05 March 2008

On and on, on and on, on and on.

She wins Rhode Island. He wins Vermont. She wins Ohio big, then edges him in the Texas primaries. But wait! He wins the Texas caucuses and earns a bigger piece of the delegate pie. And so it goes. On and on.

A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I watched Field of Dreams, the one movie that consistently makes grown men choke up and sniffle like women watching a Renee Zellweger flick. Then baseball's Spring Training kicked off on Valentine's Day, a day when two loves are satisfied in one sitting. Toss in the past couple weeks of Humboldt sunshine which brings our own gloves and balls out of the bottom of the sports basket in the garage. The scent of aged glove leather and the pop of balls in reformed pockets announce the beginning of spring.

Then on one of my thrice weekly browsings of Northtown Books, a copy of W.P Kinsella's magical novel, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy pops up on the sales table. It's the story of a 1908 exhibition game between the Chicago Cubs (Tinkers to Evers to Chance & the last Cubs' World Series) and the semi-pro Iowa Baseball Confederacy All-Stars, a game lasting 2000 innings, replete with albinos, feisty dwarves, Hall of Fame names from baseball's glory days, floods, Indian spirits, and windows in time.

200 pages in with another 100 to go, the epic game's in its sixth day and somewhere around 300 innings. Day after day, the players slog on. When the visiting North Side nine score in the top of an inning, the hometown Iowa farm boys inevitably pull out a run to knot it in the bottom frame. They break for hot, full-course meals served by local Christian cultists, and for sleep, only to return to the field at dawn. And the game goes on.

Page 199 introduces Hall of Fame umpire Bill Klem who's summoned from the Majors to umpire the game when the local man in blue misses a call that would've decided the game in the Cubs' favor.

"How long will you let the game go on?" calls a dapper, white-haired reporter.

"The game shall continue until it is resolved," says Klem.

"But why?" asks the reporter.

"Sir," says Klem, drawing himself up until he is as tall as the reporter, who is not very tall. "I need not justify my decisions, any more than I need to justify a call of ball or strike, safe or out. The game will continue because I believe that it should."

America's Democrats are not quite ready to see their epic game end either. While some grow weary of the back and forth, up and down, nasty and nice, We the People have spoken, and need not justify our actions. The game goes on as it has, as it will, until it is resolved. Perhaps it will take a 40-day flood, or the magical rub of an albino's mane, or the chanting of a long-dead Iowa Indian, but there will be resolution. As there should. We're on page 199. But there are 111 pages, and 10 states, left to our story.

As Stephen Bishop once crooned....

On and on
I just keep on trying
And I smile when I feel like crying
On and on, on and on, on and on

On and on, on and on, on and on
On and on, on and on, on and on


Perry Barber said...

This is lovely, evocative commentary about both politics and baseball. The intersection of the two right now is something magical in itself, and your use of metaphor and Kinsellian imagery to intertwine them is delightful.
Thank you!
Perry Barber

Kym said...

Yah, what that guy said. ^

Although, I felt pretty foolish looking up Kinsellian and realizing he meant Shoeless Joe author;>

Seriously, Perry Barber said it well. I read this this morning and have let it seep through my day. I finally felt ready to comment and saw what he said and was almost speechless

but, not quite.

Thank you for a beautiful post.

Bob Flame, Ranger said...

Thanks Perry & Kym. Y'all are way too kind.