Skip to main content

No results found

Knowledge, Perspectives

Columns:

The Accidental Texan  

divider
Holly Lorka
The Accidental Texan Flag of Texas

It’s been raining for the last three weeks in Texas, which means we’ve had to get clever about finding things to do. We aren’t used to this weather, and there’s only so much time we can spend watching the neighbor’s sofa or Pontiac float down the street. I recently went bowling, because I was so very desperate for entertainment.

I’ve never been a fan of bowling. What is bowling, anyway? A person in slippery shoes rolls a ball down a lane to knock over some pins. It is called a ‘sport,’ yet there are no opponents making it more difficult, the pins don’t move, and you don’t even have to go down there to get your ball back – it simply reappears. That’s not a sport.

When I was a kid and my parents took us all on Saturdays to the local alley to go bowling, I was not impressed. I was bored, it was too loud, everyone was dressed poorly and was way too excited about seemingly nothing. When my dad joined a league, bought a ball, and had his name engraved on it, I was horrified. His status as My Hero was now overshadowed by the image of him working on his spin, which he could never get right, even though there are absolutely no variables in the game. Not even wind.

As you can see, bowling and I are not friends.

So there I was reluctantly having a few games of bowling with friends. Then somewhere around the fourth frame of the first game I had this moment: I stood there at the top of that lane, cradling my eight-pound pink ball in both hands, and staring at those pins. Time stopped for me. I thought about the whole of my life and all of the things I’d done, all the great people I’d met, and how everything conspired to bring me my current circumstances. It was magical, zen-like and strange, and I imagined that this frame was somehow a metaphor for my whole life. Really, that’s what I thought.

When I brought that ball back and sent it down the alley, I fully expected a strike. I expected those pins to careen and shatter as if they’d been hit by a blazing-pink rocket. I expected to turn to my applauding friends and tell them about the enormity of what had just happened. What I did not expect was a 7. My life is a 7-pin frame. I still hate you, bowling.

RECOMMENDED

Mon 20 May 2019

Over the past few months The Significant Other and I have started walking. Please don’t take from this that previously we crawled or bottom-shuffled our way around town and county: rather, we have adopted walking as a pastime in order to explore some of the Oxfordshire’s lesser-spotted Nooks and Crannies...

Fri 17 May 2019

The rise of streaming services is evolving the way in which we view films and TV shows. From a film-lovers perspective, the prospect of being able to watch new releases immediately and in the comfort of your own home is an enticing one, but with the industry elite determined to keep the theatrical experience alive, are we on the verge of an all-out media war? 

Fri 17 May 2019

What if I told you that a 16 year old girl with a broken leg was kept in a prison cell because there were no beds in the hospital… Sound ridiculous? Feel shocked? Even

Thu 16 May 2019

Stress, Smiles and Sleeping Naked 

Transforming Emotions with Physical Intelligence

“Are we disturbing you?” Claire Dale asks somebody sat nearby, in light of their reactions to the interview I’m conducting with her and Patricia Peyton, at Oxford Martin School where they’ve just given a talk as part of Oxford Literary Festival. The person says they’re not disturbed, but opines they’ve been hearing something “unnecessarily complicated”...