Summer.

My days, these days, often start with a reflection.

When I was young, things seemed indestructible. Not me, necessarily, but the things around me. The places I found peace. I never felt that invincibility so often projected onto children; an adult assessment and description of little people who seem so clearly to live without fear; a white-washed observation of little people who may simply lack the tools to express their fear, or perhaps the option of expressing such in the face of a demanded happiness.

I feared things, certainly. Immediate things like bullies and loneliness and being stuck in a static boredom pervading my days. Dragging them on in perpetuity.

I feared change. I feared leaving things behind. Memories left on distant playing fields, in boats still in need of a knotted connection to shore, in bunk beds littered with hushed conversations between instant friends.

But, in the midst of that fear, I never imagined or considered that those things left behind would vanish altogether. That those places, all filled with deepening wells of love and grace, would cease to exist, leaving a new version of myself unable to make his return.

The geography of a place – the localized landscape, filled with man and God’s architecture and the fading footprints of the people that have loved it – sustains the past. It envelops and holds on to memories for future use, while inciting new ones. The simple fact of a place’s existence, of it’s continuing utility as a place to harvest joy and love and friendship, is the kind of thing that gives hope. Hope in spite of a fear of change. Hope to spite the loneliness one feels when he’s left so much behind.

We value such spaces too little, I think, entrusting them to those who might not understand the kind of sacred qualities a place can have in inspiring that love and joy and friendship, re-created and re-imagined with each visit, and placed atop the legacy the place has made. The lack of understanding is a symptom of shifting priorities; of a willingness to let the past remain passed; a willingness to let memories become stale and fragile in the absence of new joy and new love.

So we find new spaces and new places and hope that we remain able and willing to sustain the joy and love created back then on our own, without the benefit of that lost geography that was so very good at triggering grace.

Happy Summer, all. Missing you, Bement.

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Days Like This

There’s a certain kind of clarity that can rush onto you in a moment of grief. Shared, communal grief even more so, probably.

This morning, my mind dwelt on trivialities – furor over a sports columnist being sort of harsh and sort of stupid about something sort of irrelevant. I struggled to concentrate on work as my mind skipped from meaningless thought to meaningless thought; their value created, if at all, by the vocabulary and structure with which I described them in my head.

And then my wife called, eager for additional news about a terrible event about which I had not yet heard. My heart skips a beat, my eyes and fingers eagerly navigating google and twitter, and then my mind predictably hovers to family and friends and possibilities of deeper grief to come.

Paralyzed in that moment by a fear of the unanswered, a sudden desire to work hard followed. To keep moving towards a completed task, to find solace in simple achievements.

After a few hours, adrenaline faded, achievements recorded and billed, a feeling like grief returns. An eagerness to feel connected to others through love and joy. A fear that such connections may never truly be sewn, replaced instead by a lingering regret.

I rushed home to hold my kid in my arms, putting on him a probably unfair burden of acting as my human connection for an hour or two. I felt better, but still incredibly troubled. I doubt it’ll change anytime soon.

I’ve typed this a few times today, so I guess I just needed to work my way to it; to travel through words as I did through emotions today:

Days like today don’t make me fear death, they make me fear a wasted life with things undone and joyful moments missed.

For just my second post here, this isn’t what I had expected to drop. I had a great set of notes on Brad Paisley being a dumb asshole and I was hoping to put it together as a little literary mic drop. But alas. Some other time, I guess.

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Why now?

I really don’t know, but it seemed like I have waited long enough.

For a couple years now, I have had the opportunity to write on a sports website of some minor acclaim and it has been a joy. Well, at least sometimes.

Maybe because those who refer to me for #hotsportstakes have grown weary of the bleeding lines between my position as humble sports fan/observer/ranter and my position as human being with opinions about an assortment of other issues, some quite controversial and annoying, perhaps…. it seemed about the time to bite the bullet and arrange myself a space where I can write about other things I care about without littering my twitter feed or facebook feed or, probably, my marriage with the kind of over-written prose I so often feel compelled to express.

If you don’t know me, I’m a lawyer, father, husband, liberal, Christian and probably an asshole most of the time.

While I’m still not sure how I’ll use this space – and my intentions will most likely vary – I’ll at the very least try to be interesting and spell words right when possible.

Cheers,

Dubs

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