Read In The Face

Hello once again.  I figured it was about time I pulled my nose out of a book and did something productive, so here I am.  It has been a productive period of late for the Aeros.  We won all but one game on our seven game road trip (arriving back from which my roommates and I discovered a pipe had blown out in our apartment, thankfully with negligible damage to our belongings) and we have split our first two games at home so far.  I have had two outings over that stretch–one where I pitched poorly but didn’t give up an earned run despite picking up the loss and one outing where I threw the ball very well and was victimized by a few timely seeing eye  hits.  So it goes.  While not playing baseball I have spent the better part of the time since I last checked in doing a whole lot of nothing other than trying to put a dent in the massive pile of unread books I have accumulated recently.  Despite finishing off Jonathan Harr’s The Lost Painting, Albert Einstein’s Ideas and Opinions, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land by Jimmy Carter, and most recently The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser during the past week or so I still have a seemingly ever growing stack of reading material to plow through.  In all honesty there has not been a whole lot else worth reporting since the last time I checked in, but over the upcoming weekend I’m planning on taking in the Akron and/or Cleveland art museums and some other cultural points of interest so I’ll make sure to mention those the next time I log on.  Until next time, I’ll leave you with the usual poem and ask that if you are an Ohio resident to take a couple minutes out of your day to email your state congressional representative and ask that they oppose the 50% cut in state library funding that has been proposed by the governor.


Stolen by John Updike


What is it like, to be a stolen painting–

to be Rembrandt’s “Storm on the Sea of Galilee”

or “The Concert,” by Vermeer, both burglarized,

along with “Chez Tortoni” by Manet,

and some Degases, from the Isabella Stewart

Gardner Museum, in Boston, twelve years ago?


Think of how bored they get, stacked

in the warehouse somewhere, say in Mattapan,

gazing at the back of the butcher paper

they are wrapped in, instead of at

the rapt glad faces of those who love art.


Only criminals know where they are.

The gloom of criminality enshrouds them.

Why have we been stolen? they ask themselves.

Who has benefitted? Or do they hang

admired in some sheikh’s sandy palace,

or the vault of a mad Manila tycoon?


In their captivity, they may dream of rescue

but cannot cry for help. Their paint

is inert and crackled, their linen friable.

They have one stratagem, the same old one:

to be themselves, on and on.


The boat tilts frozen on the storm’s wild wave.

The concert has halted between two notes.

An interregnum, sufficiently extended,

becomes an absence. When wise

and kindly men die, who will restore

disappeared excellence to its throne?


  1. juliasrants

    Neil – you are an inspiration! When your days as a baseball player are over (and I hope that isn’t for a very long time!) I hope that you become a teacher. I suspect there would be many children who would benefit from having you in the classroom. Best of luck to you and your team!


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