The Transcendent Spirit and Poetry of Courage

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(Cricket as an Antidepressant)

Sometimes when feeling particularly downtrodden by the demands and pulsing terrors of daily tasks and work-life indecencies, I take an hour for myself, away from the dreary routine, to watch old footage of my favourite cricketers in their finest moments.

There is something metaphysically and intrinsically calming about this, as though the quantum matter that constructs my biology and thought-phenomena finds necessary stability in the recognition of kindred forms.  

To watch great cricket is to view the transcendent soul in action, when the spirit burns incandescent and stands irrefutable in its pristine divinity. There is, in these moments, the feeling of endless stretched-out microseconds and the overwhelming sensation of weightlessness – both hallmarks of a deep spiritual renewal. Perhaps this feeling is akin to what some find in the worship of Gods, or that which we experience in the spirit-coupling of our human intimacy and the dopamine neurochemistry of sexual communion.

For all cricket enthusiasts there are certain moments and memories that burst out bright among the peaks and troughs of the cricketing skyline. Particular sequences in time when the poetry of courage wrote itself upon the bats and brows of legends, inventing new words in the dazzle of momentary God-like heroics; when heroes were freshly born or resurrected from recent slumber. These are the moments that count – the ones we store inside our spiritual anatomy; the ones we need to survive the trials and disappointments ahead.

For us there is no admiration free of adoration; perhaps this is our weakness, or worse than weakness – our worship. Perhaps, though who can say – especially now among these towering forms.

Cricketers like poets, must tread the needle-thin line between too much and too little; they must perfectly gauge the push and gentle force required by each moment, breathing as though upon a tight-rope, focusing on every step and sway. Poetry is silent touch and quiet intent; so is cricket, when at its finest.

There have been so many moments of brilliance; some just mere seconds, some the breathless trance of a full-days play. But each in their own way have changed the climate of our lives, even while many remained unaware of their happening. Somehow everything is different, subtly changed from what it was before the moment began. In this way, cricket is more than sport – it is the powerful magic of quantum shape-change and spirit-metamorphosis.

It is in these moments that we experience the passage of pure unformed matter from chaos to iron-still solidity, when we feel the eternity of awe and the bracing chill of all endless feeling. It is in these moments that we are granted a heartbeats grace to flow above our forms and gaze through the corridor of certainty, yes – just like that; the corridor of all certainty.

It is the act of remembrance itself that sculpts our future thoughts and memory of these moments – when the still air buzzed with blue-electric discordant current, when our heroes grasped at invisible and indivisible atoms, guiding energy through the adjoining rooms of collapsible dimensions. When even matter itself was spread wide, changed in course and reorganised to assist the creation of new worlds, when the fabric of intangible fate allowed itself, for just one moment, to be used and harnessed, torn asunder to make manifest the run, the wicket or the article of victorious action.

These are the days of gifts and ancient love; when sportsmen cease their sport to write poetry of metaphysical incandescence. When they weave and bind new worlds in beauty, cast solid matter from the dust of particles and possibilities. O, to see this joyous fire come from nothing! And then how we, all so effortlessly frozen, bonded still and forever fixed together – how we slept in the unbound joy of brotherhood and dreamt of peaceful days to follow.

Moments make us – and they make the game what it is. We and it together are so beautifully bound in everlasting remembrance. For in these special moments it was us – cast free to live unburdened and reformed, to embrace this endless image so cherished in our love. Cast free to be, until our loving ceases in its breath, in the dying days and years ahead.

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