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

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