I am torn between freedom and stillness. And I wonder if it matters

It’s the convention of all human beings to be torn between two choices. In between that, between freedom and stillness, it’s impossible to make a choice. I am torn between being torn between freedom…

I am torn between freedom and stillness. And I wonder if it matters

It’s the convention of all human beings to be torn between two choices. In between that, between freedom and stillness, it’s impossible to make a choice. I am torn between being torn between freedom and stillness.

I am torn between freedom and stillness. Between the time-in-life when I might be able to close my head and watch the world burn all around me or stillness.

A lot of times, between being torn between freedom and stillness, I am broken. I think of all the other torn people I know and I try not to let it define me. Instead, I try to still myself out while I’m still able. It works for a while but then something happens, something intrudes.

A farmer looks out to see what is burning. Photograph: AP

Or all of the bile that had driven me toward focus ever since I was a child flows out of me and fills my ears. Maybe for the first time in my life my instrument has misfired, and it squeals and whines its discomfort at the same time it asks me to not just shut up. Maybe the frustration I feel is not about survival. Maybe it’s about calling my maker and asking for help.

So I write instead. Writing is the best way for me to still myself out and ask the question for myself.

Something ignites in me and I try to summon my perfect word and know it will offer some grace. I try to write a word that will halt the fire. The community of writers that surrounds me is what helps me to keep going. And when I do return to writing, all that water rushes back to my body.

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So I do. I look at this game that is shaping up in front of me and give it what it needs, a good shot. I shoot at the goal and give myself the best chance to score. And I am unafraid that I might miss. That’s how I am sometimes.

Still, I want to win. I want to take the home field. I’m not the coach for just anybody.

Still, I want to win. I want to take the home field. I’m not the coach for just anybody.

I want to play my own game. I want to play against my opponent at the highest level. I want to have my own chance, my own moments, so I can see what they’re made of.

The moment when Bill Belichick looks at Tom Brady. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

I have an inner person who wanted so badly to be excited and call it a game until the end when I’d feel that surge of electricity that followed when I always win. I call it Belichick. I call it revenge, “those negative people that I love to hate.” If I’m forgiven, I say it’s the very love that fuels me. That’s the stuff that powers my batteries.

Still, I want to win. I want to take the home field. I’m not the coach for just anybody.

Still, I want to win. I want to take the home field. I’m not the coach for just anybody.

Still, I want to win. I want to take the home field. I’m not the coach for just anybody.

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