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The Meeting Of Bagger Vance

January 26, 2010

When I’m frustrated, I go to the driving range and hit a bucket of balls. It’s always dark and I look at the city across the river …. and just try to get those balls over the net and past all there was, all there is, and all there is ever going to be. In the movie, “The Legend of Bagger Vance”, Junah is hitting balls in the middle of the night seeing someone approaching from the dark and yells, “I could have killed you out there.” In which, Bagger Vance replies, “Oh no sir, see I set myself directly in front of ya. Judgin’ how you were hittin’ them balls that’s where I figure I’d be out of harms way.”

As the night evolved the two continue to talk, Bagger Vance says, “Don’t make no sense is all… Man say he don’t play no golf when he out here this shade of night hittin balls off in the dark where he can’t even see ’em...” Junah replies, “Yep… Well, I’ve done things that have made less sense…” and Bagger Vance agrees, “As we all have…” 

I’ve been beating down every door, looking for answers to the meaning behind the experience, and there in lies the problem: because the meaning is there is no meaning.  

Tonight I’m returning to a course that specializes in taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Specifically…..mine. When Junah was losing the tournament, Bagger Vance told him, “What I’m talkin about is a game… A game that can’t be won only played…” while Junah stubbornly said, “You don’t understand.” Bagger Vance replies, “I don’t need to understand… Ain’t a soul on this entire earth ain’t got a burden to carry he don’t understand, you ain’t alone in that… But you been carryin’ this one long enough… Time to go on… lay it down…”

Tonight I work on finding my authentic swing again. The steps are simple once I stop fighting the world and all those around me. Bagger Vance always felt a man’s grip on his club just like a man’s grip on his worldthe rythm of the game just like the rythm of life…and reminds me that … Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing… Somethin’ we was born with… Somethin’ that’s ours and ours alone… Somethin’ that can’t be taught to ya or learned… Somethin’ that got to be remembered… Over time the world can, rob us of that swing… It get buried inside us under all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas… Some folk even forget what their swing was like…

In all of this, probably the most interesting part Bagger Vance had to say to me went something like this:

Put your eyes on Bobby Jones… Look at his practice swing, almost like he’s searchin for something… Then he finds it… Watch how he settle hisself right into the middle of it, feel that focus… He got a lot of shots he could choose from… Duffs and tops and skulls, there’s only ONE shot that’s in perfect harmony with the field… One shot that’s his, authentic shot, and that shot is gonna choose him… There’s a perfect shot out there tryin’ to find each and every one of us… All we got to do is get ourselves out of its way, to let it choose us… Can’t see that flag as some dragon you got to slay… You got to look with soft eyes… See the place where the tides and the seasons and the turnin’ of the Earth, all come together… where everything that is, becomes one… You got to seek that place with your soul Junuh… Seek it with your hands don’t think about it… Feel it… Your hands is wiser than your head ever gonna be… Now I can’t take you there Junuh… Just hopes I can help you find a way… Just you… that ball… that flag… and all you are…

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