Saturday, November 14, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 11-13-20: Everett Update, Power and Distance in Nov., *My Octopus Teacher*

 1.  Christy spent the morning and the early afternoon with Everett. She came home to gather some things for him and will return to Kootenai Health Saturday morning and spend Saturday night in Coeur d'Alene. Riley was with me when Christy returned to Kellogg. She came over to pick him up and reported that Everett's fluid retention was improving and that his appetite is pretty good. I think it helps immeasurably that Christy can be in Everett's room, not only to be at his side, but to be able to talk in person with members of Everett's medical team. It has not been firmly determined when Everett will be transferred to the Cascadia facility here in Kellogg. 

2. Because of the rains that have soaked Augusta National and, maybe, because it's November and the hours of sunlight and warmth are shorter, the course is playing softer than it normally does in April. So far, what this means for the field, is that players who hit shorter drives can compete better with the long hitters because softer greens hold shots struck from farther away better than firmer greens do. A quick glance at the leaderboard after two rounds confirms this. While long hitters like Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm are tied for first, so are a couple of somewhat shorter drivers, Cameron Smith and Abraham Ancer. Yes, the longer hitters on the leaderboard probably have the best chance of prevailing, but I enjoy seeing the less powerful golfers able to compete well.

Much like the current emphasis in baseball on high velocity pitchers, in golf, players are building their physical strength and structuring their swings (while using highly advanced and powerful equipment) to pound the ball longer and longer distances off the tee. 

In the same way that I want to see a place in baseball for pitchers who pitch with less velocity to succeed, likewise, I want less powerful golfers succeed. I don't really pull against anyone during a golf tournament, but ever since I was a kid, I've always enjoyed seeing the less powerful players do well, players like Gene Littler, Ben Crenshaw, Corey Pavin and others. 

3. When Paul brought Riley over around 12:30, he also brought me a container of bourbon meatballs that Carol had made for her book group along with some cornbread.

I ate about half of these delicious meatballs with rice for lunch, and, around dinner time, I heated up the rest, fixed myself a green salad, and decided to watch the Netflix documentary, My Octopus Teacher.

For what I enjoy in life, this was a superb movie.

It tells the story of a filmmaker from South Africa, Craig Foster, who began free-diving in a kelp forest in False Bay, near Cape Town. He caught the attention of a particular octopus, visited her every day, and chronicled the octopus's life and the relationship that developed between them.

The underwater photography in this movie is staggering, absolutely gorgeous. As the movie tells Foster's story with this octopus, we, as viewers, not only learn more and more about the complexity and intelligence of the common octopus, we also experience dramatic and perilous events in the octopus's life.  

I experienced the movie as both a scientific study of and a spiritual journey into the beauty and wonder of interdependence, underwater, yes, but also on land as the movie explores how Foster's deep dives into the kelp forest and his relationship with this octopus altered his life, especially with his son. 

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