The Maya ballgame had a sinister side — it involved human sacrifice. Often, the losing team or the team’s captain were sacrificed to the gods. Consequently, motivation to play as hard as possible was not a problem.
Thanks, Peter, I enjoyed reading this fascinating account of brutal sports over the ages. It helps me understand the degree of brutality that still exists in a number of modern sports, some of which are very careless of the health & well being of the players. Thank goodness that that is still changing for the better.
As an historian of science who did some work on Maya astonomy in the sixties, I agree with several other commentators here who have suggested that it is unlikely that the Maya rules of play are known quite as precisely as you have set them out in this account. For example, although human sacrifice did occur with the Maya, In particular, I very much doubt that it was as common or as systematic as you seem to depict it.
It is no surprise that many poems have been written about trains. Through train windows, one sees a kaleidoscopic cross-section of life: back garden laundries, industry, agriculture, birds, every nuance of arrival and departure, of greetings and farewell, faces, bridges, weddings, a blur of wildflowers. In a sense, one sees the land itself, as Judith Wright saw Australia:
“Glassed with cold sleep and dazzled by the moon,
out of the confused hammering dark of the train
I looked and saw under the moon’s cold sheet
your delicate dry breasts, country that built my heart.”
From an early age I have known that I was sexually attracted to both boys and girls, and as I got older, both men and women. In those days it never occurred to me that there might be a separate name for this kind of attraction. I simply assumed that what I felt and experienced was pretty much what everybody else felt. When the time came, I was sure I would ‘fall in love’ with a particular woman, have a family. and, if lucky, live happily ever after.
As it happens, a version of that classic scenario did take place…
… still don’t completely understand the complexity of non-binary gender. There is more to learn. But the bottom line is that I don’t have to fully understand a person’s gender identity to respect them.
I certainly agree with this point but it is also important to keep in mind that fully understanding a person does not necessarily entail approval or even respect.
I had a friend once who confessed to me that he was a pedophile saying he felt no physical attraction whatever for adult men or women but was highly attracted to young people of, say, 12 to 15. Furthermore, he did not believe that pedophilia was necessarily and always harmful to the child involved. At first I was angry and shocked at the whole business.
In the end I did come to…
One of the best ways to improve your ability to write good dialog is simply to learn to listen better to conversations out in the real world. Make it a habit to listen intently to every interesting conversation you encounter when you go out in public — in a bar, on a tram, at a lunch counter, at the grocery store. Then, as soon as possible, attempt to write it down from memory.
Carefully examine your text for examples of word use and sentence structure that may be useful or that may seem particularly effective in context. Ask yourself: what…
“This is gonna be a great week,” I said to my hubby, offering the rosy refrain we often use to help cheer ourselves up when facing yet another week of Covid lockdown. But this week was sort of special with my birthday coming up along with a few plans for a celebratory change of pace.
Monday got off to a good start with a bright orange sunrise. and shortly thereafter we were pleased to spot a young wallaby behind the house sitting in an unfamiliar position, long tail stretched out in front, wetting his paws the better to groom himself.
Words and Pictures. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.