The Swing

     One of my favorite movies in the world is The Legend of Bagger Vance.  Besides the fact that it is literally dripping with southern nuances that drive me to the point of breaking out mimosas mid-movie, it is also chock full of bits of wisdom I often find myself pondering.  Strangely enough, the movie is loosely based on The Bhagavhad Gita (a Hindu Holy Book), which follows a young Indian boy’s journey to enlightenment based upon his inborn duty.  Hollywood, Will Smith, Matt Damon, and southern culture somehow turned this into a golfer’s desperate attempt to rediscover both his literal and metaphoric “swing” in 1920s Georgia…and it is genius.  The protagonist in the story is faced with the “dare to be great” situation of his life.  He is at a crossroads of sorts, and lately I cannot get this character out of my head.  I cannot get my own goals out of my head.  I think every warm-blooded human being is born with something inside that lies dormantly, stirring under the surface waiting for the go-ahead from our spirits to come bursting out of us.  It’s from that pure place within us, that doesn’t recognize dollar signs, expectations of others, or the pain of defeat.  It’s where we are individuals; it’s where our unique “swings” live.  The time comes to find it, or maybe even find for a second time.  It isn’t something that can be lost, only misplaced.  There comes the challenge.  Maybe we let go of our “thing” because it scares us to have it.  Maybe we think there’s a safer route.  Maybe we have a need to please someone else.  Maybe events we had no control over pulled us away.  Whatever the reason, almost all of us have let go of our swing at some point; it just never let’s go of us all the way.  Inevitably, we as human’s will be presented with our goals over and over again, and we have to decide if it’s time to break out the driver.  In the movie, Bagger Vance (Will Smith) tells Ralph Juna(Matt Damon), when he is faced with a difficult shot on the course, that, “there’s a time to take that shot, and a time to leave it in the bag.”  More times than not we should leave that driver in the bag.  It’s rare we’ll see a pro golfer uncover the driver because sometimes it’s just ostentatious if he does.  More dangerously though, are the times we have an open fairway, reach for that driver, then put it back, leaving the green for another shot.  There is a time to take that shot, and when we feel it, we have to take it…I’ve felt that stirring more strongly in the last six months than in my entire life.  I see the dots connecting, and I’m starting to understand all the times I’ve chosen seemingly smaller paths.  I see who I am, and I know where my swing is…and for the first time, I’m not just reaching for a wood to make a solid shot everyone will smile at.  I already have the driver in my hand and am approaching the tee.  Now I just have to close my eyes and swing…I actually think I already am.

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