There are days when it seems that God His Own Self surely must have cleared away some other stuff just to make time to better arrange the grief and confusion and annoyance which He might rain down into your own little miserable stretch of hell on this planet. When it seems that everything you might have looked to for some degree of encouragement and enjoyment is turned well and truly to pureed whale shit, when the trivial little victories you felt were easiest to claim and most beyond the malicious and spiteful concern of the Universe suddenly blossom into festivals of pain, well-orchestrated symphonies of annoyance and confusion, impossibly well-sequenced and coordinated missteps which could never have arranged themselves into such a perfect pattern of frustrating agonizing surgically precise heartbreak.
I ride atop a tall and majestic wave of such heartache today. For reasons both too inane and inconsequential to fully divulge (all revolving around the laughably mundane circumstances of a first round Little League playoff game which now seems doomed never to happen), I'm feeling a tad heartsick and hollow. It's not that I am angry over the circumstances (medical issues which conspire to deny me a legal starting lineup) but that I am sad and sorrowful for my guys. While I have a few players for whom any reason to not play likely is a blessing from above, for at least 5 or 6 of my guys, no excuse I might offer would justify not allowing them to go out and play this game. "We don;t care if we're short-handed, coach — we don't care if we have to play 6 against their 9-- we still think we can take them."
I love that spirit, and I want to be with them as it is put into action, but I also have to temper that machismo with a dash of cold bracing rationality and perspective: it simply is not worth it to put kids at risk of injury or major illness just to say "well, we showed up to play." If this was a matter of life and death, sure, let's play the game. But it's not. It's just a Little League game.
Which now seems unlikely to happen.
Meanwhile, as the fragments of that grenade blast even still rain from the skies, I get an email that makes me feel... I dunno. "Content." Perhaps "relaxed." Or maybe just "reassured that the Universe does not in fact hate me as it often seems that it must, but instead merely wants to make sure that I never am forced to travel the boring straight well-lit highways used by the bulk of our species. No, my way will always be the twisting goat path through the hills... the trail through a parted sea, across a boundless plain of searing salt and sand, through a wood both dark and spooky. Because along my weird and wooly way there be some pretty cool unexpected little moments which others seldom seem to report having.
I get an email, and it's not important to say from whom or what it relates to, but they said some cool things which made me literally get up from my chair, walk out the front yard, and take a moment to realize that the trees are whispering a nice happy song today. The sky seems a particularly fine shade of blue, and somewhere -- out there -- odd and unexpected little nuggets of delight and optimism still lurk.
So a playoff game might not happen. My kids remain healthy and amazing, my wife still tolerates my moody weirdness, and -- for today at least -- there is food in the kitchen and water in the pipes and gas in the car and at least the faintest hint of a knowing smile from the Universe.
"Relax, dummy. You might get some weird disappointments in your turn, but we also make sure that you get some pretty freakin cool and unique shit to enjoy, as well. So it all evens out in the final tally. Don't you agree?"
Well, yeah. I can agree.
But still... I would've liked to have led my guys into battle vs the #1 team — "For Hate's sake, I spit at thee," and all that. ;-)
odd duck B (waxing vague and obliquely)