This is where I travel these days.

June 18th, 2014, 7pm

I few years ago, I thought there was no baseball in the UK, but in fact, even in our area of the South West, there are a handful of fields of varying levels of refinement. We have our own pitching mound, which is a bit too soft and crumbly, but improving with time. There aren’t basepaths, but we affix bases with stakes in the ground, and it works.

Once or twice a week, I make the trip West to practice or play baseball, and although I’m with Robert Pirsig in feeling rather trapped and useless driving a car, I appreciate the regularity of the routine, seeing the shape the season takes as we try to challenge the established front-runners, and working through weak periods.

I also cheat a bit, to make the driving time less wasteful; listening to audiobooks on the way can be difficult, depending on the conditions and noise levels, but right now, I’m listening to Madame Bovary, and the volunteer reader who generously recorded the book for LibriVox has beautifully clear diction. The trip gains dimension, too, this way, going not just from home to field, but also from Flaubert-space to game-space, though the transition feels odd because of their incongruity.

One last thing: if there are so many variations on “Zen and the art(s) of…”, why no Zen vision of driving a car, or hitting home runs? Maybe it has something to do with speed.

Adrian and Shu said thanks.

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Marlon Jones

Mostly about books, bikes and dough.

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