“Each of us, deep down, believes that the whole world issues from his own precious body, like images projected from a tiny slide on to an earth-sized screen. Andthen, deeper down, each of us knows he’s wrong.” – 467
The Art of Fielding was an interesting read and it took me ages to finish it, primarily because time wasn’t available, but I’m taking the train into work now so I have about an hour a day where I can zone out of the human rush-hour traffic and immerse myself into someone else’s world!
For the first few chapters, I honestly thought I’d be reading a book about the rise to fame of an unassuming boy to a Major League baseball player. As I continued to read, though, I was thrown somewhat of a curve ball (see what I did there?!), as one of the key characters, Henry Skrimshander, makes his way to college, with a baseball scholarship. He navigates his way through relationships, a new, and sometimes strange, way of life and the pressure of expectation, as he rises towards stardom he doesn’t understand. Throw in a love (Lust?) triangle, a gay student/teacher relationship and other life-changing occurrences and you have yourself a good read!
What I enjoyed most, having not read a book this long for a good period of time, was how I could see parts of myself in most of the characters, allowing me to look at myself and also relate, as the book is written from each of their own perspectives at different points throughout the novel. Approaches to relationships, approaches to physical training and dealing with pressure, as well as uncertainty. Those with high levels of empathy will definitely enjoy this book and its parallel running alongside Herman Melville and Moby Dick.
The Art of Fielding brings an interesting perspective to life. What is the art of life? The truth is, there isn’t one. As individuals, ‘life’ will mean something different to each of us. It’ll be something different to each of us and, as such, how we venture from leaving the dugout to sliding through home base, if we make it to home base, is also different. The only commonality is the field we share.
Interestingly, we share this competitive field but what makes this game what it is, is that everyone understands the next. There is this love and mutual respect that not everyone taps into but, as The Art of Fielding shows, when we do tap into it, there is a smoothness and each person can experience their own positive outcome.
I struggle with the patience side of things a lot. But therein lies my issue, I realize.
I often find myself waiting on what has been prepared for me when my heart and mind aren’t wholly in the relationship. Just like any other relationship, the reward has more impact when the relationship is the focus and not the reward.
The reward is actually an indication that the relationship is going well. It isn’t merely part of a cause and effect process.
When I was bullied as a teen, I recited this toxic mantra day after day after day. Sometimes in my head, sometimes out loud, sometimes from behind a smile and sometimes through tears. I wish I knew then what I know now.
As stress blocks developed in my head, I repeated this phrase in my head in a way that resembled banging my head off a brick wall. In the end, I came out alright. For others, the outcome hasn’t been so great. Some haven’t seen their outcomes. They aren’t here anymore…
Be careful with your words. Speak life and Love wherever you can, whenever you can. In the end, we will all be judged, for every idle word that leaves our mouths…
To love will always be a risk. Yet, it is in those intense moments of vulnerability that real Love manifests itself. It’s not the easiest of journeys but it is the most rewarding.
I came across this article and it got me thinking about how I used to give water and food to some of the homeless guys in Philadelphia, when I was Uber driving. I started to think about how we actually help people to stay in their current situation.
For example, giving a homeless person water, while they beg at the traffic lights, only serves to keep them cool and hydrated while they continue to beg. Wisdom, regarding strangers, will always prevail. However, what a homeless person really needs is hospitality. Someone that gives them a home to stay in, that can serve as a foothold while they re-introduce themselves back into society. Something that is actually expected of us as Christians…
You can read the article HERE…
Featured Picture taken from http://www.gofundmission.org