Hey, everybody! In a few hours I'm off to Australia for my annual month trip there with wonderful people, penguins in Tasmania, and retreat at Uluru. Torn from my big screen TV and my son Bryn, my fellow rabid World Cup companion -- now that it's just getting interesting! I had big plans to write the Sacred Isles portion of my homage to world HB training adventures, but, oh well, football insanity overtook me as it does every four years, and that, as they say, was that.
But this crazed interruption does bring to mind an unforgettable moment where two great tides of passion and creativity merged for me into one breakthrough of world awareness and an actual external experience of planetary consciousness. Call it A Night in Buenos Aires: A Mad Lover's Tryst Between Breathwork and Football. The story begins across Argentina from the big city, in a little resort town, home of our training there in 1998. Two weeks of deep inner exploration, transformation, and -- no, scratch that -- two weeks of a rather unholy alliance of rabid football fans from different countries -- Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay -- joined together in one kindred purpose: "Tav and Diane, we have a game this afternoon. Can we postpone breathwork, and otherwise change our schedule to fit the Cup timetable?" And not being total losers, and thereby demonstrating our complete North American culture bias and otherwise abysmal ignorance of world protocol, we of course gladly assented. Okay: Argentina defeated Chile. Bummer for about half the group, and the catalyst for rather torrid breathworks soon thereafter. And of course, Brazil was off on a rampage somewhere: what a surprise.
The two weeks were over, and we were flying back to Buenos Aires to catch a flight north-- in the middle of a minor World War between Argentina and England -- the quarterfinals of the Cup. Oh, you know, not much history here -- the Falklands, whatever else -- two of the world's great football powers. So we landed amid the final minutes of the Battle, and boarded the bus for the international airport, which would take us right through the middle of downtown Buenos Aires. A little worried about the driver. The radio was ear-splitting -- all in Spanish, of course. But we knew what was happening. All tied up, then over-time, and still all tied up. The sun has gone down. We're in the middle of downtown -- on a main thoroughfare, in the part of the city that never sleeps -- and nobody -- not one person -- is in the streets. The radio is a roar. Diane and I look out the window: we see through the windows into every shop, restaurant, bar, and apartment, on every floor, the exact same thing: enclaves of fans huddled around TV's, in a trance. The streets are silent -- just the bedlam of the radio in our bus, inching through this astral world, this deva loka of passion to the nth degree. It's the Shootout, or whatever you call it -- penalty kick inside the box distance -- Sudden Death.
And then the Universe Explodes: Argentina wins. The bus stops, thank the Goddess -- the driver was incapacitated with a volcanic bliss. And people poured into the streets from everywhere. All is a deafening tidal wave of celebration. Lit newspapers and furniture fly from upper-floor windows. Should we be worrying about our lives right about now? Oh, hell no. Ride the tidal wave to wherever. Let the ecstasy upgrade us, recalibrate us into planetary citizens -- no -- planetary fans. And scales fell from my eyes. I'd been going to US college football games since I was a kid, and been a follower of all types of US sports. But now I have to say, I saw what World means in World Cup. And thus continued my education into the ways of this planet, and its people, and gratitude beyond my previous scope on what this world is really all about.
Oh, and by the way, we did make it to the airport. But for a while there, we weren't at all sure it'd happen. And if it hadn't -- well, we'd have gone out on one helluva collective celebrative note, on an energy powerful enough, I'm certain, to guarantee us a next life birth upgrade -- maybe get born, perhaps, in a small town in Brazil, or Germany, or any of a hundred countries -- with lightning in my feet, like Mercury come to earth one more time.
So, this year, the US is out -- that's okay, they did alright. But you know what? Ask me who I want to win. And there's no way I could tell you. I am absolutely blessed with dear friends from so many of the countries in the Cup. Hell, I want everybody to win! And beyond that, I want the Planet to win. I know, it's only football. But, yeah, like Mick Jagger said, " It's only rock and roll, but I like it..." Let's figure a way to run some kind of big cosmic power line from stadium to stadium, from game to game, and you know what? All our energy problems will be solved. Sure, there's a ghost in the machine. But I'm totally convinced there's a Goddess in the football too. Go, World!