Thursday, August 13, 2009

Inada's Interviews with Professional Athletes, Coaches and Managers - Part I: Pitino

I've been taking a break from the daily summer grind of drawing and "creativity" to conduct a series of interviews with professional sports figures regarding the difficulties they experience off the field, away from the white-hot glare of the madding public. In this first conversation, Rick Pitino opens up about his recent explorations of sexual relationships outside of the church-sanctioned limitations of marriage and the imperfect ironic choices facing middle aged men in the public sphere. I found much to admire in his frank articulation of the poignant conflict between desire and responsibility. Here's Pitino, unedited and from the heart:

"I'd like to say I regret my sexual encounters, but in all honesty, how could I? They are so much the color and apex of my life's experience. And yet, I do feel regret at times for being so caught up in the maelstrom of a public life and the broad sweep of popular athletics. In contrast to the noisy pageantry of big-time college basketball, I've also experienced clear moments of understanding and peace spontaneously emerging from solitude and reflection. I long for more of those experiences, but of course, such moments are as transitory as any others, aren't they? So you may criticize my sexual explorations, but I would ask, if we're not living to better answer our deepest questions as fully as we can, what are we really doing with our short time on this earth? If I have any true regrets, they center around failing to live unconditionally in that un-graspable vivid vibration between past and future, all and nothing, heaven and hell. So, if you must judge me harshly in order to take some meager pleasure from your own untested fidelity to family, morals, and domestic bonds, don't forget to shed a tear and raise a glass to the distant memory of how the sun blazed brightly in your very soul when once you met the eyes and felt the secret touch of a beautiful stranger."

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