The Masters

I like watching my mind. And there are certain stimuli that make my head spin. The Masters golf tournament qualifies.

I’ve loved golf since I was 12 and I’ve watched the Masters on TV for nearly that long. It’s a love affair. But today it’s troubling my mind and I’m curious about that. I’m curious when the events of the world prompt me into a state of deficiency while I know a sweet sufficiency is always available to me.

Part of what I love is the beauty of the golf course – Augusta National. And I know the back nine of Augusta very well. The beauty of the fairways, the beds of azaleas, the severe slopes of the greens, the ever-menacing sweep of Rae’s Creek. The course tantalizes and frustrates the golfers. Usually I’m entranced with the land and there’s some appreciation today but I’m surprisingly flat about the sense of place.

And then there are the golfers. Why am I cheering for Tiger Woods, who despite possibly being recent history’s best golfer is also a blatant adulterer? I abhor that poorness of spirit but I also worship sports heroes. Plus Patrick Reed is leading the tournament right now. Actually he just sank a birdie putt while I was typing. And I was disappointed. Patrick has the reputation of being a grumpy guy and I watch myself not wanting him to win.

Then there’s how difficult the golf course is. I want the winds to blow hard and have par be the leading score after today’s round. Instead Patrick is 8 under par. I need the golf course to win, to be a supreme challenge, so that the players struggle … heroically. Apparently not to be. Update: the announcer just told us that gale force winds are predicted for Saturday and Sunday, and suddenly I’m happy.

How strange it all is. Maybe I’m upset because I haven’t exercised today and this summer’s bicycle ride across Canada is looming. Perhaps I’m “positively addicted” to the elliptical, so that I get antsy during a day of rest.

And my self-talk continues: “You’re lazy, Bruce – just a Masters couch potato. And why can’t you access the spacious consciousness that’s usually been with you recently? Haven’t you moved beyond being upset by the ripples of life?” Well, good luck on that.

Marc Leishman is in second place right now. The announcer just mentioned his wife’s illness but I didn’t catch the gist of it. So I Googled. Audrey Leishman was overcome by toxic shock syndrome a week before the 2015 Masters. Marc was at Augusta, practicing, and rushed home. Audrey was induced into a coma and was given a 5% chance of surviving. Marc saw his future as a single parent and resolved to quit golf to be a fulltime dad. One hundred hours later, Audrey awoke. She told Marc “I love you. I’m sorry about the Masters.” She continues to recover.

And so I cry
And so I’m back
And so I learn

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