Scrambled thoughts and sporting heroes

Someone said to me today that they don’t feel very creative in the summer. I blame the season of sport for my words being more scrambled this week. The French Open had one climax today and a long Oscar-style speech from Maria Sharapova – “I thank my parents – not sure if they are watching”, she said, “but I couldn’t have done it without you.” The anticipation is building for more sliding around the clay courts from Djokovic and Nadal tomorrow. Next week, the football World Cup is about to begin and even people like me who don’t like football start watching it for the beautiful ballet that it becomes all of a sudden. Then there’ll be Wimbledon fortnight too.

Sport is essentially about individual determination and passion – a demonstration of the extent of effort that is required to reach those heights of genius, flair and perfection. We are in awe of that level of perseverance and are filled with admiration and emotion. It’s as if the sleek gods come out to play for the entertainment of us imperfect mortals who sit in front of the TV sets hoping that a bit of that magic might rub off on us to make our lives better. When our favourite tennis player, footballer or cricketer fails to perform, there is a feeling of deep disappointment, that can sometimes last for days.

There are similar comparisons that can be made with artists, actors and writers – we are consumers of their hours of perspiration. And sometimes, they don’t meet our expectations either. Watching the quite boring action thriller Hanna this week on TV, I was quite shocked at how wooden Cate Blanchett came across and at how pointless the whole effort of that film seemed. A quick search told me that this mediocre film did rather well. So not that grand a failure at all. There are no grand prizes either for most people. The trick really is to keep going, to continue steadily, because nothing is going to mean anything without the hard grind.

But, I’m left feeling that it isn’t a coincidence that the cross-section of the human brain resembles congealed scrambled eggs.

 

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