The Tibetan goalie and his Tibetan friends, whom I had never seen before and never would after that day, are playing a game on the field completely covered with water, as if running in slow motion on the surface of a placid river. The ground is giving off vapour, the mist touching their ankles, and at moments it seems that they’re levitating a few inches above the ground, untouched by the flood. Lalas and his wife are watching them with perfect calm, as if nothing could ever harm them. They see one of the Tibetans scoring a goal, the rain-heavy ball sliding between the goalie’s hands. The goalie is untroubled, smiling, and from where I am, he could be the Dalai Lama himself.
So this, gentlemen, is what this little narrative is about: the moment of transcendence that might be familiar to those who practise sports with other people; the moment, arising from the chaos of the game, when all your team mates occupy the ideal position on the field; the moment when the universe seems to be arranged by a meaningful will that is not yours; the moment that perishes – as moments tend to – when you complete the pass; and all you have left is a vague, physical, orgasmic memory of the instant you were completely connected with the world around you.
Uit: Aleksander Hemon, If God Existed, He'd Be A Solid Midfielder.
Het prentje: "Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, third left, stands next to Preity Zinta, center, owner of Kings XI Punjab team, before an Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, May 21, 2011." (AP / Ashwini Bhatia)