Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Zen of Baseball

“The game of (base) ball is glorious”
                         – Walt Whitman.             
Ted Williams with Red Ormsby the Umpire

“…Baseball is a lot like religion.
Its followers put their faith and hope in uncontrollable forces in search of fulfillment and inner joy….

Baseball is about coming home. The whole point of the game is to finish where you begin – home plate – and once you are home you are finally safe."
 - James Penrice, The Spiritual Lessons of    

“In my beginning is my end…
Home is where one starts from…
In my end is my beginning.”
               -T. S. Eliot, “East Coker”

“Your grandfather once told me it was ok to think about what you want to do until it was time to start doing what you were meant to do.”
                 - The Rookie

So where does one get the authentic sense of purpose and identity? What event during one’s younger years sparks that flame to burn and cast a true light as to where one should be headed. Who created that spark? What was the point of this spark in the first place? Why does this flame make everything crystal clear and yet still muddy the waters of one’s own desires and notions about what and where one should be? Could there be more than one flame or more than one source? Would another flame appear if one burned out? Is there any end to the sparks?

Was that youth recreation baseball coach some angelic spirit in human disguise? How did he get here? What was his purpose? Why did he busy himself with encouraging his young charges to be authentic, free to be one’s self, joyful and be in the moment? How did time become no time? Seizing the day, the moment never seemed to be so real did it? How did winning and losing evaporate and get carried away by some sacred breeze?

Who would have thought that the smell of linseed oil on leather would replace that of incense? Who would have believed that the 108 stitches on a baseball would coincidentally be the same number as Buddhist prayer beads or two mysteries of the Catholic Rosary?

Was this the great lesson that could not be taught or understood in school and churches? Were the players who were selected identified by some greater spirit as needing to learn the lesson of unconditional love for self and others, truth, authenticity, faith and integrity by playing this game for this coach ?

And by the way when did the last two words of the National Anthem become “Play Ball?”
Can I hear an "Amen?"

                                         Game is called - Grantland Rice


Game Called

Game Called. Across the field of play

the dusk has come, the hour is late.

The fight is done and lost or won,

the player files out through the gate.

The tumult dies, the cheer is hushed,

the stands are bare, the park is still.

But through the night there shines the light,

home beyond the silent hill.

Game Called. Where in the golden light

the bugle rolled the reveille.

The shadows creep where night falls deep,

and taps has called the end of play.
he game is done, the score is in,

the final cheer and jeer have passed.
But in the night, beyond the fight,

the player finds his rest at last.

Game Called. Upon the field of life

the darkness gathers far and wide,

the dream is done, the score is spun

that stands forever in the guide.
Nor victory, nor yet defeat

is chalked against the players name.
But down the roll, the final scroll,
shows only how he played the game
 - Grantland Rice
                                         People will come – Field of Dreams


                                         Docs Dream- Field of Dreams


                                          Farewell Moonlight – Fields of Dreams


                                        Hey Dad Wanna Catch? – Field of Dreams


                                         For the love of the game-  Just Throw

                                       The Natural - Ending



( Dedicated to Coach B who taught me to let go , be present and be myself - to live , work and play with joy and love. I still have my youth baseball glove at hand to help me remember to remember.
I always loved having a catch with my daughters. You ladies are the best! Get out your gloves for our next get together.)

Copyright all Rights Reserved JF Sobecki LLC 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Silence and the Wham

So was Rodrigues’ crisis over the silence
A crisis of faith?
Or was it the silence making some
Commentary about his life
Or life in general?
Is the silence just a matter of existence
And nothing more?

Sometimes, just sometimes decay just seems to begin.
Sometimes the elements wear down the exterior as well and the interior
And isn’t it true that without the proper attention
The decay grows over time?
No thing is perfect.
But, then sometimes isn’t David’s perfect chord
Discovered when on some excursion along the way?

Merton said that the worthwhile journey
Is the journey of the interior.
However,  those who rely on the advice of a meditative Cheshire cat
Should realize the advice should be qualified.

Wherever you go
And whomever you are with -  does matter.
The great artist is still working with an incomplete virgin canvas.
Paying attention means everything
And yet letting go is being purely authentic
Because wherever you are you are is
Where you are and where you need to be, right?

Why is it that all watches are not reliable?
How is one to know if their timepiece
Is certified as accurate?
What does being “on time” mean outside of the playing music anyway?
Tolle said time is an illusion didn’t he?
That which was  cannot be changed
That which will be is a thought not realized.
All things pass, so being here now is reality.
How the now is spent and with whom is all that matters 
Whether there is silence or not, right?



                                                               Pay Attention

There are us and there are them
"All that we share"
Good for the Denmark - Good for US!

Love and Mercy - B. Wilson

and when in doubt play a little Van Morrison.

Hymns to The Silence - Van the Man

Holy Guardian Angel - Van the Man

If you are one of faith or have no faith see this movie.

Silence - Film By M. Scorcese

Copyrigh JF Sobecki LLC All Rights Reserved 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A New Year Articulation

"For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."
—T.S. Eliot

noun: articulation; plural noun: articulations
the action of putting into words an idea or feeling of a specified type
                                                  the formation of clear and distinct sounds in speech
clarity in the production of successive notes
the act or manner of uttering a speech sound, especially a consonant.


It was Daybreak
Something was different
Something was new.
It was Daybreak.
The last of the darkness faded away
Like smoke drifting to the heavens
From a burned out fire.
It was Daybreak.
Witness the birth of the new.
It was in that moment
When the promise of a redemption
Was being realized.
It was Daybreak.
New Moment, New day, new month, a New Year!
All that was withdrew with the tide.
Footprints from the journey so far washed away.
And the virgin sand waits.
Gulls glide and soar in delight.
Seeking sandpipers continue
Their Bishop chasing and retreating.
It was Daybreak.
Spirits refreshed by the silent sacred salt air.
Gentle divine breath blesses.
It is this silence that transforms the notes
Sung by the morning birds
And chimes into music
As she transforms the souls.
Time has no meaning here.
On the beach receiving  and welcoming.
Consoled, illuminated and Sanctified,
Purist Peace, Love, Compassion and Hope
Are again articulated.

Dawn around the world with a 360 degrees and see

Morning - Beck

Morning has broken - Cat Stevens

Additional note:

It has been advised that a blog about music might be an appropriate consideration.
Until such a time the following will need to suffice.

It was so sad to experience the passing on of so many excellent singer songwriters in 2016 but witnessing and reading the abundant tributes it became evident that two of this author’s favorites were not mentioned among many of the tributes and remembrances!

Guy Clark and Merle Haggard are two who have inspired and consoled this writer. Their simple sweet songs captured a human essence rarely experienced in contemporary music today. I guess the best way for me to honor their passing is not just to post a sample or two of their songs here but to make sure they show up on my own set list. Thank you men…miss you!

NB: For all you Country Music newbies the real original country music had and still maintains real poetic natural homespun soul and was much more than the slick overproduced Las Vegased country twanged guitars and affective nasal south of the  Mason-Dixon line vocals  with playing three chord rock n roll riffs and beats in disguise you hear on the radio today. Some of that new genre ain’t bad but no matter what the industry calls it “it ain’t country!”

Desperadoes Waiting For a Train

Sing Me Back Home

That’s the way Love Goes

Wishing you all a hope and wonder-filled - blessed New Year!


Copyright all Rights Reserved 2017 JF Sobecki LLC

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Christmas Gift You Can't Buy

"Into this world, this demented inn, where there was absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.”
- Thomas Merton

For Religious fanatics only...
Charlie Brown asked 
Lucy why she was so happy. Lucy explained how it was "Christmas" and
 she explained further that this was the time of year to "spread joy,
 caring, compassion, giving and love." Charlie Brown wondered to Lucy,
 "Why do we just do these things at Christmastime and why can't we do 
things all year round?" Lucy yelled at Charlie Brown "What are you
 some type of religious fanatic?"

From small villages his heroes and
great things seem to come.
There was that asterisked Home Run champion,
A nobel awarded vagabond singing poet ,
And best of all - a son king born in poverty-
living peace, love and mercy.
Though the journey not always easy
And the path not always clear,
The way is simple.
Those who doubt and those who stray
Are welcomed
To join the returning prodigal
Sons and daughters and their celebration.
No formula , elaborate scientific calculation
Or manufactured drug
Will result that which is discovered when the heart
Lets go opening self to the fulness of time and 
To what the soul has known all along.

And the blessing of the miracle of babies at Christmas continues:
The first one we brought home Christmas morning ;
The news of the second was accompanied with
Carolers singing “Joy to the world;”
The first’s first a little patient or persnickety
arrives 12/27; and,
Now news of the second’s first will be a son
As the holy waiting season continues  
The word of the departed poet
Echoes in his own voice as he sings

 Cry of a tiny babe  Bruce Cockburn


                    Hallelujah – Choir ! Choir ! Choir ! (Leonard Cohen)


                    Hallelujah Chorus – Mormon Tabernacle Choir


                      Simple Gifts – Yo Yo Ma and Allison Kraus


                     Do They Know Its Christmas


                      True Meaning of Christmas


Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Peace-filled New Years!


Copyright JF Sobecki LLC 2016 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

True Nature - Going on November

Artist Frederick Franck

Frederick Franck in writing about spirituality spoke of the Bodhidarma in the 6th century who said something like “It has been suggested that All That Matters is transmiitted outside of all scriptures, not depending on words or letters but pointing at the true human mind/heart making us see our true nature…”

Sometimes in that birthing moment on the first of November
Chimes singing from the autumn wind
Weaving in and out of the great artist’s canvas,
conjures gold, reds, yellow-orange , and a few
reminiscent lingering forever greens .
Sparks of salvation history
Illuminating and warming the sanctuary .
Sometimes songs and words of unawarded poets
Speak for him more clearly,
They become personal scripture,
consolations to and from his soul .
Distracted and momentarily lost from the present
Forgetting why he is here and where he is headed
He waits on the shores of the ocean of mercy.
"Going on November."

An Autumn 2016 Song and Poem List

Memory Lane – Van Morrison ( click on link)

"Memory Lane"

 It's Autumn here, going on November
I view the leaves in all their splendour
Is it déjà vu, I just can't remember
I stop a while and take in the scene

I stop a while and ask a stranger
Is this the place that was once called Memory Lane
I don't know where I am or what I'm after
I'm stuck here again back on Memory Lane

Now the leaves are falling and it's coming on to Winter
Nights keep getting shorter and shorter every day
One sign up ahead says 'DANGER'
Another one says 'STOP'

And it swerves and moves around the corners
And there's flashing lights up ahead 'round the bend
The road curves and twists and turns
And twists and turns and wanders
'Til you get, ' til you get to the very end

Now I'm back here again with more questions than answers
And I'm standing in the pouring rain
There's something moving, moving in the shadows
And it's getting dark now, up on Memory Lane

I stop a while and ask some strangers
Is this the place that was once called Memory Lane
I don't know where I am, don't know what I'm after
I'm stuck here back on Memory Lane

I stop a while and ask some strangers
Is this the place that was once called Memory Lane
Don't know where I am right now or what I'm after
I'm stuck here up, just up on Memory Lane
I'm stuck here up, back on Memory Lane
I'm stuck here back up on Memory Lane
I'm stuck here back, back up on Memory Lane

                                        Urge For Going – T. Rush ( written- J. Mitchell )


                                        Child of the Wind- B. Cockburn


Autumn Poem by Mary Oliver
In the last jovial, clear-sky days of autumn
the mockingbird
in his monk-gray coat
and his arrowy wings
from the hedge to the top of the pine
and begins to sing — but it's neither loose, nor lilting, nor lovely —
it's more like whistles and truck brakes and dry hinges.
All birds are birds of heaven
but this one, especially, adores the earth so well
he would imitate, for half the day and on into the
its ticks and wheezings,
and so I have to wait a long time
for the soft, true voice
of his own glossy life
to come through,
and of course I do.
I don't know what it is that makes him, finally, look
to the sweet spring of himself, that mirror of heaven,
but when it happens —
when he lifts his head
and the feathers of his throat tremble,
and he begins, like Saint Francis,
little flutterings and leapings from the pine's forelock,
resettling his strong feet each time among the branches,
I am recalled,
from so many wrong paths I can't count them,
simply to stand, and listen.
All my life I have lived in a kind of haste and darkness
of desire, ambition, accomplishment.
Now the bird is singing, but not anymore of this world.
And something inside myself is fluttering and leaping, is
to type it down, in lumped-up language,
in outcry, in patience, in music, in a snow-white book.

The Layers

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

The Journey – David Whyte

The Journey, a poem by David Whyte

Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again
Painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.
Sometimes everything
has to be
inscribed across
the heavens
so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.
Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that
first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.
Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out
someone has written
something new
in the ashes of your life.
You are not leaving.
Even as the light fades quickly now,
you are arriving.


Copyright 2016 JF Sobecki All Rights Reserved