Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Church of Baseball

There’s so much I could write about today. I could write about what a miracle it is that people actually heal in our western medical model. How I’m not sure if it was because my shrink was old—or old school—that depressed me so in her presence; whether it was the polyester skirt and blouse, the nylon stockings, the fact that she didn’t even greet me before asking for my medical card. Perhaps the way she asked the list of diagnostic questions in a deadpan voice, rarely glancing up to look at me. Or, maybe it was when she pronounced that there is, and I quote, nothing that is not depressed about you (me) unquote that did me in. Of course I know I’m depressed. But there was something about the professional confirmation, or maybe it was the cold, analytical professional confirmation that made my eyes flood, then spill over once safely out of her office and walking to my car.

I could write about how ungodly hot and dry it is up here in Tuolumne County. How I had no clue when I signed on the dotted line that summers were insufferable, average high nineties, and not a hint of a breeze to be found. How I feel like a prisoner in my home, doors and windows closed against the heat, air conditioner that seems to work marginally at best. How there is little to do, unless I want to join the Sonora Glenn Beck Meetup Group, the Sonora Christian Writer’s Group, or the Calaveras Tea Party. I could write about missing the Bay Area with a vengeance, the variety of people to meet, places to go, things to do and see and experience. Friends. Family. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, the cooling fog settling over the hills.

I could write about how confusing it is to like and enjoy a place one minute, then want desperately to flee it the next. How I haven’t a clue what came first, the chicken or the egg… am I depressed because of my circumstances, or do my circumstances look so bleak because I’m depressed. How I know that right now is not a time to be making any big, life-altering decisions; yet the grass seems infinitely greener just about anywhere else I can think of; yet every time I see my realtor I ask pointed and specific questions about selling or renting out my home; yet the mind continues its gyrations in effort to solve what may be, in this moment anyway, problems unsolvable.

My spiritual teacher always encourages us to find one thing—just one—to enjoy in any given moment. Not as resistance to whatever else might be going on, not to try to fix anything, but a suggestion to gently shift focus to something that can bring some pleasure in the now. It doesn’t have to be big, sweeping, mind-blowing. It can be as simple as a color, sight, or sound. It might be the birds that run up and down the big oak across the street, the wind chimes when the rare breeze hits them, the orange full moon peaking over the horizon, the way the afternoon sun hits the pure pink and surprisingly beautiful blossoms on the oleander. For me right now, it’s baseball. In fact, I don’t know what I would do without it; on average a two and a half hour a day respite from feeling crappy. The romanticism of the ballpark, the sound of bat and ball connecting, the roar of the crowd, and best of all, young, sexy, athletic dudes in uniform. Honestly, what’s not to like? On top of that, my team, the Giants, are actually playing great ball and winning this year, and that makes the experience all that much better.

As Annie Savoy said in one of my all-time favorite movies, "Bull Durham,"

I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn't work out between us… I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.

What can I possibly add except amen, honey, amen.

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