In an exercise of contradicting myself, I thought I’d write a bit about my struggle with not writing, and perhaps in the process, talk through some of the things I do want to write about but struggling with. I’ve been asked a little bit recently about how my writing’s going which has been a bit sad for me because I usually really appreciate people asking me, but I have had to admit to not writing much at all. I had all these plans for the holidays which came to nothing. I wrote a (bad) poem last week about Anthony Mundine out of the blue after some arguments on Twitter, and have been going to some poetry workshops in the absence of uni and written some poems then, but part of it comes down to a lack of my usual stimulus.
Often some atrocity committed by capitalism or some inspiring struggle against it throws me into expressing my relation to it through words. Sometimes it’s some sort of idea or debate that I want flesh out in an allegory or metaphor. Even though the usual fucked up things about the world are still kind of simmering there, there’s nothing really at the moment that is pushing me to the page. At least not in my usual sense.
Over the holidays, my passion for writing has been in part replaced by a strange return to a fascination with sport. Mostly football. But also my own fitness regime, getting back into running, some cycling and just last week, swimming. It’s a weird shift and perhaps something that seems a bit uninteresting. Why would I write about it? But I like the kind of measured progress of it and the ability to be able to perform regular movements and tasks that don’t require allusive and immeasurable things such as inspiration. But I’ve been wanting to write about sport and fitness nonetheless.
Why write about sport? I’ve become totally engrossed in the passion that football (soccer for those who can’t see the distinction) is developing in Australia via the A-League. I’ve been to a few Melbourne Victory games before and the atmosphere of the Norther Terrace supporters is pretty special, totally different to a League and AFL game. But this year, it was stepped up a notch with the introduction of the Western Sydney Wanderers into the league. The team created in the area I grew up in, has become an instant hit within the Western suburbs of Sydney, with a striking red and black striped jersey, their supporters call themselves the ‘Red and Black Bloc’ and are quickly become one of the loudest in the league. They have rehearsed chants and songs, and banners. It is not unlike a protest really. The Wanderers also have Youssouf Hersi, an Ethiopian born Dutch National who was been adopted by Western Sydney as a bit of a hero. He’s exciting to watch. Quick down the wing. And fancy with his footwork, able to change direction in a split second to trick opponents.
I suppose I am fascinated by the passion that people put into backing their team, the camaraderie they share in the highs and the lows. I have done it for so long with the Rabbitohs, a tradition passed down to me by my father like joining the union and not voting Liberal. It is interesting how often the fortunes and people’s aspirations and hopes are channelled through sport.
And I think in periods where there is not a lot of struggle and social change going on, this can be more so. It seems in contrast the impending election (yawn) that is about to be take place (or not really) throughout this year. Elections at the moment in Australia are characterised by their lack of competition and conflict. People can’t tell the difference for the most part between the policies of the two major parties and aside from Gillard’s speech calling Abbott a misogynist, Labor’s rule lacks the challenge to the right-wing threat of Abbott.
I kind of see football as an outlet for the open competition people would like to see. And that’s in part what I’m getting at which I want to put into writing. Well, I just did, but I mean in a creative form, perhaps through fiction or poetry, but so far my attempts have felt pedestrian, boring or clumsy.
Perhaps it will take practice, acceptance than some people might just not care this, as well as looking to the successes of other writers in this area. Suggestions are most welcome.