Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blast from the Past: Baseball after Katrina

Floodwaters Pour Into New Orleans Again
Katrina-Weakened Levees Fail in Two Places Today

And we are just hitting peak season. As I sit in a nearly empty house that I rent, I have come to appreciate even more my lack of thirst for possessions. I've seen how devastated people have been after losing everything they owned, and I am glad I don't have a material dependency. I simply don't own much, nor do I want to.

I think the devastation has made a lot of us in this country think about what is really important. I've seen unbelievable generosity and compassion, something that has been conspicuously absent in the last several years of American discourse. I think we've been forced to reevaluate our priorities in life. It's too short and too precious to waste. (Of course, if can't wait to go straight to the Pearly Gates or a place with 72 virgins, you probably don't appreciate how delicate real life is.)

Is it that Mother Nature, God, Allah, Yahweh, Atum, Shiva, Insertgodhere wanted to show that she/he/it/they have more power over all of us? The Higher Being has succeeded in sewing our country back together by ripping it apart. Will the threads last, or will we go back to the same irrational discourse that has plagued this country for the past few years? Are we so helpless? All of the bombs in the world can't fight Nature.

Of course, there are those people whose ideologies are still blinding them to reality, but those people will never be saved. Their hatred burns deep and shows in their "they deserve it" attitude that I've seen splashed all over cyberspace. Those people have been shouting for too long, making it seem like there were more of them than there actually were. Their voices have grown weak, and the din of reason has finally begun to drown them out.

I bought a hot dog and a beer yesterday at the Nationals game. I wasn't going to do it because I didn't want to spend the money, but I sat there watching a meaningless game, burning with a passion for the sport and the joyful days of summer that it represents, and those things are the taste of the game. One's eyes are doused by the verdant field as it dances from fence to fence, forcing every color in the stadium to compete with it for the brightest spot, while the outside summer air allows you to breathe and forget the stifling atmosphere of everyday life. We were programmed at an early age to see summer as a season of play, and baseball represents that sense of carefree youth. I watched desperately with a fond nostalgia for another summer gone, and I contemplated the erasure of time that plagues a mortal soul. I foolishly and romantically longed for the days of innocence. Only in innocence are we truly free.

Is it ludicrous to talk about trivialities such as baseball in the same post as disaster? At first, it may seem that way. But- my point is that we need to learn not to take life and freedom and joy for granted, because at any senseless moment, it could be gone.

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