Monday, August 3, 2015

Skating: Often Akin to Greek Tragedy

Was at the skate park today. Only about 6 or 7 skaters there. Only this one other kid, and myself, were really skating. Others were just kind of hanging out, or dorking around a bit. OtherKid was trying this one trick. Over and over.  Doesn’t matter which one. Could by any. He tried them over, and over, for at least an hour. He never pulled one. He only even came close less than 5 times. Over. And over. Never made one. He eventually said, “I give up,” and walked away.  

I remember sitting at Copley Sq. in Boston, years ago. Some non-skater civilian tourist type was near me, watching people skate. I wasn’t skating. Just sitting. Watching. He eventually said to me, “How can that be enjoyable?” “What?” I responded. “That,” he said. “Just trying things over and over, and not doing it.” I laughed. I asked him if he knew anything about Greek mythology. H claimed that he did not. I gave him a quick version of the Myth of Sisyphus, and explained that skating is often akin to Greek tragedy. The boulder never stays at the top of the mountain. You always fall again. There is always one more stair to ollie down. A longer rail to slide. A higher air to do. No matter how much you eat or drink, you always get hungry and thirsty again. No matter how much you sleep, exhaustion always returns. Skateboarding is no more absurd than life itself.

“One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” –Albert Camus       

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