Tagged: Matthew Pearl

Fields of Wonder

Hello again out there in cyberspace.  I am happy to report that things are looking up since I last checked in.  The Erie team that seemed invincible in their own park was noticeably more so back home in Akron.  We swept all four games from Erie and didn’t leave any of the outcomes in doubt, outscoring the SeaWolves 34-9 overall in the series.  After the Erie series we went on the road to Binghamton and rolled through the series.  The final game was a tight affair from start to finish resulting in a 3-2 victory, but the first two games were fairly lopsided with our offense propelling us out to early leads and the pitching holding on from there.  The wins were badly needed for morale after our string of prior losses and they also pushed our “magic number” to clinch a playoff berth into the range where it becomes worth keeping track of at 26.  As long as we keep our heads down and keep chugging along we’ll be through that in no time (hopefully).  The week was also a good one for me as I had three appearances and didn’t allow a run, but more importantly I stranded all five runners I inherited.  Overall, it was a good week for both myself and the team to build upon for the last month of the season and into the playoffs.

 

My non-baseball activities over the last week have not been overly exciting.  I finished a few more books from the huge unread pile I have that I can’t stop myself from adding to.  The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl was an interesting and engaging historical novel about the circumstances surrounding Charles Dickens’ last novel that I had been meaning to read for a while, and I also started and finished two Pulitzer Prize winning poetic works: Native Guard by Natasha Tretheway and Practical Gods by Carl Dennis.  Also, on the day off yesterday I watched the movie Waltz with Bashir while I was laying out a painting.  The movie was excellent, probably the best movie I’ve seen from last year.  The painting…didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped it would.  A couple of the colors didn’t work out as I would have liked, but since I’m basically doing it as a joke anyway I’m not sure it really matters.  Well, I think I’m going to call that good for now so I can go start in on a new book (Loot by Sharon Waxman), do some of the cleaning up I intended to do yesterday and then head to the field.  Until next time, I leave you with a poem by the great Langston Hughes and encourage you to visit this website to hear Hughes explain his inspiration for the poem and also give a reading of it.

 

The Negro Speaks of Rivers    

by Langston Hughes

 

I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the

     flow of human blood in human veins.

 

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

 

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln

     went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy

     bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

 

I’ve known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.

 

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

The last week doesn’t deserve a clever title

Hello once more.  I must start off by saying that I have been somewhat remiss in getting posts up of late, but I’ve alternately had my girlfriend and parents in town over recent home stands and my mind has been elsewhere by and large.  That being said, given the way we have played over the last week maybe it is best that I not recall all the details.  Our recent game action consists of losing three of four games to Erie, which actually improved our overall record at Erie’s Jerry Uht Park to 1-10 on the season.  It is very frustrating to continue to lose game after game to a team like Erie, who while certainly a good team, is not a collection of surpassing talents that simple dwarfs us.  They do continue to beat us over and over again though so there is nothing to be done but tip our caps… and then go out and play better tonight in the first game of a four game series against Erie.  Hey, we’re 2-2 against them at home so that is something maybe.  After our series with Erie we went out and lost two of three to Altoona, the team with the second worst record in the Eastern League.  Enough said.  My own performance over the last week has been good for the most part.  I allowed a few un-earned inherited runners in one appearance and threw 2.2 scoreless innings in an extra-inning affair with Erie in my most recent appearance, so one can only hope it is the front end of a long hot streak.

 

Away from the field I have been doing a variety of things, namely taking seemingly forever to finish Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose.  It generally takes me anywhere from a day or two to a week to burn my way through a standard 300-400 page book but for some reason this particular book really jammed me up.  It is a great book and I recommend that anyone with an interest in American history (that would be all of you) pick it up, but for whatever reason I just struggled to finish it.  Oh well, now I’m on to The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl.  Other than that I’ve just been hanging out in Erie (boo) and now hanging out with my parents and brother around Akron.  We took in the Hower House a couple days ago which was okay.  It is an old Victorian home built in 1871 by John Henry Hower and currently owned by the University of Akron, where the home resides.  It is a cool old house and I am glad I saw it, but if I could only do one or the other I would not tour the Hower House at the expense of seeing Stan Hywet Hall.  Well, I’m off to spend some more quality time with the family before I head off to the field so I’ll leave you with a poem by my favorite poet, Stephen Dunn, and sign off until next time.

 

What Goes On

by Stephen Dunn

 

After the affair and the moving out,

after the destructive revivifying passion,

we watched her life quiet

 

into a new one, her lover more and more

on its periphery. She spent many nights

alone, happy for the narcosis

 

of the television. When she got cancer

she kept it to herself until she couldn’t

keep it from anyone. The chemo debilitated

and saved her, and one day

 

her husband asked her to come back —

his wife, who after all had only fallen

in love as anyone might

who hadn’t been in love in a while —

 

and he held her, so different now,

so thin, her hair just partially

grown back. He held her like a new woman

 

and what she felt

felt almost as good as love had,

and each of them called it love

because precision didn’t matter anymore.

 

And we who’d been part of it,

often rejoicing with one

and consoling the other,

 

we who had seen her truly alive

and then merely alive,

what could we do but revise

our phone book, our hearts,

 

offer a little toast to what goes on.