Escaping from the problems of life has always been a difficult thing to do, both the means by which I plan to escape and the place I intend to retreat to. It is in my natural habitat, where I feel most at home, that I find the greatest level of mental and spiritual disconnection. It is on the hardwood floors of the basketball court, surrounded by hoops on either side that I truly escape from the world around me leaving with it, all the trials, troubles and temptations that are so common.
It seems that the minute I pass the court boundaries, my problems are tossed aside along with my big black duffle bag. As I step out on to the court for the first time and let the ball bounce on the floors of the holy place I have created I appreciate the deep, haunting echo that resounds; it drives out my prominent thoughts and fills my head with nothing but the sound that is created. At times it seems as If I have just been born, without a care or worry, but also with the ability to understand and appreciate the endowed sense of carelessness. If I am not, at this point, relieved of all my heavy thoughts by the initial euphoria of entering my fortress of solitude, I do not worry about them for I will be soon relieved of them.
As I begin to play, I start to lose myself in the objective of the game. Shooting, dribbling, passing soon enough become my only thought processes and the space that was earlier used to harbour negative or depressing thoughts is now full of game plans and strategies for scoring. It is now that I am totally free of all the problems I arrived with and I am free to enjoy this time of light-hearted activity. Regardless of the time or place, the feeling remains seemingly following me from place to place. Despite the obvious change of scenery the important things are the same. From the hollow echo of the ball on the wood floors straight to the sounds of players shouting and that ever reassuring “swish” the feeling is identical.
After the sounds have faded...