Tennis and Buddhism With a Double Helix Thrown In

Not much happening at the French Open today. Novak Djokovic, Carlos Moya, Rafael Nadal and Igor Andreev all won their matches to complete the men’s quarterfinals while the women had the day off. I have to get back to my life for one day. Pay some bills and get an MRI for my aching back.

Pat Davis will take up again tomorrow and I’m sure she’ll cover the Serena WilliamsJustine Henin match. Meanwhile, let me leave you with two interesting ideas.

From the “I Wish I’d Written That” Department

My first love was Tai Chi but I had to stop practicing it because my knees hurt. Every martial art has healing, fighting, and spiritual parts to it and I view current sports as very young versions of the ancient martial arts. However, I find myself waving my hands in the air and stuttering when I try to explain the spiritual side to tennis. Next time I’ll just say this:

It is difficult to describe the serenity one attains from striking a tennis ball with authority. Gravity, geometry, and all the forces of nature collaborate, and the fuzzy yellow orb spins as it should. Intent becomes action, and action becomes reality. That is the high. For some, tennis is a hobby; for others, it is a compulsion. For the most stricken, like me, it is a religion that, like Buddhism, allows devotees to transcend time and space and glean insight into the true nature of existence. — Andrew Clark in Walrus Magazine, as reported by Inside Tennis

From a Double Helix to a DVD in One Lifetime

This has nothing to do with the tennis but everything to do with the speed of life these days and I consider it my duty to bring this to your attention.

Last Thursday, James Watson, the scientist who helped discover the structure of DNA in 1953, received two DVDs containing his entire genome. Think about that: before 1953 we had no idea what DNA looked like. Fifty-four years later, we can clone a horse and hand someone their complete genome on two small storage devices.

In 1953 they didn’t have much in the way of computers. In 1970 a computer took up an entire room. Today the whole damn genome fits on two DVDs and our cellphones are computers. The world is moving way too fast for me. Evidently it’s moving too fast for Watson too. He doesn’t want to know if he has the gene which could give him Alzheimer’s disease so that information was left off his DVDs.