You are being chased by your defender from the baseline, you come straight out of a solid pick where your defender slams and falls. Grabbing the ball passed by the point guard from the center, pivoting with your foot closest to the basket, squaring off both feet on the ground then using the moving motion as your momentum. You elevate. You pull up for a shot with your flawless follow-through. And you watch the ball glide into the basket. Rimless. You fall down. You had 3 seconds to shoot that ball.
And the buzzer sounds. You just hit the game-winning shot. You look at your team’s bench. In slow motion you pump your fist. The people are screaming all over.
And you open your eyes, you are just imagining after all. But then, imagination decides everything.
Life is a lot like basketball. Chances of hitting winning shots come too often as it comes too seldom. We will never know. So we always have to be prepared to catch that last pass. We have to be ready to take that last shot. Because in life, we all have to be shooting guards, who, more often than not, are the ones who take the last shot that wins or loses every basketball game.
We are always in pursuit of a championship, a feat that will cement our legacy as a human being, an achievement of a lifetime.
Now I am in pursuit of my championship, a literal sacrifice to elevate an existence impoverished by the constant salvo of changes. Though I know that the game is far from over, I will endure whatever it takes. After all we are all created for chasing dreams.
In basketball, I once shot three straight triples and a jumper to win a pick-up game that we thought we’ve already lost. Rallying 10pts down and hitting shot after shot to seal the hard-fought victory. I’ve had my share of nailing winning shots though I’ve missed at times also but the exultation of winning will all be familiar to us because of the way it becomes an invisible connection of triumph between yourself and your teammates. This goes the same for our individual achievements, we will celebrate with our family, with our loved ones and the feeling of winning will be familiar and it will be mutual too.
The nearer we are to our dreams, the better our loved ones become. After all, our dreams were created for them.
I will always dedicate my life to my family.
So this will be a pursuit of a lifetime. And until that concluding time comes, I will stay ready for that last pass. That last pull-up jumper. That game winning shot in the end because every shooting guard will always be capable of hitting the big shot. For that one big ferocious shot.
In life, like in basketball, I too am a shooting guard.
She is the calm that killed my storms.
Thank you for saving me. I love you so much.
“You can stop the world. But you won’t change me…”
It’s 4am. I should be sleeping now. But I can’t. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. Not until the sun rises up.
I’ve been stuck with this song for a couple of days now would you believe it. I’ve been playin’ it over and over again in my music pod. And it doesn’t tire me. If Lss is sublime then I will call this addiction. It’s pretty amazing. This honest song elevates my thoughts of how sometimes we want to bleed with the things that we love. Of how we want people to feel. Of how we want to let our emotions out.
Sometimes there are songs you hear that makes a lot of sense to you. While we are all attached to certain feelings of a musical poetry, we try to find strength in them. I know what we do, if we cannot be the singer then we try to be the song.
Personally, the song speaks about being free with the things you love. Like music. Or someone. Of how we should always stay as authentic as ourselves. Of what we want. Of what we need. Of what we do. Of what makes us happy. And of what makes us want to bleed sometimes.
Richard Paul Ashcroft is the best singer in the world. If only Chris Martin of Coldplay could read this I know he would nod in agreement. Why do I know? Because that’s what he said when he introduced Ashcroft in the London Live 8 Concert when Ashcroft was about to sing a rousing rendition of “Bittersweet Symphony”. Ashcroft is one of the great songwriters ever to emerge in the UK.
In 1996 when the verve released the powerful ballad ” The Drugs Don’t Work” which eventually became their first single to reached number one in the UK charts, it would have had stayed longer on top if it weren’t for Elton John’s tribute to the ill fated Princess of Wales “Candle in the Wind”. Not so many songwriters could well perfect the ability to create a piece that is so powerfully embedded with emotions. The song “The Drugs Don’t Work” is dedicated to his father whom he lost when he was barely 11 years old.
“All this talk of getting old,
It’s getting me down my love,
Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown,
This time I am coming down…”
It is so hard to imagine that someday one important person in our lives may utter these words to us, words with reverie and with clear anticipation of what lies ahead. It is sadness painted into words, of how our passing in this earth could well be so futile and short. These words will melt our hearts and tears because of the love that this life had created. We know we have to accept how all of us someday would tremble and feel cold like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown, of how all of us would leave this world eventually and eternally.
“… And I hope you are thinking of me,
As you lay down on your side,
Now the drugs don’t work,
They just make you worse,
But I know I’ll see your face again…”
Acceptance. It will be so difficult to attain acceptance yet we must. Ashcroft depicts himself seeing his father on his death bed. Unconscious, breathing in peace, of how the drugs do not work for his father’s body anymore and that all the son could do is think that someday he knows he’ll see his father’s face again. In a place where he believes he will see him again, in a place filled with hope.
No matter how spiritual everything may seem to be, it is not the physical permanence that will matter to all of us but of how we nurture our remembering heart. We must know how to feel the solitude of losing someone who has become the greatest pillar of our life without the feeling of losing him.
“…But I know I am in a losing streak,
’cause I passed down my old street,
And if you want to show, then just let me know,
And I’ll sing in your ear again…”
The love of a father to his son will never perish. Their memories together will always stand through the test of time. When an old father dies, when all his intentions fall down like bricks on a stormy day, his strength is passed on as his legacy to his son, and his son will always remember this. As what Ashcroft did when he lyrically and melodramatically perfected this song with strength.
“’cause baby oohh, when heaven calls, I’m coming too,
Just like you said, you leave my life, I’m better off dead…”
So powerful was this verse that I can never imagine the depth of hurt a son feels for the passing of his father, of how a human being bleeds for the loss of another, of how earthly love tries to withstand the emotions of this earth. That heaven is the place of reconciliation for most people, that heaven is a place for forgiveness.
Why does life have to end this way? When people we love could never be with us in their final day? Why these things do has to happen before a son could write a masterpiece in the grandest scale of human emotions. Why do powerful emotions appear and reappear every time we lose a part of our existence? Why do we need to live in a moment trapped in some frontier of loss before we would try to bring back the things that could have mattered? Why do I have to feel this way?
It has been 9 years Pa. And I terribly miss you.