“Life imitates art.”~ Oscar Wilde.
“How Life Imitates the World Series” by Thomas Boswell
Perhaps it’s human nature to draw similarities and note differences. At one time, I’m sure it was a matter of survival…for some, it still is. I spent 2 years writing a weekly blog about life and art and how to find one’s way (hint, in my experience, it’s easier with art!). I took 130 of those posts and simmered them down to a book, Creative Play: A Guide for the Artistic Path. Though I haven’t read it, my guess is that Boswell has done the same with baseball and life.
Having just finished watching game 3 of the 2019 Wold Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals, I’ve drawn a few of my own similarities and differences:
1) Both teams are evenly matched: starting pitchers on the mound tonight threw a variety of pitches at varying speeds; each team has an equal number of talented defensive players; neither team hit a home run, no one got hit by a pitch, equal number of strikeouts, Washington had both the oldest and youngest player in a World Series (Rodney and Soto).
2) Washington won both games in Houston. Houston has won the first game in Washington.
3) Though the umpire was “mostly” calling the same pitches strikes/balls, the calls changed what pitches came after, interrupted the flow of the pitchers, and when strikeouts came on balls outside the strike zone, it changed what the next batter did at the plate. (Not as drastic as missing a pass interference call keeping the Saints from the Super Bowl, but still…).
4) The game couldn’t be played without the support of teammates.
5) Spectators will always find at least once where they don’t understand/agree with why a pitcher is pulled.
What can we take from my ramblings? We’ll seldom understand/agree with what life deals out. We’ve all had trauma. Sometimes we learn a lesson, sometimes we just struggle to our feet before the next wave plows into us. No one is an island, and no book (at least none of my projects) is birthed alone. I couldn’t do what I do without the help and support of a select few people. Some of us have a huge safety net, others of us have a handful of safety ropes. Balls, strikes, fair, or foul, as long as we stand in the box our job is make a decision in .25 seconds on whether or not we swing. And, in my opinion, no matter if it’s a pop up or into the stands, we should all quickly get our ass down the line to first base. Regardless of where we are, gifts and miracles appear when we work for them, and when we least expect them. Thus the suggestion to do the hard work (writing! and sometimes getting out of bed in the morning…) and leave the door of faith open. Because we’re all human, we have the opportunity to make art, to learn from our time in the batter’s box, to decide how we’ll respond to strikes and balls and missed calls and foul tips and double plays and home runs and strikeouts (what life throws at us; all the steps in completing an art project), and to see our environment from a different perspective as we trot around the bases (knowledge gained from experience, from age, from failure and success). “Hey, batter batter, swing!”