Golf is the only way I know to control time. It happens in the millisecond of that focused backswing, right before the violence of intention.
When I escape time, I escape memory. In that way, golf is an alchemy. A magick. I am a practicing magician.
When James Khoury discovers that his prized golf memorabilia from some of Canada's best golf courses has been destroyed, he journeys back through memories of being on the fairway, his struggles with gnawing ineptitude, and a troubled relationship with his wife and son.
Slowly, his memory precipitates to reveal something deeper at work, and James finds himself in the midst of a game where the stakes couldn't be higher.
About the author
Born in Quebec and raised in rural Manitoba, Jeffrey John Eyamie is a Winnipeg-based writer of Lebanese-Syrian descent. His first novel, No Escape from Greatness, was nominated for the John Hirsch Award and Eileen McTavish Sykes Award. He is also a screenwriter and filmmaker, a physical scientist with Health Canada, and an avid golfer.
- Short-listed, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Excerpt: Still Me: A Golf Tragedy in 18 Parts (by (author) Jeffrey John Eyamie)
THE BACK YARD
MANITOBA - ONE HOLE - FALLWAY HOMES
Everything becomes impossibly still.
In this moment, time takes a breath and looks the other way, halting its goosestep toward the ultimate end. All there is, as I open my heart up and draw my weapon back, the blade rising above my right shoulder, is this tiny orb.
The moment before I impart myself onto the ball is a moment I can only find in golf.
Golf is nothing like life. Unlike the world, my golf ball is completely at the mercy of my intention. I approach, settle, think think think think, waggle, make sure, look away, then look back, and finally begin my backswing, loading all of the force I can load into that club, all the while staring at the ball so as to never change my focus.
When I finally reach the apex of my backswing, and if I'm doing it right, there's a moment where everything stands still. I forget my hands. I forget what's happening in my chest. My whole world is a white dimply sphere, and all the potential in the world about to rain down on it, from my hands, arms, shoulders, back. Heart.
My intent is pure, because it is at the height of potential. It isn't real yet. This is still the perfect shot, perfectly still, not yet faulty because it hasn't been born. There's no memory here to haunt this moment. No pain. Not yet. There is only the perfection of presence and potential.
Golf is the only way I know to control time. It happens in the millisecond of that focused backswing, right before the violence of intention. It also happens in a four-hour round, at the bottom of an extra-large bucket of range balls, or a short game practice session in my back yard. When I escape time, I escape memory. In that way, golf is an alchemy. A magick. I am a practicing magician. Not a salesman. A magician.
Jeff has crafted a wonderful story and golf journey across Canada which will appeal to all golfers and sports enthusiasts. His narrative perfectly captures the emotions and love for the game of golf.
In Still Me, Jeffrey John Eyamie eloquently tells a story of a golfer who comes to understand how the game can be a foundation for all the highs and lows that we face in life. Played out on some of Canada's greatest courses, it is captivating in its honesty, intriguing with its characters and written with passion.
Through all the lost balls, divots and stray shots, Still Me makes us realize that we can always improve ourselves - just not our golf game.
-Rob Krause, Don't Try This at Home