Sunday, November 07, 2004


The last time I held my pool cue in my hand was more than one month ago and I had been feeling like a cat on a hot tin roof. So I finally gave in and spent an hour and half at a pool hall yesterday.

I once called myself an “eternal beginner” in this blog, and I really am, especially when it comes to shooting pool. Many would ask me why I can possibly love pool if I cannot make any progress, or if I wasn’t good enough to enjoy playing with others. Well, believe it or not, that’s the way it is with me, at least for now. I’m terrible, I mostly practice alone, and I still love pool.

It’s just an addiction. Maybe when my concentration reaches its highest point at shooting the cue ball, my brain could be releasing some kind of neurotransmitter or something. Maybe when it doesn’t happen often enough, my body starts craving for it. And maybe, when I shoot the cue ball, thinking that’s the best shot I can give at the moment, I’m feeling as if I’m surrounded by the memories of those who had helped me learn how to play pool.

Yes, I admit that my motivation isn’t very future-oriented regarding playing pool. I don’t mean to label it “right” or “wrong” judging from someone else’s point of view. On the other hand, I do know that doing some routine practice alone with no objectives or goals isn’t an “effective” way if I want to improve. While practicing, I’m just enjoying the feel of the cue and the sound of the pocketed balls. There’s no specific bowlard score I want to achieve, nor I aim to beat anyone or join any house tournament.

As all pool players know, you have to keep facing lots of challenges on the pool table. When it happens, I tell myself something like “OK. I may not be able to make it, but I can at least try to do my very best. If I don’t want to be disappointed with myself, there’s no running away. If I can give my best shot now, without giving it up, then I’m still the kind of person who I want myself to be.” It’s pretty self-absorbing heroic thinking, I guess? But somehow, by facing myself and repeating this kind of self-talk in my mind, I feel as if I’m re-affirming something inside of me.

These days, women who are over 30 y.o.and not married are categorized as “losers” in Japan. Whether I like it or not, I often find myself wondering: Maybe that’s the way I should see myself? Is this self-affirmation on the pool table a way of avoiding to face something in my real life? I don't know the answer for sure yet, and that's what I have to find out myself --- no one else can feed me with the answer, I guess.

These are the pool-related items I have. Nothing fancy, but each of them brings me the memories of those who taught me something about pool: Memories of someone who first taught me about cues, someone who took the varnish off my private cue for me, and someone who made me a shaft cover out of old pool table cloth….

I remember those who taught me that the progress is a spiral. I never forget those who didn’t run away from facing true self on the pool table. And also there were those who couldn’t find a place to belong to other than the pool table…. Memories of such people may not help me make money or be included in the "winners" category in Japan, but still they mean a lot to me.

posted by obachan, 11/07/2004 11:00:00 PM


Obachan: it's exciting for me to learn that people like you exist. I think you are great. :-D
commented by Blogger Evil Jonny, 11/12/2004 11:44 AM  
Well, I honestly don’t know, Jonny, if I deserve the word “great.” The only thing I can say is that there are thousands of ways to climb a mountain, and I'm doing it my way, making my share of mistakes…
commented by Blogger obachan, 11/12/2004 3:05 PM  
It doesn't matter how good you are or get at pool. As long as it brings enjoyment to you, that's what really matters.
On the matter of women been over 30 yrs and should feel a certain way. That's so "stereotyping". Times are changing. Just be who you are and enjoy. It's better to be single and happy then to be with someone and be lonely.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12/07/2004 7:22 AM  
HI. Thanks for leaving a comment. I totally agree with you because I’ve seen many unhappy marriages, too. But in a way I respect them for going through a lot of things that I haven’t.
commented by Blogger obachan, 12/07/2004 9:50 AM  
Some of your married friends probably look at you and, visa versa, wonder how nice it would be to have your freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. But, it's true, I too feel there's a lot of things they experience that I haven't "yet". Who knows, it still might happen.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12/08/2004 3:16 AM  

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