"Be regular and ordinary in your habits, like a petit bourgeois, so you may be violent and original in your work." -gustave flaubert
"I'm not saying I'm like Jesus, but I do follow him. Maybe when your master is a polarizing figure, you end up that way yourself." -joe boyd
"Es is aus. This culture, in my opinion is over. But that's ok, because God doesn't redeem cultures, but he does redeem individuals all the time." -prof. n, as spoken in old testament exegesis on 2.1.08
* tip-of-the-cap to the young robert de niro who recently brought this quote to my attention.
for one, the picture above. if the caption beneath read "sounding forth from the center of the real economy," i'd laugh even harder.
i've also been laughing at reggie white's exposition of the crucifixion as recorded by the saint pete times. money quote below:
"Reggie White turned interviews into sermons, questions into homilies and the Super Bowl into a pulpit. He was a good man with a good heart. That said, it was suggested that, sometimes, Reggie's Bible had chapters the rest of us didn't have. White would give you an impassioned speech about how it was God, not money, who led him to Green Bay. The defensive end once said that he came back for one last season because of divine intervention. He said he was healed by faith, not by the trainer.
it's hard to forget media day, when White suggested that Jesus Christ was crucified 'because he was affecting the economy." Huh? "He was healing the sick, and the doctors got mad,' White said. 'He was raising the dead, and all the funeral home directors got mad.'"
finally, i've been laughing for three weeks at the following joke: "what's the hardest thing about rollerblading?"
recently i've been complaining to my nerdy neighbors* at television without pity about the complete catastrophe that is friday night lights season II. my specific gripe about the current season is that it lacks a compelling, overarching metanarrative** such as the "win state" theme that dominated the first season. on account of the missing meta, the stories of the players, families and townies that once converged so beautifully have devolved into trite stories that add little if anything to the Story of the town and its team.
i mention this because i've been musing about my personal meta lately.
for the first quarter century of my life baseball was not merely a my consuming passion, but it provided the narrative framework by which i understood, evaluated and envisioned my life. although i rarely, if ever, mention it here as a kid i played a lot of baseball and played most of it poorly. i think that if i had not understood the fundamentals of hitting or been able to break off a nasty curve, the story of baseball wouldn't have held much sway. but, alas, at twelve years of age i could explain the fundamentals of rod carew's swing, was learning to i set up the heat with the circle change and yet had still found a way to fail my way through almost every level of little league and competitive ball. i had a beautiful swing, but couldn't stay in the box for fear of the ball. likewise, my fastball had plenty of heat and not a little hop, but i could never control my mechanics or my raging temper, long enough to pitch with anything approaching consistency. i loved baseball more than any of my peers, but by the age of thirteen i realized i was a van poppel-esque pitcher whose stuff would never pan out. for this reason, i internalized the story of the failed prospect, found myself umpiring games while friends starred on varsity and doubted that i would ever excel at something that i loved.
fortunately, over the past five years, i've finally started to accept a new meta for my life. now, instead of considering myself a failed prospect who will never be able to turn tools*** into results, i've received a new meta, that of a servant, and have begun to suspect that i have the ability to successfully live this story out.
don't get me wrong, far more often than i would like to admit i still fixate on the few moments when my deuce was dropping for strikes, i had enough emotional control to sustain my mechanics and standing on a twelve inch mound felt like straddling olympus. in those moments, i grieve for my inability to succeed at the game i love so much and still feel like the prospect who will always find a way to fuck things up.
but, thanks be to the God, most days i am focused on the new meta that stretches before me and i somehow find the strength to scribble my way forward.
* and pretty much anyone else who will listen. ** or, as the cool kids at twop call it, a "meta." *** be they of a baseball, academic or pastoral nature.
i am a thirtysomething worker bee who hails from massachusetts. by day i find jobs for individuals with significant disabilities and by night i spend time with my pixie-like wife and share life with my friends at the gathering in salem. my deepest passions are following Jesus Christ, extending God's compassion to the poor and obsessing about the Saint Louis Cardinals.