Modern fatigue and the meandering waves of test match cricket
(Cricket as an Antidepressant)
To be tired for the bulk of your waking life is to be the deliverer of weariness upon everything that you put your hand to. It is a great sadness to see the reflection of your own fatigue in the faces of your friends and companions and to know that you are the genesis of their immediate discomfort and suffering.
Some days it feels as though the heavy roller has been used on one’s life.
The oppressive sensation of being flattened out ready for a day’s play, the sheer weight and repetitiveness of the rolling wheel… these are the hardships of living. Life is the roller, we are the pitch. Shine up the brand new Duke and let’s get to it.
It is a perversity of human nature to ponder one’s own existence and feel disappointed with what one finds. Only human beings can be so self-indulgent and narcissistic. Fortunately for all our sake there is no place for narcissism in test cricket. This is the true brotherhood and communion of man; where one gets to feel a part of the great cosmic whole, where the slow breath of summer is shared by all who play and watch, where the crisp whites are the religious garb of the pious and the bat and ball are the myrrh and frankincense of worship. Praise be the living God, He abides here in the meandering waves of test match cricket.
Upon the pages of the year two thousand and fourteen was written New Zealand’s best calendar year in their test match playing history. Records were broken, heroes were forged and reforged, an unprecedented amount of test matches were won. It was a glorious year of victories home and abroad that ushered in a new feeling of hope and a fresh sense of purpose. But more importantly, there was the reawakening of a warrior like will-to-life that had been missing or diminished for some time. Amidst the success there manifested a visible air of deliberateness and knowing. Cricket, that eternal and efficacious spirit, absorbs these elements and reconstitutes them as the dust and blood of voodoo spells that change men into heroes of iron grit.
There is a climate of humility that exists anywhere that spirit is also. It is there to see and feel. This is one of the great gifts that cricket gives us. All that is asked in return is our joyous subservience to the sacred laws of camaraderie and companionship. In cricket there is both iron and water at play. The iron of determination and the waters of time.. Time cannot be cheated for time never surrenders. It is us who must surrender to its dominance, only then can we begin to see the beauty that shimmers and swirls all around us. To spend a whole day on your own at a cricket game is to see how beauty and time dance together like lovers; how they swing and curve, break and refold, caress and release, caress and release.
All that is required to feel these truths, to have them revealed within you, is some simple deliberate action. If I may be so bold as to prescribe a suitable action, I recommend the following: arrive early to the ground on the first day of a test match and don’t leave until after the final ball of the day. Between these two points, breath.