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The Story of Your Squash Game

Published: 29 Nov 2008 - 00:48 by raystrach

Updated: 29 Nov 2008 - 13:16

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Every time I turn round I hear someone rabbitting on about stories and narratives. Telling us how important these stories are in helping make sense of whatever it is the narrative or story is about.

You may or may not know that we in Australia have a relatively new Prime Minister. Our first who was born after world war II.  A so called baby boomer.

Although he has been quite popular, any number of commentators and experts kept saying that he has not developed a narrative to his Prime Ministership. He needs one to really cement himself in the prime ministerial office. Hang on, he had been in for five minutes, there is a lot to be done, and they are expecting him to come and read us bedtime stories of what's happening.

I know that if the former Prime Minister was to read us bed time stoies, we would all fall asleep very quickly.

But I digress.

I was listening to an author named Richard Flanagan on the radio this arvo. He is internationally renowned, so we are told. He was telling his radio audience how important stories are to all of us, especially in reaching what is left of the small child in each one of us. That got me thinking.

A good Squash game has a narrative of its own. Perhaps a story of a warrior at battle against the odds and an evil foe. We shake hands as we walk on court, perhaps sharing a joke or other pleasantries, then it is no holds barred (except perhaps, the sleeper hold) contest.

When two people of roughly even standard begin competing, weaknesses are exposed, forcing counter measures. A parry, a thrust and other terminology of which I am not familiar and  used in fencing could be applied to any rally, any game.

We win some points easily, and some games easily, but then lose them with the same ease. All along we are hoping for a happy ending, the good guy raising their hands triumphantly.

When we look back, we feel the ebb abd flow of emotion as we are up, then down, playing a glorious shot one minute, then being beaten by an abysmal one the next. We can think of that game, days, weeks and even years later. The glory, the pain. The exhillaration of victory, the despair of defeat.

Some people live their lives in front of what used to be know as the box, now more like a plasma pallette, rolling with every turn of the jealous boyfriend, the unfaithful wife or the sick and dying youngster of the favourite soap opera.

But we who are playing Squash are writing our own history. It matters not if we play well or poorly, whether we are fit or fat. If we compete, we own our own stories. And we are always looking to write a more glorious, dramatic or uplifting chapter the next time round.

We have all written our own bestsellers in the past, but it is those in the future which we are yet to write will surpass all those  that have gone before. If that is not the case with you, I strongly urge you to start watching soap operas.

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Ray&Rita, of course You ARE the saints, even with the fee paid to you that I am happy to pay, as I do believe that the knowledge is the most valuable good on earth.

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