April 6, 2012

Opening days


People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.
-Rogers Hornsby

Typical. Another Nats nailbiter; we never quite got used to it last year. As much as I like the patience at the plate, the strikeouts and the hiccups with RISP is problematic. All in all, it was a win, Strasburg looked good, and Bernadina, Zimmerman (twice), Tracy and Werth would have have gone yard if it wasn't for the wind. For the Cubs, Dempster was untouchable; his performance makes you wonder how he gave up almost five runs per nine last year.

I can feel a little more normal when April hits. Tom Boswell got it right, I think, if I can paraphrase him: In spring, summer and fall, baseball is there when you need it. You may not need it every day, but it's there if you do. There's no escape from January, when the sun is hung thin between the dark and dark. We muddle through.

Baseball-less malaise didn't saturate my entire winter, fortunately. I've been finishing off stories and poems long due for completion and sending them off to journals in my area. I had an essay on ethnicity accepted for publication recently. I narrated a small piece for a friend's documentary on homosexuality in Iran. Another friend filmed several people - including me - drawing birds and flowers to follow along the story told in an ancient Persian poem. Her piece was lovely; it ran last night for the first time, along with my wife's new work.

I've walked hundreds of miles up and down a local creek. Wondered why we don't spend entire days out on the grass anymore. Wondered why a woman would leave her heavily perfumed satin scarf hanging from a tree branch. Found a tiny ballfield hidden in the woods behind a housing development; someone had duct-taped a strike zone on the chain fence backstop. Carried my dog over paths strewn with shards of green glass while children ran along oblivious. Wandered through an old forest in the middle of the city. Lamented the loss of my grandfather's legacy, confronted with his work, apparent on houses, fences and gates.

Hoped. Despaired. Desired. Raged. Ate. Drank. Shit. It's all one in the longview. Reactive brevity hates the longview. So much detail, so many updates, lost in slim summary, impoverishing the incremental progression of narrative tedium.

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