A few days ago, I went disc golfing for the first with my very patient coach, tutor and son. Like anything that involves aim, a flying object and a receptacle, there is an art to disc golf. You can’t just fling the thing anyway you please and expect to hear the lovely rattle of clanging chains.
You have to hold the disc just so. You have to have a proper thrust and sweep to your throw. You have to let go at the right time. You have to practice.
I wasn’t a total loser on the course. I stopped keeping track of my score when it was obvious it didn’t matter. I learned a few things about what not to do. And I got a little better with every throw. But of course sometimes I would make a huge digression and chip the disc in the netherworld of the rough and it was almost as if I was taking my first shot all over again. Frustrating, that.
Along about Hole 5, we were getting ready to throw our discs and the strangest of moans floated across the grass to our ears. A pathetic lowing like I’ve never heard. Animal and yet not. Human and yet not. We followed the source of the sound with our eyes and there on the grass some 30 yards away was a woman – or maybe a man – writhing and wailing – like a toddler who wants his way and hasn’t yet learned sometimes you just don’t get it.
We worried for a moment that this person needed a 911 call. But there were two people standing over him or her, their hands on their hips, watching this person and waiting. Almost as if this kind of behavior was one they had seen many times before and they knew it just needed to run its course.
This person probably suffers from some kind of mental illness and I suppose when you care for someone with a mental illness you learn to adjust your life to the quirks of theirs. But it unnerved me greatly. Grown-ups don’t wail like that unless they are in the horrors of fresh grief or excruciating pain. This person didn’t appear to be afflicted with either one of those scenarios.
They just couldn’t mentally handle the disappointment of the day, whatever it was.
We made it past the hole – three above par for me – and thankfully out of earshot of this person. But I felt tremendous sadness for them. I guess they don’t know or don’t understand that you have to hold onto life’s ups and downs just so. You have to have a proper thrust and sweep to your throw. You have to let go at the right time. You have to practice.
And sometimes you make a huge digression and chip your disc in the netherworld of the rough and it’s almost as if you had never learned anything about anything. Frustrating, that.
And you can’t even roll around on the grass and wail about it. I mean, you CAN. But everyone will think you are crazy. . .