don't worry if you get confused and give up on this one early, it's likely to be one of my most convoluted...
life is like the world cup.
(hehehehe, it's all about sports, right?)
it occurs to me this morning how a soccer match can bee seen as a carefully orchestrated entertainment, balancing the independant objectives of the teams to win alongside the referee's efforts to ensure that the spectacle and wonder of fair and beautiful play is preserved. in some cases, as with argentina and mexico the other day, the results can be beautiful. (well, if you're argentinian, at least). in other cases, as with the disgusting farce accompanying the portuguese against the dutch, the referee himself corrupts the process and ruins it for everyone. (even the victors, as portugal will likely find when they have to face england without deco, costinha and possibly ronaldo).
so i'm struck by the parallel of this with human relationships in general, and with troubled human relationships in particular. to "win" isn't the perfect metaphor, of course, but it's at least partly appropriate if you consider "winning" the preservation of our selves combined with the attainment of the love we seek. (perhaps analagous to keeping the ball out of your own goal, along with the joy of success at the other end). trouble is, where the metaphor breaks down, as well as where the frequent problems between people who would otherwise love each other begins, is that "scoring" in love SHOULDN'T be perceived to include shooting it into your game-partner's defensive net, and causing them to feel violated, but it all-too-frequently seems that way to them.
so, about that referee...
sometimes people go outside their relationships for aid in conducting them. sometimes this is just the occasional comforting shoulder of a confidante or friend. sometimes it's on the couch of a paid professional meddler who is supposed to have the answers locked up behind his sheepskin. (far too critical and unfair, i know, but i can't always resist good, vicious sarcasm and hyperbole). either way, i'm struck by how far the results of these interactions can vary, from supporting the glory that was maxi rodriguez's strike, and the profound beauty of true love, to tearing apart the very fabric of the dance, til all that's left are the tatters and injury of the defeated dutch and the depleted portuguese, and the tear-stained bitter loneliness of a love lost.
yup, i've got problems with authority. i naturally bristle at even the possibility of malfeasance (how's "meddler" for a loaded description to preempt any defensive argument of intended fairness on anyone else's part) and i'm so highly tuned to my own defensive compulsions that i circle my wagons well inside the lines of any potentially helpful third parties. you want to know with whom i identify? i suppose it's not hard to guess i'm with the dutch and australians and americans feeling hardest done by at every turn, not just by those sharing the field with us, but most acutely by the forces perceived to be shaping the entire environment of my struggle.
what is it they say about love and war?
trying to break through all this is yeoman's work for the emotionally defensive. i wonder to myself if it's any wonder i choose to man the defensive back line, and take greatest pride in knocking down the threats to my goal while there are so many other things to be doing and in which to take pride on a soccer field. sure, i like to go forward and support the attack, but give me a miracle clear off the goal line every single time.
now put me in a relationship, and substitute "loving gesture" for "shot on goal", and it's little wonder i'm my own worst enemy. all she ever wanted to do was reach me. all i ever wanted to do was be reached.
and here comes the ref with his red card...