Oh, the Contrasts

“Is there anything more frightening than people?” Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarusian investigative journalist

The human bite is more infectious than any other animal’s bite. From being drawn and quartered to spine breaking moments on the rack, the Middle Ages, we think, was an era at the height of incapacitating, human torture. I’d rather not delve into specific modes of torture anymore or my innards will develop into a large corkscrew. I used to see the 20th Century mayhem, at, perhaps, its worst in Baltimore, MD as a medical examiner, about 45 years ago.

But, to the contrary, there are some wonderful moments humanity presents to most of us. Baltimore, back then, was a place of great learning, research, cuisine and beauty. Here in the 21st Century, I can listen to a parade of my favorite music, ever, blue-toothed to my digital hearing aids care of Amazon Music. I can and have visited Jerusalem with my beloved spouse experiencing other-worldly days. I can watch a combination of Rudolph Nureyev and a tennis legend, Roger Federer. I can watch, relative to Babe Ruth, a swifter, more gymnastic, equally effective power hitter in Fernando Tatis, Jr., a man who shines in the biggest moments.

It’s all a contrast, humankind’s earthly presence. I am deeply thankful the good Lord has provided us any life at all.

Great Love

What does she see in him and visa versa?

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

Per, Wisława Szymborska, a Polish poet and Nobel Laureate: “So what does she (he) see in him (her)?” Such questions are best left in peace: great love is never justified. It’s like the little tree that springs up in some inexplicable fashion on the side of a cliff: where are its roots, what does it feed on, what miracle produces those green leaves? But it does exist and it really is green — clearly, then, it’s getting whatever it needs to survive.”

As our marriage slowly approaches a half century of life, I ask: How can two such different people have found a life together and raised a boy and a girl to adulthood? The great love that Wisława Szymborska addresses above sounds, at first, like a step removed from reality.

Two people spend that long together and they have each perhaps been married to five different people, in other…

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As Tennesee Williams Called it, The Sweet Bird of Youth

Last night I saw a wonderful ballgame where the San Diego Padres had a walk off, stirring victory before their first packed house since 2019. Lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions in California, in large part, provided that opportunity.

I noticed the Cincinnati Reds manager was named David Bell. In the 50s as a child I had watched David “Gus” Bell play All Star level outfield for the Reds. He hit with a good batting average, lots of power and nearly 1000 runs batted in through his 15 year career.

It was the 50s via black and white tv when I watched Gus at the Reds home in Crosley field. I lived in Dayton, Ohio a few miles up the road from Cincinnati.The Reds stopped playing at Crosley Field in 1970.

I knew as I watched last night, that, Gus’ son, Buddy Bell, had played and managed in major league baseball. What I didn’t know until I saw David manage last night was that Gus also had a grandson who played and managed in major league baseball.

Apparently all three have worn #25, Gus’ number. I really felt old noting I had seen this 48 year old manager’s long deceased grandfather play ball.

So much for baseball being a sport, that, gave me, in spectating, some of that joy of my youth. On the other hand, I sure am glad I am around to watch Gus’ grandson manage.