The one thing in the world, of value, is the active soul. This every man is entitled to; this every man contains within him, although, in almost all men, obstructed, and as yet unborn. The soul active sees absolute truth; and utters truth, or creates. In this action, it is genius; not the privilege of here and there a favorite, but the sound estate of every man. In its essence, it is progressive. The book, the college, the school of art, the institution of any kind, stop with some past utterance of genius. This is good, say they, — let us hold by this. They pin me down. They look backward and not forward. But genius looks forward: the eyes of man are set in his forehead, not in his hindhead: man hopes: genius creates.
Recently I made love to Pine Valley.
That is to say I experienced her with all my senses, drinking in her aromas, sounds, exploring her nooks and crannies (even some of the ones you’re not supposed to…) – essentially, becoming one with her. Our orgy was of the nature of surfer and wave, of rider and powder bowl; ego played no part, pure consciousness alone (evocative of this). In this sense the experience was as spiritual as it was sensual as it was awe inspiring. Golf, as we well know, can take us on some quite fantastic journeys. This was one of them.
So what is it about this infamous Neverland in the New Jersey pine barrens that stirs so potently? Well, in Part I we explored some of the ‘other things’ at the Valley which round off the whole experience quite magnificently. In that post I may have said that these things contribute as much as the golf course towards making PV what it is – but I might rightfully be accused of getting carried away. Magical as those extras are, it’s the course itself that’s the star of the show. But what of it?
Above all, I think, it’s the drama of the place. Drama may be a word that’s overused in golf literature, so let me elaborate a bit. There are two different forces at play here which, together, create a profound sense of exhilaration as you perambulate the holes. I’m talking about mystique and peril, and the omnipresence of both.
I’m no paranoid android, ladies and gentlemen. But I am present to the fact that when you open Firefox (or your other preferred internet browser, as appropriate) and visit a website - any website - it almost certainly has consequences. Someone is paying attention to your every move.
(As much was reinforced for me once again this morning when I’d spent an hour or two bringing myself up to speed - online, of course - on trends in microblogging, social media, collaborative consumption and the like. I came across several innovative outfits like Local Projects, Wander, Hovding, Whipcar and Stamen Design. But the hilarious moment came when I was about to post a link to this Tumblog and saw that a good looking girl with some Belgian-sounding alias was now “following me”. Naturally I clicked on her profile and, after a few seconds, realised that she was somehow connected to - and in some way promoting - a social media crowd called “we heart it”. The name and the let’s-try-to-create-the-new-“Tweet” idea jarred instantly, which was all the more ironic / funny / serendipitous because only half an hour prior I read this NY Times article).
I must say that, for now at least, my reaction is primarily amusement over objection, or worse, anxiety. Let them monitor, I say. They’ll always employ people that are light years smarter than me to devise ways to turn me into data - and that’s just fine; it would be futile, I think, to fight it.
What do you lot think?