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October 5, 2011

Baseball, Life, Paraguay and Loose Connections Between the Three

Joe Poznanski, a former sports writer for the KC Star and current Sports Illustrated writer, recently wrote a piece about the historic and unprecedented last day of the baseball 2011 season.

Joe wrote:
Baseball, like life, revolves around anticlimax. That in many ways is the beauty of it. I realize that's a hard thing to explain to someone who doesn't love baseball, no, more than hard, it's an impossible thing to explain because many people want sports to be more than life, they follow sports to jolt them out of the steady rhythms of the shriek of alarm clocks, the monotony of morning meetings, the rush to get our kids to soccer practice by 4 p.m. They want sports to be bigger than life. What's the point, otherwise? There is nothing in baseball as jarring as a blind-side hit, as jaw-dropping as a perfect alley-oop, as tense and heart-pounding as a breakaway.
And the hard thing to explain, the impossible thing, is that many of us love baseball not in spite of these failings but because of them...
Later in the same article he wrote:
Baseball, like life, revolves around anticlimax. That's what you get most of the time. You stand in driver's license lines, and watch Alfredo Aceves shake off signals, and sit through your children's swim meets, and see bases loaded rallies die, and fill up your car's tires with air and endure an inning with three pitching changes, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk.But then, every now and again, something happens. Something memorable. Something magnificent. Something staggering. Your child wins the race. Your team wins in the ninth. You get pulled over for speeding. And in that moment -- awesome or lousy -- you are living something you will never forget, something that jumps out of the toneless roar of day-to-day life.  (full text)

Joe Posnanski often reveals a deeper truth than the sports he writes about.  I've written on this blog about our trips to Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, and cities in Paraguay, but those do not represent our life here.  Those are the moments between the monotony of life.

I haven't written in this blog in months, not because nothing happen, but because life has happened and life here is still just life.  That is not to say our life here is boring, but rather, many times it is comfortably routine.  We are blessed with friends, employment, and a great place to live.  Our life in Paraguay has become  Cassie and I drag ourselves out of bed five times a week (six times if you count church) and go to work.  Most weeks we plan, teach lessons, grade, make copies, have casual conversations with friends and coworkers, take Spanish and Guarani lessons, take a 20 minute bus home, go out to eat, attend a Spanish speaking church, go to the movies (with subtitles) and hang out with our friends, and repeat the next week.  Some things might jump out when reading the list (especially because many of them have to be done in Spanish), but all have become mostly normal.

Other things jump out of the routine of daily life. We have frustrations: the cultural and language can be pronounced at times, I get yelled at for something I didn't know I did, Cassie gets frustrated at not understanding a sermon, we are unintentionally rude by not greeting everyone, people on the bus stand uncomfortably close, Cassie's debate team took last place in a tournament.

Incredible things stick out: I saw 3 geckos eating bugs under a light, bright green parrots lined a fence at our school, and Cassie's debate took first place in a tournament, we understood someone speaking another language.  Those moments are memorable.

The baseball season lasts 162 wonderful-terrible-boring-fun days.  Wasn't that last day of the season awesome?

1 comment:

  1. Normal is so relative, isn't it? Your post reminded me of my year in Costa Rica. I was so glad that I had written down my first impressions because after a few months my life in Costa Rica just became my life. Bartering, church in Spanish, and dealing with ants and lizards in the house were so daily that it became familiar. It seemed normal - except for getting a tan in December, Holy Week paradades with Jesus in a casket, and ants making a 2 foot black dot on our dining room wall...

    Love your writing...