The Toltec Arts

Posts tagged ‘PromptsForThePromptless’

Wu Wei of Playing Pool

I couldn’t blame the patrons of the billiard hall for rolling their eyes as I moved to the silent jukebox, using the cue in my hand as a walking stick. No doubt they were cursing themselves for not feeding more bills into the machine.

Scrolling through the cd’s, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t filled with country music. Fifty cents a song. Not bad. My first dollar went to Black Sabbath. When “War Pigs/Luke’s Wall” came on, the bikers in the corner were able to stop wishing I would drop dead. When “Supernaut” came on a short time later, the tall, fat one in brown leather gave me what was probably a rare grin.

Nine bucks later, everybody was satisfied and my date and I could enjoy some tunes while we played a few games. Paul waited for me at the pool table, beer in hand as he leaned against the edge.

Paul was magic. The first time we went out, we hung out in the back patio of my favorite downtown club and talked like we had been best friends for years. Best friends who had never kissed. I remember watching his lips when he spoke, fascinated by their rose tint and the way they moved more than an American’s lips should, lips that needed another language to move right.

Three months later, here we were in a cheap pool hall listening to old metal surrounded by people who wanted to be left alone and signs telling customers not to spit on the floor. He was still magic.

“You look like a club bitch,” he said as I walked up to him.

“I know,” I said as he grabbed me around the waist and pulled me to him.

He laughed and kissed me, mumbling against my mouth that people thought I would pick out Sade songs. I pushed away after running my fingers through his curls and told him to break. It was our usual argument. He would counter with the fact that he had racked and I would claim that I stunk at breaking. It was a game I always won.

Paul went first and three balls went in. Two stripes and one solid. He was chivalrous and took solids. He got another solid in and then missed.

I looked at the table, trying to calculate which ball would be the easiest for me without any thought to setting up a later shot. Aligning myself perfectly after choosing my ball, I knew where I should hit to make it go in. The shot was simple and would go in.

The ball didn’t go in. It was now Paul’s turn and he was hot until he got to his final shot and missed. He was taking pity on me like a big dog letting the chihuahua have the tug-of-war toy for a few moments of victory. If I missed the next shot, he would tell me to go again. If that shot failed, he would coach me until the time that he felt it was fair for him to end the game.
Having nothing to lose, I didn’t plan my shot and just walked up to the table and aimed. The ball went in. That method worked for me and I walked to where the next ball was lined up, allowing my body to stop where it decided. Again it went in. In this manner, I made all my shots.

When I tried to sink the eight-ball, I was careful and tried to do it right. This would be my first time beating Paul. The ball struck the edge of the hole and bounced back towards me.

“What the hell went wrong? You were doing great,” he told me.

“I thought about it.”

“Always a mistake,” he said as he sunk the ball and won the game.

Conclusion: The body knows better than the mind when it comes to the physical. Paul is still magic.




This was a Prompt For the Promptless post. PftP was started by rarasaur at and the following can be found at Rara’s awesome page, which you should visit right now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wu wei, or non-doing, is a Taoist practice involving letting one’s action follow the simple and spontaneous course of nature rather than interfering with the harmonious working of universal law by imposing arbitrary and artificial forms.  In other words, it is the action of non-action.

“As the planets revolve around the sun, they “do” this revolving, but without “doing” it. As trees grow, they simply grow without trying to grow. Thus knowing how and when to act is not knowledge in the sense that one would think, “now I should do this,” but rather just doing it, doing the natural thing. The goal of spiritual practice for the human being is, according to Laozi, the attainment of this natural way of behaving.” – Wikipedia

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