(Cricket at Pretoria Boys High. Note the Silly Mid-On position, legs spread, opposing the batter!)
This leaf will get harder as you read. Yes, ‘harder’, here, is connotative. And yes, ‘harder’ is a relative term. We derive here from its use a sense of progressive difficulty; a ball can be ‘hard,’ yet hardly this page of paper? (No wonder the dictionary has several bullets of meaning for many single words.) Then too, this page is one side of a leaf, and overleaf is the next page. Or, (since I mostly write one-page essays) do I next leave you blank?
‘Inzone-Dynamics©’ is hereby introduced. (And it has taken me over 60 years to arrive at articulating it.)
Marriages of intuition and actuality, of abstraction and concreteness, of inference and comprehension, of ignorance and knowledge, provide for more-better keeping one’s eye on the ball. While ‘marriage’ is not dependent on the melding of such dichotomies, nor is one’s apprehension of the varying marriages necessary for us to experience all the little ‘inzone-dynamics©’ of our life, our ongoing involvement of life in action with itself can remain un-articulated. We lose focus. As such we erratically evolve. Our accretion is un-directed. Homonyms abound. Silly mistakes mount, yes? It is about often missing the ball.
When the cricket ball clonked me above my right eyebrow my face dribbled with blood. I was about seven years old. We were in Mazabuka, Southern Rhodesia, Africa. It is now Zimbabwe. I was there at school. We played barefoot. And I missed the ball. It came at me off the bat, fast and hard, and my timing was off. And when the blood flowed there was consternation. And when I sported stitches they were tender to my touch. Yet when in High School, in Pretoria, South Africa, my favored position on the field was at Silly Mid-On. It positioned me approximately twelve feet away from the batter’s direct path of strike, and required me to be hyper-alert to the possibility of snagging the ball almost as soon as it came off the bat. Given that a cricket ball (about the size of a baseball,) is made of very hard cork bound in polished red leather, it seems silly to stand directly in front of a batter’s angle of strike; (yes, I could swap field if the batter was a ‘lefty’.) Yes, I did not want to be struck again. So I snagged the ball whenever I could.
Often, I missed.
‘Inzone-Dynamics©’ is about that facing directly into the moment. It is about being as conscious as possible of ‘the now’. It is about being as open to the variables as one can be, and at the same time being ready for the precise actuality of the event that intersects with your life. Such an event can be as simple as putting one’s phone in a given spot, (or one’s wallet or keys). It can be about taking in a strange word and waiting for the sentence or paragraph to unravel its meaning. Denotation and Connotation marry! It can be about being comfortable with the obtuse and comfortably in awe of flying. One does not need to know everything (let alone how to fly a plane,) yet the more one knows the more readily one is able to accommodate and adjust to the variables, the inferences, the gist of things, the grist for the mill, and the challenge of the immediate. It is about keeping one’s eye on the ball.
Children are not necessarily trained to focus. They may be left alone or coddled. They may be instructed, dominated, manipulated, fooled, shamed, and abused. Children may be loved and unconditionally given rein. Some may have every advantage. Some may have wise parents, mentors, or teachers. But to be ‘in the zone’ takes a honing of intention with the self, and that dynamic, at large, remains a vagary. We are slow to evolve while at play in the fields of The Experiential. Yes? How best to keep one’s eye on the ball? Or do we just go undifferentiated, inconclusive, fodder-fed, acculturated, and perhaps even blank?