Boston, My Boston

In writing this I notice that this is my first blog post since 9/11. Strange, or perhaps not.

I have been away. Life sometimes becomes a conveyor belt Cul-de-sac, taking you away before bringing you back, Hopefully having seen and learned a few things along the way.

Much like the last entry, today’s is built on sadness, but bolstered by love and hope. In my 9/11 entry I wrote of being a witness, a participant in mourning, as regrowth began to overtake the ruins of Ground Zero. With Boston I write as a broken hearted lover whose outstretched arms simply wont reach.

In 2009 I answered a call. We had never met, but she held my heart for many years. Her name was New England. Rarely does reality make shadows of our dreams. Rarer still, does that reality overtake those dreams and become the source of light that now guides us.

I first stopped in Boston on my way to a writing conference. Before leaving Austin I had bought Red Sox tickets. I did it for my father who passed two years prior. He loved baseball. I hated baseball. I was there as a cultural anthropologist. I wanted to visit the venerable Fenway Park, sacred ground for so many practicing a religion I did not understand. I was not ready for what happened next. As soon as I passed through the gates and saw the field for the first time, I felt it. That tingle. That thing! My excitement grew and midway during the eight inning, A Red Sox tradition shot a laser into my heart. I stood in the midst of 40,000 people singing Sweet Caroline, I’d never felt such energy! I was hooked. I found religion. After the game I left Fenway and headed across Yawkey Way to the souvenir shop and bought all the items I could carry for the altar that would be my passion from that moment forward. I would see 3 more games before I left Boston. I walked in a hater. I walked out a Red Sox pimp and ambassador. I have no doubt this will be a lifetime appointment.

I was in Boston as it mourned the loss of its favorite son, Ted Kennedy. As his body left his home in Hyannis on it’s way to Boston, I hopped on the T and down to Boston Commons. In the gleam of the gold domed Capital I waited with my fellow Bostonians as the black limos slowly passed along the cobble stoned streets, carrying his flag draped coffin and family. I watched as the family placed their hands on the glass wearing compassionate, brave smiles. It was hard to tell whether we were there for them, or they for us. I had already decided that Boston would be my future home. I was now one of them. For a city so large it is amazing the sense of community that exists there.

Free Hugs

This past Monday I watched with heartbroken horror as insanity broke tranquility. As the joy of a state holiday, Patriots Day, and the bodies, lives and hearts were pierced with the shrapnel of madness. I sat helpless in Austin as I reached, but could not catch the tears of my adopted town. My own fell as well, as shock turned to sadness and anger. “You don’t fuck with Boston!” screamed my heart.

Earlier today I watched President Obama in Boston at an interfaith service. I watched him do what he does so well, but has sadly had to do all too often; Bring solace to the senseless. I have never wanted to be a Bostonian more, and though I will not be there as soon as I’d like, I will be there. Boston is my town. I am Boston Strong.

20130418-213345.jpg

Published in: on April 18, 2013 at 4:30 PM  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , ,

Fathers and Sons; A Story Told In Extra Innings

Welcome to the first entry of my first blog. I’ve thought about this for a long time. It was something I was supposed to do as a writer living in the digital age. It took me a while to want to do it. But I did. Then came the terrifying thought of what my first post would be. It would have to be brilliant. Right? It would launch my career and gain me a 1000 new Twitter followers. Right? As I was crushing myself under my own bloated expectations I noticed something today. The Boston Red Sox play the Chicago Cubs this Sunday. Father’s Day. I imagined my father walking over to me and taking the bat out of my hand and telling me, “let’s just play catch.”

You see the Cubs were my dad’s team. And the Red Sox became mine. I say became because I HATED baseball. My father loved the game as much as I hated it. I had little aptitude for it, but father tried to help by playing with me. He would pitch, but while he had love for the game he had no talent for pitching and I was chubby and slow. As a result I got hit in the head. A lot.

What changed? My father died. It will be 5 years ago this coming Wednesday June 20th. We were not a traveling family, and his death was unexpected and I needed to clear my head. So I decided to fulfill a life long dream and visit New England. I was to attend a writers conference outside of Boston. I had made the drive from Austin, so I arrived in Boston a couple of days early. I decided to go see a Red Sox game. If nothing else I would enjoy the historical aspect of going to Fenway Park. Somehow I thought it would mean a lot to my dad too. When the time came and I entered the gates to Fenway something magical happened to me. All of a sudden I got it. I saw the beauty where I only saw slow and boring as a child. I saw the art in those moments of breath. I became a fan. Before I would leave New England 6 months later, I would become a nut. I would attend two more games. My Texas truck proudly displays a Red Sox license plate frame in the front, and two fading Red Sox decals on the back window.

There is rareness and regret in this moment. You see the Red Sox and Cubs are in different leagues, it’s very rare for them to meet. The fact that this meeting takes place on Fathers Day both dulls and spikes the sting of this day and the anniversary ahead. When he passed I didn’t have a favorite team. but I do now. It’s a moment that I wish we could have shared. And we will. I have no doubt that my father will be watching the game Sunday. And with a much better view. I’ll see you at the game Dad.

Go Sox! And Happy Father’s Day.

I would love to read stories about your fathers today. Cherished moments. Missed moments. Feel free to share yours if you like.

Welcome to my blog. Lets play ball.

Image

Published in: on June 16, 2012 at 5:36 AM  Comments (9)  
Tags: , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: