In grade 11 I was able to play and extra year of Junior football at SCI with Dave Serraglio, Jeremy Taylor, Jimmy Melvin and the rest of the crew. We were heading into our post season playoffs after a lackluster regular season. The high school golden boy and teen heart throb was Ricky Blum who was known for his verbal cuts and put downs. I had an issue with my own self worth and estimation of value not to mention how I fit into life at this point in time. Our quarter final game was against Oakridge who had a fairly good season and were physically big and tough. I remember Blum saying to me
“Draisey you will get your ass kicked on Friday Oakridge is huge and I know the middle linebacker he is a friend of mine. I ‘ll make sure he gives you a hard time.”
My position at the time was the centre on the offensive line. My fear, shame and doubt kicked into high gear and I went to see Bill Pollard, SCI Head Coach at lunch. He listened to my fear based rants of why we might not make it and the physical size issue and what Rick Blum has said to me. This was his reply.
“Shawn, has Rick practiced with us this year? No. Is Rick playing for us on Friday afternoon?, No. Does Rick know any of our defensive or offensive plays?, No. Then his opinions are worthless, they are only rantings of a teenage boy. Concentrate on your assignment for Friday and clear your head. If Rick is not playing or contributing to the game then he has noting to say about the outcome. You are playing so you do.”
The Dark Arts and Dark teachers of deficit, lack and fear are all around us even as big grownup I have found they multiply exponentially as the hours turn into days. The darkness is to be accepted and appreciated to show me what I do not aspire to or want in my life. They are not to be denied or changed only noticed and pitied that they stay in the dark.