Winners Don’t Win: Part 1

Time, Space, and Tennis

Westy Reflector


Zero-zero. Love-love. Lazy sunshine, soft breeze, nothing beyond this moment.


Two settings stretch time for me: playing music and playing tennis. In a continuum of crescendos and rests, each space buffers my senses with silence, rewarding me with greater and greater focus and unity of body and mind.

When things distill to a glorious present as I play (with a guitar or a racquet) — there is only my next note or my next shot.

I am in motion and also still.

I don’t flow, though. I am flow.

Silence is not a prerequisite for stillness, but it can be a superhighway. Even in the center of kinetic fury, however, one can find stillness in the noise.

Find your stillness; find your world.

There are places where you and others share a wavelength that never lets you down. In those continuums, nothing else — no one else — matters. Everything except the present — the now — is irrelevant.

Achieving a state of exquisite flow is one thing — being able to share in it, as I have on stage or on a tennis court, is where I find humanity. And whole lot of fun.

Stillness, however, is in constant conflict with “the now.” The present is the most restless tense. To be human is to anticipate the future, often at the expense of enjoying the present.

As of yet, we can’t listen to the past or the future. We only hear the now. And for sure, you can’t touch the past, any more than you can taste the future. All your senses only exist in the now.

You can, of course, recall sensations — often to a point of transport. But memories are only shadows; the past a lucid dream at best. Rabbit holes always dead end.

The future, on the other hand, is pure chaos. Unlike the past, though, it’s to some extent controllable through the decisions you make in the moment. Still, if it was easy to predict the future, we’d all live there.