“Have you ever tossed a coin or two into a fountain and made a wish? Did it come true?”, the Daily Post asked . . .
The verb “wish” is the love child of faith and desire. Slightly off topic, but here’s a little something on faith.
The deafening roar of the hundreds of thousands of fans emanating from the stands threatened to overwhelm him. He stood there, right foot a millimetre or so behind a perfectly drawn white line: as he had done numerous times in the past. He felt the familiar buzz as adrenaline coursed through his every vein, drowning out the cheers resonating around the stadium, leaving him as it had always done in the past: alone. Completely isolated with only the sound of silence for company despite having the adulation of millions at his back; despite the incredible and unprecedented plethora of silverware around his neck; despite a lifetime of success.
It had been all too familiar up until that very moment, but something was different this time: a novel discrepancy, an unexpected paradigm shift. He felt a little something he hadn’t dared to admit even existed – a small nagging feeling he didn’t ever expect to experience, as he watched the slow arching rise of a solitary right arm out of the corner of his eye. As it reached the end of its seemingly arduous journey and a long index finger wrapped around the trigger, the moment froze in time and the nagging feeling transitioned fluidly into a jolt without any trace of warning. Fear had gripped its victim tight in its claws with no intention of letting go.
All his life he had been used to hearing the familiar crack of a blank round being spit out from the barrel of a pistol as his cue to sprint towards customary victory. It was as if life wasn’t even trying anymore, the obstacles habitually fading away as he approached. However in that very moment, he felt like a mere mortal, inundated by an inferiority complex of unprecedented magnitude as visuals of his insignificance threatened to annihilate his sanity, flashing before his eyes as the trigger finger tensed.
It was a cloudless day, the sun beating down hard onto the back of his neck, his 4 O’ clock shadow stretching out in front of him, the steady breathing of his five competitors audible from either side. Despite the warmth of the day, he felt a shiver run down his spine. He had been nervous before, sure, but he had never felt . . .afraid. His eyes scanned the mundane sky, quivering in an effort to search for some sort of solace, in search of some sort of respite from the dull and blunt force that was weighing him down. Throughout his life he had always felt invincible the moment he stepped onto the tarmac, all his inhibitions chased into oblivion by the slow and steady ebbing of adrenaline in his system. This time the feeling of invincibility was flooded by a river of doubt, insecurity and inferiority. He just felt . . . small.
Reflexively, he looked skywards for the first time in his life. He wasn’t looking at anything in particular, nor did he fully understand what he was doing. To his immense relief, he found a small break in the seemingly infinite sea of blue that stretched over him – a lonesome cloud battling isolation floating through all the desolation, and as he gazed at and empathised with it, the feelings of insecurity were replaced by those of humility. He bowed his head to a power he had never before known existed – a power that he now considered greater than his own – as realisation spread and the clouds of arrogance that had been blinding him dissipated with haste.
The moment unfroze and a familiar crack reverberated across the battlefield. A few moments later he was surrounded by his loved ones, drowning once more in the admiration of millions, tasting sweet victory. He looked skywards. The cloud had disappeared. Human faith had been swallowed.
A ridiculous stretch of logic, one that isn’t likely to make sense to most, but toss a coin into the next fountain you see. You never know. . .