I’ve never played Bocce Ball. Ever. Watching people try to knock a ball closer to the pallina, or away, to force your opponent’s hand to make a point never moved me to participate. W and the rest of my guy friends love hearing the satisfying clack clack of hitting the target, the shift of the balls on the court due to Newton’s laws of motion. Roll, bounce, klickitat! Every collision acting as a reminder that life at the top is ephemeral. One moment you are up, calling the shots, victory in sight, and the next you are praying to Lady Luck for mercy because you are one point shy away of losing.
Point. Set. Match.
As I walked the grounds of Waterbrook in Walla Walla, WA, I stumbled across an empty Bocce court. All the balls were still in place, as if someone had walked away from the challenge in a hurry. I picked up one of the pastel colored spheres to examine it. On its violet rose surface you could see specks of the matching aquamarine and light blue set mates. Proof that it had withstood many turns on the battle field and some friendly fire damage as well. The immediate thought that floated through my head was: “What if you could see the emotional scars others inflict on us after every rogue encounter?” Would we look as beautiful and as strong as the ball I had in my hands?
Every interaction we have with our environment changes us. Whether we’d like to admit it or not the fact that we are standing, living and breathing, is a true miracle. Thousands of stars and atomic collisions resulted in this magical Earthling experience. Hundreds of day to day interactions with other humans change the way we think, act and respond to our circumstances. There is nothing more amazing than the moment you realize knocking into someone altered the perception of your sensory and transitory reality. Each person marks you in ways that will stay with you forever, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. It goes beyond your upbringing and your values; each bias is constructed and torn down by the unique wisdom of the lessons brought on by the moment. For better or worse. No exceptions.
As I walked away from the stone occupied field, I couldn’t stop wondering if others would see the imperfections as something beautiful, peaceful, joyous. I tend to assume the memorable characteristics of life come from pain because that is easier for me to remember but others can see the same kaleidoscope of colors in a warmer and brighter light. I wouldn’t mind carrying my scars on the outside if this was the case. Would you?