Beyond Reason

In the Meantime

Posted in Personal by Abigail on July 29, 2008

I have a super good book to post about, but have had to read it twice before being able to speak intelligently about it. I’m now on the third reading and plan to post next week.

In the meantime, I am off to my first pro tennis tournament ever and consider myself extremely lucky. Philosophy, and it’s best friend nonsense, will have to wait on hold for a while.

The book I’m going to post about is Proper Confidence by Leslie Newbigin. It is truly amazing.

Until then, more tennis.


A Nascent Nadal

Posted in Sports by Abigail on July 11, 2008

Nadal has taken out the world’s best, two times in a row. What’s to stop him? Hopefully hardcourts, as those aren’t his forte. It should be noted, however, that I’m writing this post primarily because I wanted to use the word “nascent”, it sounds great with Nadal, and, obviously, it’s true. But, nothing against Nadal! He is worthy of far more respect than he gets in the tennis world and he is only 22, which means he is going to yet improve. But, I am a Fed fan. Through and through. Up one side and down the other. Federer’s a class act – humble, gracious, elegant on and off the court, and one of the most powerful forces in the history of tennis. How do you beat that?

Well, by being Nadal.

Since tennis has nothing to do with my usual direction of conversationĀ  – philosophical nonsense – I must ask: is tennis ‘beyond reason’ (to fit my title)? I think you could easily argue that. Why hit a little yellow ball around a court – and in fact spend your life hitting a little yellow ball around a court – and then cry when you don’t get that yellow ball where you want? Hmm, the absurdity of sports. This is true of all sports; they’re all ridiculous. And, if you want to keep testing the idea, I’d say of all human activity. Why do anything?

So, tennis to philosophy in one short paragraph. Anything can be analyzed. But the interesting thing about analyzing is that it seems to kill what it analyzes. We’ve all heard the term “clinical detachment”. This is what you do when you’re thinking; you’re no long experiencing – in one respect – and you are instead “detached.” You can’t feel as much because you’re busy analyzing and, in fact, your goal is not to feel so that, instead, you can think more clearly. So, essentially the experience is lost when you’re analyzing; that is why I say you “kill” it. So what’s better? To feel or to think? Or is my dichotomy fair? Perhaps not.

Bottom line? Fed fans – the world round – are rooting that he wins the US Open. There’s no question: I will be glued to the set!

So big men cry too

Posted in News,Sports by Abigail on July 6, 2008

I just watched the longest and arguably most dramatic final in Wimbledon history. And Roger Federer – for the first time in six years – did not win. He cried. (Although not on camera.) The match was beautiful: an extremely high level of play maintained for nearly five hours, with impossible shot followed by even more impossible shot. You kind of can’t believe you’re seeing what you’re seeing. But in the end, Federer – considered by most to be the greatest tennis player of all time – cried. It makes me feel better to know that the greats cry. He’s human.

But he better win next time.

Or I’ll cry.