On the Via Dolorosa, Sure Footed
It hurts, right? I know it does. I know it does.
I forgot how weighty it is. How it has presence, a very pressing-down-upon-me-everywhere, this hurting.
And you are bitterly reminded how the getting close, so close, only 5 outs away from beating the only team you really want to beat in a way you'd been dreaming of as long as you can remember, only serves to intensify the hurt and the longing for what could have been.
It hurts. I know it does.
For some of you Red Sox fans, those of you too young to remember '86 or those of you who, for whatever reason, are only recently anointed, this may be your first experience with the essence of the grieving that has become all too familiar through the years. But the hurt is no less, no weaker, no easier to shrug off be it your first or only your most recent in a calamitous succession of games that end just out of reach.
It still hurts just the same. I know it does.
But this is the nature of the game in general. In baseball most efforts fail. Failure is omnipresent. And, so it seems, if there can be such a thing, failure is somehow beyond omnipresent for those of us who bind our noblest hopes, our most fervent desire for transcendence through victory on the Boston Red Sox baseball club.
And what choice do you have?
As Faulkner writes in If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, "Between grief and nothing I will take grief."
And so will I. And so should you.
Today many Red Sox fans are thinking of quitting. The hurt is too much. The pain is not worth it. Why bear this grief?
And some will quit.
But the rest of us will shoulder on, as we've done before. And while our hearts our heavy with this most recent letdown, we can still imagine what it will feel like to win, to become transcendent and sacred in that moment.
So let the grief in. Don't fight this grief, this twin but opposite brother to joy. Take grief to breakfast with you and to lunch and to cocktails this evening even. Same for tomorrow and the next day and as long as grief chooses to keep pace with you as you walk along.
And remember we are all of us in this together, all feeling the same heartache and frustration. So say "please" and "thank you" and "you're welcome" as you go about your day bearing your piece of our collective burden.
Faith and hope shall sustain as it has before and as it always will to anyone who dares to attempt the journey from home, to first, to second, to third, and to home again, bearing fame and the spoils of success.