It stirs again.
The lighthouse that shines unfaltering into the night comes full circle, and seems to shudder at the sight of a ship. It's stranded and full of gleaming curiosities but there seems no way to help. There has to be something I can do. I run, down countless stairs and find sight of the door which opens quickly into the seemingly endless night. My feet hurt. I'm running as fast as I can but with little idea of what I'm going to do when I get to where I'm going, or even really where I'm going. The first crystal splashes of icy salt water take my breath away but I can't stop, I don't know why, I just know I can't stop. Everything I try to do isn't working and the tide pulls me further away from my quarry, and in turn pulls it further away from me. This was a bad idea. I battle through the cold night and somehow manage to get within touching distance of the ship; it's smaller than it seemed at first but as I clamber onto the deck I'm immediately aware of a sense of overwhelming vastness. There's too much to do. There's too much to see and I can't carry it all back. I need to pick the best things, the things that'll help the most. Is that two different things? Why should I have to pick between what I need and what I want? Why should any of us? I quickly become aware of the fact that nothing on here would survive the unforgiving brine and unless I dive back and seek the solitude of my lighthouse, neither will I. I need to try and remember everything that's here, absorbing anything that I can make a mental note of and quickly retreat. As quickly as it started, it ends. My breath is taken away by the cold night air and I swim with everything I have left to make the shore. It takes longer and I become aware of my frailties, it takes an effort I didn't know I possessed. I somehow manage to make it back to the sand but this voyage of misadventure has taken a toll on me. I stagger, hunched over and breathing heavily, up the beach and make it back to the bottom of the lighthouse and open the door. The stairs seem more vast than I ever remembered but I somehow am able to drag myself up them to the top and the sanctity of my domain. Warmth and light greet me as I open the door and quickly find a blanket to drape around myself. I make myself a tea and stare out into the night to see the ship has fully submerged and all that I sought to take from it is lost forever. I feel my hands growing warmer and the physical toll of my impulsive adventure seems slightly less now. I wish I could remember what I saw, it could have changed things, could have made me a better person. Foolhardiness or old age will inevitably win the war, but for now it seems I'm safe.
I wish I could write all the time and put down tales that would make people forget everything else. I'm inspired in passing by fleeting instances but I'm too aware that I can't take it all with me. I can't take it all in and I can't change the way I seem to find flashes of what might be something special, only to realise I have no way of transporting them from one place to another.
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
I don't really write about mixed martial arts too much these days, there's way too many conflicts of interest. It's not to say that I'm not moved enough to write about these things but it's easier to have these conversations with close friends without the potential headaches.
Saturday night however, made me want to write something down, at the very least so there's a tangible and permanent link to the magic that unfolded.
Every fight I judge is the most important fight I've judged up until that point and it always will be. My focus is complete and absolute when the action starts. It's hard to describe the serenity that overcomes me when I'm judging fights. It's addictive. It's a state where there's nothing else but the kinesia that I'm trying to compartmentalize. Every thing that happens in those minutes is processed, evaluated and understood.
It's only afterwards however, does the magnitude of what I've just witnessed often catch up with me and it's not till I'm generally on my own that the reflections replay themselves. I'll stare endlessly into the sky as every single detail is digested and discussed internally; a million monologues and what ifs that swim around my subconsciousness.
The good people that we see compete in this great sport are the same as us but different. They're different because they're prepared to roll that dice and stare down the barrel of the unknown. They understand the risks, the rewards and the consequences of diving headfirst into a maelstrom of danger and uncertainty. The gap between winning and losing for these unique people may be slight but the repercussions of falling either side of the line are vast beyond comprehension.
It's only when the lights come on, the intensity fades and normality resumes are we left with the realizations that we can never undo what has just taken place. More importantly though, we can never forget the magnitude of supreme sacrifices that were made on every level; to create something so beautifully chaotic that will surely last forever.