I frequently wonder what pool means to me and what I want it to mean. Pool was my sport at first. Now, it’s a hobby. I want it to quiet down my mind. That’s why One Pocket is my favorite game. It’s the only game capable of blocking all other thoughts not related to the task at hand.
The reflection in the mirror would describe me as a thinker and dreamer with great ambitions and a creative spirit that has yet to find its way to the outside world. Is that possible? I don’t think so. The spirit only leaves a body when it’s dead, right? That would mean death is not the end. To me, death is the end of a life cycle. Meaning, this form of being will, logically, never continue, otherwise it wouldn’t be the end. So, dead. As someone who studied anthropology, I feel obliged to say that this is not the same for everyone. It also depends on how we define ‘spirit’.
My apologies, this has nothing to do with what one pocket means to me. I often amuse myself with side tracks. The above merely resembles my way of thinking. Writing an article with my thoughts can therefore be a messy process. The roads my thoughts take always consist of many roundabouts, not crossroads, because those make a more structured impression. I don’t like T-junctions at all, by the way. They oblige you to change direction. I don’t like to be obliged.
For a silent, and attentive observer of the over-thinking type of mind as myself, pool centers are places with an overwhelming amount of external stimuli. I can hear myself thinking: yes that’s true, but that’s true for all places outside my apartment. Pool requires a lot of concentration. I often lack concentration, because most days I’m a lost sheep within my own web of thoughts.
Are those external stimuli actually external? Or, do I create them because I’m not able to shut down the attentive observer in me? No, I don’t think I create them, but I do passively contribute to the fact that I lose my focus at the pool table because of those stimuli. Is that bad? That just depends on what pool means to me that day.
One Pocket is the game of games for someone like me. I want to think about the game while I’m standing at the pool table, so I don’t have to think about all those other things I always think about. Most shots in one pocket are two-way shots and there’s often more than one possibility to reply to your opponent’s shot. I want to go over all these possibilities. That’s what gets me in the zone. It quiets down my mind. One Pocket is the only game capable of demanding my full focus. It pushes my thinking and creativity to the limit, thereby blocking all non-pool related thoughts.
I find One Pocket the most challenging game of this addictive mental sport. Playing this game might give me a high. I don’t need to smoke grass. I’m crazy enough to get high, no, to quiet down my mind with a game of One Pocket. Or, was it because of thinking? Yes, but not too much. As you can read, One Pocket is as much part of me as it’s part of pool.
Author: Pepijn de Wit
Editor: Shaylyn Troop