Monday, July 16, 2007

Lines For Summer (3)

Cindy Mercer Photography, "Seats at Fenway"

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”

“That is why it breaks my heart, that game--not because in New York they could win because Boston lost; in that, there is a rough justice, and a reminder to the Yankees of how slight and fragile are the circumstances that exalt one group of human beings over another. It breaks my heart because it was meant to, because it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.”

“Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.”

From A. Bartlett Giamatti, “The Green Fields of the Mind”

Giamatti frames his search for "something abiding" in a reflection on the game he loves. "I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game." Giamatti earned his doctorate from Yale University in 1964 and spent most of his career as professor of comparative literature at Yale and Princeton. He served as president of Yale University from 1977 to 1986. He was the youngest president of the university in its history. He became president of the National Baseball League in 1986 and Commissioner of Baseball in 1989. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack at the age of 51 on September 1, 1989. From all indications, his restless heart never rested in Christ. He rejected Him to the end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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