Mavs Purple Prose: From Atrophy To A Trophy
Standing, a newborn free to roam the seducing topography of an alien world on still shaking legs, with the sun from our dreams set loose upon the sky above.
Drowned in the shadows massacred behind are the relics of a past rendered mute, its haunts restrained, and its vocal cords severed. Discarded beside, that cold grasp is left peeled open and meek, a harmless reminder of a fierce hold once wrapped around the throat of our own hopes.
To arrive at this moment, we must trace back through the labyrinth it took 31 Dallas Mavericks years to escape, back into the nightmare where a beauty wandered so close, yet always kept just beyond our outstretched hands … a carrot that left us eternally drooling, starving and trudging onward.
Condemned to that world of "what if," where there were no answers, only a forever rising tide of questions thickening the dark to a tainted honey, turning night into something deeper; we wandered with eyes wide in search of the faintest of lights, felt our hearts surge before each season would end, leaving anxiety, desperation, and a trickle of malnourished hope.
In that dark we shouldered the weight of uncertainty, of callous taunts from those who delighted in the failures we found our fandom shackled to. We picked through the dust and ash of a decade's worth of regular-season triumphs left servile by playoff shortcomings, tried to piece together, to rearrange, the broken remnants into something worth handing our hopes once more.
Some walked away, head down, their dreams denied for fear of the hurt their embrace may invite. Others pressed on into the unknown, digging through the doubt, the pain of memory's perpetual alarm, that string tied around the finger, a constant reminder for what was left undone … still they waded deeper into the darkness.
Labeled fools for their undying belief, their hands reached blindly into the black before them, led by fingers made shy from the bruises of the past but emboldened by the faith in what was to come. It's these select few who know the true depth of this warmth permeating every cell, lifting every bruise, and repairing every wound … though they are far from alone.
As the night sky, the ceiling of this nightmare began to tremble, to crack, revealing shafts of light that pierced the dark to find their way to the floor; masses huddled in the scattered, radiant islands dripped to the ground and gave their breath to feed the spark raging against the shadows. A table of few became a dining hall of many … brothers and sisters had gathered for the fight, united by the hope now beginning to bloom.
As a unit, fingers of trust once closed within the safety of a fist again stretched out, cast aside the atrophy and fell into the moment with unfiltered abandon.
The time had arrived. The time was now. Time to discard doubts and replace them with unabashed enthusiasm. Time to remove the splinters, to sell off the hurt. Time to replace the hollows with the warmth found in tracing the never-ending path of the ring. Time to forgive what could not be forgotten, to label the trials as mere steps ascending a stairway to this very moment.
Time to deny the demons reborn in a 23-point collapse. Time to bury the reign of the two-time-defending champions. Time to deny the hungry eyes of youth, the hoarding hands of time itself. Time to force the king to bow before the many.
Time to reap what had been sown … manifested in the heart of a team, rather than the accomplishments of one … two … or three.
With a thunderous crash a wave of heat spilled over this huddling mass, rose and blazed a line across the sky, dividing it in two … and like a silk curtain unzipped at its center the dark slipped from above, fluttering as it fell beneath opposing horizons, and unleashed celestial lakes of light to spill over us all from a returning sun.
The nightmare has surrendered its traction, found its grip fractured and lost, been devoured by a once faint dream.
Regardless of what comes next, overshadowing that which came before, this is a fact that cannot be taken away. That which danced just out of reach, sinks into our eager palms, feeding us with its beautiful sustenance … and we're free to step out of the dark and into the warmth of the light.