Jun. 12, 2012
How Baseball Saved My Marriage
One happy hour drink in Orono and now I'm driving
up the Penobscot just for kicks, past the bridge to Indian Island,
past the just-closed Georgia Pacific plant, tidy yards
of Milford, "Place of a Million Parts" junkyard,
the drink still warm in my belly, the strong, true edge of things
glowing with rich clarity in the late summer, late afternoon light.
Dylan's tangled up in blue on the radio, dozens of migrating
nighthawks flit over fields along the river, crickets shrill
in tall grass, window draft tickles my tan shoulders.
Later tonight, the Red Sox will win with another Big Papi
walk-off homer that will make me whoop to myself in the car.
But for now, I'm moving through Olamon, Passadumkeag,
away from the river, into the woods. It's the end of a long day,
but there still seems to be plenty of time and road ahead.
Something about the light, the beauty of the sky, makes me think
I should keep going right on to northern Maine, all the way
to Canada. I could just keep driving all night, potato fields
north of Houlton balancing the dark outside my car windows,
lights across the St. John beckoning me over the border.
I've got a full tank of gas, credit cards in my wallet. I could
drive all the way to Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island,
stay in some quaint inn on a craggy coast, walk low beaches
in search of sandpipers heading south from the Arctic.
How far north do roads go? But it grows late, shadows deepen,
and so far from home, I realize I don't know the station
broadcasting tonight's game. So it's finally baseball
that curbs my sudden wanderlust. It's the simple pleasure
of a good game coming up that makes me turn around
to re-enter the bubble of radio reception, to start
the long drive back to everything familiar and well-loved.
It's the birthday of Brigid Brophy (books by this author), born in London (1929). When she was 24, she wrote Hackenfeller's Ape (1953), about a zoologist who becomes attached to the apes he is supposed to observe objectively. She wrote many more novels, including The King of a Rainy Country (1956) and Palace Without Chairs (1978). She campaigned for the rights of women, animals, and prisoners, even while she was sick in bed with multiple sclerosis at the end of her life. She said, "Whenever people say, 'We mustn't be sentimental,' you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, 'We must be realistic,' they mean they are going to make money out of it."
It's the birthday of the Johanna Spyri (books by this author), born in the village of Hirzel, Switzerland, in the year 1827. She wrote many stories and novels for children, but she's best known as the author of Heidi. Heidi is a plucky young orphan who goes to live with her stern grandfather in the Alps, where she drinks goat milk and sleeps in a hayloft and becomes friends with the goatherd, Peter. Heidi is the most popular work of Swiss literature.
It's the birthday of Anne Frank (books by this author), born in 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany. It was on this day in 1942, her 13th birthday, that she received a red and white plaid journal from her father, and she began keeping her diary.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl has sold more than 25 million copies, and it is the second-best-selling nonfiction book in history, after the Bible.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®