Reading The Slingshot Balls

Decoding the universe through marbles.

I wrote a blog titled “I’ve Lost My Marbles” last year. It was about how searching for my lost slingshot balls put me into an almost altered state of mind. Today I once again found myself contemplating the universe while looking for the projectiles.

I took up ball slinging a year and a half ago whilst trying to shoot down a yellow jacket nest. I was bored. We didn’t have a lot of money and rocks were my ammunition. I kept it up, bought lots of balls, made a slingshot ball return device (which has now been decommissioned,) and kept practicing.

Although I’m on my way to becoming a crack shot (give it a year or two more) those balls still disappear quite efficiently in the long grass and pine needles surrounding my target. For some reason, the search for them; the wandering around with intent on my mind, puts me into a sort of contemplative state and I feel as if I see things differently.

Where each ball is, how it’s hidden, and how I find it is a clue as to how I believe the universe works. They’re all there but they aren’t. They’re gone when not observed. You can walk past one and miss it only to turn around and see it from a different point of view. It all depends on how you look at it.


 Is the universe a single thing viewed from an infinite number of perspectives? Is everything connected in some way that is a giveaway of the underlying oneness? Has God created us to experience time and space through ourselves? Am I full of shit?

Symbolism makes perfect sense within the framework of recent scientific theory and has also been relied upon for thousands of years. I’m discovering that if a particular belief’s been around for a long time, it’s probably solid.

Think of Tarot cards for instance. A few years ago I would have laughed at the notion of cards being shuffled and their order revealing some sort of future outcome. Today, I’m not so sure. The same for reading tea leaves.


 My daughter once said to me “if you want to know what’s going on in your subconscious, take a look around you”. That’s probably one of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard given the theory you are what you think.

On occasion, when I go outside, I try to see what the world is saying to me through nature. It seems logical that the natural world is the most perfect manifestation of creation; untouched by human will or hand. Why not pay attention?

I believe the universe, God, or what have you, speaks to us; communicates to us through connections. Intuition has led to some of the most notable inventions and breakthroughs in history.

Looking for my slingshot balls helps me to exercise that part of my brain that I believe has access to that space between the smallest space and past the boundaries of the universe.

If only I could find a practical application for this. Like coming up with a better garden tool or maybe I could do slingshot ball readings.


Sling Shot and the Ball Return Device

A backwoods dream.

MacGyver would have been proud of my creation. It was made from tarp, duct tape, and PVC pipe, the trifecta of any standard backwoods apparatus.  Every time a ball would enter the “system”, it would make a sort of rattling sound and role with a little bumpy tick down the pipe.

My invention. A time saver. The Sling Shot Ball Return System.

I took up sling shot this summer after my husband spotted a Yellow Jacket nest in a tree on our property. That not being a good thing, we decided to take potshots at it with a BB gun. Although slowly watching a nest dwindle one tiny hole at a time is satisfying,  I decided I wanted something with a little more punch.

I’d bought my son a slingshot earlier that year. The thing sat around for about 10 months unused except for the one time point and shoot and it goes sideways and then you put it away thing.  It moved from one spot to another, mainly getting in the way until I dug it out for the second time ever.

I took a shot and missed by a mile but I got a little better over the next few weeks. I made it a habit to take a few shots each day and after the brittle rubber band broke, I upgraded to the 10.00 model from Walmart.

I quickly got tired of searching for balls. They would disappear; hundreds of them, within a day or two. With no backdrop, I’d be left to rummaging through the bushes, crawling under trees and roaming about for a half hour only to recover about a third of the balls each time.

At that rate of return my numbers dwindled quickly so one morning I had an idea. I envisioned a ball return system.

We had about 200 feet of PVC pipe left over from our original internet installation so I grabbed about 5 or so 6 foot lengths for my project.

My first design involved using a huge cardboard box I ripped apart as a backdrop that would funnel the balls into the far end of the series of connected pieces leading from the box to me. It was about 30 feet long and the balls would roll into the pipe and emerge right at my feet.

The cardboard soon proved to be a poor material for a back drop as the balls would ricochet like bullets off at odd angles into the trees and brush, never to be seen again.

Next was tarp. We have plenty of that.  It had “give” to absorb the impact. I hung one up  from 2 trees then taped a funnel into the bottom so the balls would drop in and role down the tube. Much better.

It actually worked although it required constant tweaking. The pine needles kept clogging it and the rocks I decided to shoot into it didn’t help.

My husband, who generally sleeps in later than me, emerged from the RV the morning I made my invention and shambled over to where I had set everything up. He eyeballed the remains of the mangled box and my creation and mumbled  “how long have you been up?”