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Saturday, August 16, 2008


In August, the Portland area Lutheran church softball season culminates in a two day tournament at Meldrum Bar Park. Church softball can be distinguished from other forms of softball by the ritual group prayer that opposing team members participate in together before they try to beat the hell out of each other.

The typical prayer format:
General thanksgiving for nice weather
Vague promise to enjoy fellowship
Petition for injury free play

As with most prayer, the recognition of answers requires active and imaginative interpretation.

There’s really nothing like sliding in shorts (except maybe falling off a motorcycle) to set up the circumstances that will showcase the miracle of self-repairing skin.

Softball, with its rules and regulations, is rich with metaphors and analogies that can be applied to life in this universe.

In the following dialogue from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, commander Sisko explains our linear existence with a baseball metaphor.


"Baseball" - what is this?


I was afraid you'd ask that...

A beat... How the hell do you explain baseball to an alien... he takes a deep breath, well, here goes...


I throw the ball to you... and this other player stands between us with a bat, a stick... and he... he tries to hit the ball in between these two white lines...

Commander Sisko with antique baseball copyright Paramount Pictures

Jake alien blinks with confusion, Sisko pauses... regroups... getting another idea... his delivery growing with confidence as he continues...


The rules aren't important... what's important is -- it's linear. Every time you throw this ball a hundred different things can happen in the game... he might swing and miss, he might hit it... the point is you never know... you try to anticipate, set a strategy for all the possibilities as best you can... but in the end it all comes down to throwing one pitch after another... and seeing what happens. With each new consequence, the game begins to take shape...


(grasping the meaning)

And you have no idea what that shape is until it is completed...



That's right. In fact, the game wouldn't be worth playing if we knew what was going to happen.



You value your ignorance of what is to come?


(acknowledges, driving home his point)

That may be the most important thing to understand about humans. It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching... not just for answers to our questions... but for new questions.

Script from DS9 pilot episode Emissary

Sometimes I get caught up in trying to figure out the title (the shape) to my story. Even more, I’d like to have some reassurance that it’s going to be a good story. But I guess all you can really do is take time out every once in a while and look at the tracks you’ve made so far.

One day, we’ll be gone, and all that will be left is the evidence of how we played.

It’s good to be reminded sometimes that you just can’t be afraid to get dirty.

Dirt Angels

Shaman at work

1 comment:

  1. WOW Scott these are great pictures. Laura and I were saying that we felt like we were there. Thank you for the web site.



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