity and release of the record (much like the “release” of the club) was someone else’s responsibility. I spent months creating a fantastic album, and then waited for someone to send me a royalty check. And while the latter stages weren’t my responsibility, they were responsible for me not garnering success from all of the work I had done. In short, who cared how great the production of the album was if I DIDN’T HIT THE BALL AND FOLLOW THROUGH.

Since that period in my life, I have worked more on personally escorting projects as far as I can. Concurrently, my golf swing’s impact position and after became the point of study. I began to experience the feeling of compacting the ball, releasing the club, and finishing balanced and complete. Because in the end, that’s all we can do. Make a full swing with complete intention and connection and trust the results…

But today I worked on my grip. I’ve felt a reboot coming in my life for a while and it turns out my golf grip is a little off. My hands are unconsciously separating during the backswing, and consequently are hopelessly disconnected by impact. On the range, I realized that the more my grip is off in the beginning, the less of a chance anything after that has of being effective. As I drove home I wondered, what is the essential reboot in my life that wants to happen?

Pulled Pork

“I’ll have a pulled pork sandwich, two-fisted, dressed as a portly woman.”

Was the last line of my dream.
Apparently, from the restaurant menu, that means a pork sandwich, with two helpings of ground pork.

and then I woke up.

The Sensitive Terrorist

I was going through the security checkpoint at the Raleigh airport. Considering it was the holidays, it was pretty slow. Until, the slow drawed, slow moving security guard watching his favorite show on the X-Ray asked me to open my backpack.
Ugh, I thought.
“Is this your 4 ounces of Sensodyne toothpaste?”
“Um, yes it is.” I answered, slightly embarrassed by my sensitivity.
“Are you aware that any liquids or gels over three and a half ounces need to be in a plastic bag, or checked?”
“Um, well, I, um…Yes, I guess I was but…”
“I’m going to have to throw this in the trash.”

You’re going to confiscate my Sensodyne toothpaste? I’m mean, I kind of get the theory about using gels as explosive materials, and maybe I can excuse the level of ridiculousness that the TSA has taken this liquid witch hunt to, but…

“Hey Musharraf! Are you ready to take down capitalism in the name of Allah?!”
“Are you ready to give your life as a commitment to this cause?!”
“Yes! Absolutely! I’m in! But wait! Hold on a second, these sensitive teeth are killing me! I mean really, I’ve got to get a hold of some very gentle and delicate pain-relieving toothpaste that can help rebuild the enamel on my teeth over time. I realize I might be dead in a matter of days, but certainly I can go pain free in the mean time.”

Dream Journal, cont’d.

Music is a sheet of ice that extends across the ocean. Several people are chipping away with the back side of hammer to split and sever the ice. These are the remixers. Their clinking will travel across the ocean.
But then, the ice cracks and a huge hole opens up. I fall through the ice into an underwater river that is carrying me to the far east. The water is cold, but I’m not cold.
The flow carries me to China, where I am still underwater, but looking down upon a nativity scene. However, the lead character (Jesus?) has been replaced by a metal Ankh,
the horizontal crossbar*. This is the drama of the play. Who kidnapped Jesus and replaced him with this ornament wearing a robe?
Now, there is someone following me…
Suddenly, I have the urge to call Saul Williams. “Is your email still the same?” “I should call you.” I say to him, just after I call him.


*This is fascinating. After I wrote this, I had to do some research to figure out what this symbol is called. I found:

The ankh is a combination of two symbols, a circle, and a the
Tau cross. The circle represents perfection, the spiritual world or
Eternity. The cross represents Spirit incarnated or the Manifested
World. It’s the combination of the vertical line and the horizontal line.
The horizontal line is yin. Yin is the place where life can take place.
The vertical line is Yang, like a Solar Ray coming down. In order to
have life you have to have those two things, you have to have a womb,
Mother Earth, where life can take place and you have to have an impulse
of life.

The horizontal line is like the surface of the sea

the vertical line is like a lightening bolt. These two combine to form the
cross, or in the case of the ankh, the Tau, on which the circle sits.