Eamus Catuli – AC0467104
It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.
- A. Bartlett Giamatti, The Green Fields of the Mind
Another Cubs’ season lurched to a close. The Cubs managed to be even worse this year than last, slipping below the dreadful 100-loss benchmark to 101 losses. Ten games worse than last year, which was very bad itself.
They call it “rebuilding,” WC understands, and there’s certainly room for that. The basic problem for a Cubs fan is that the team always seems to be “rebuilding.” In 1975, in the bleachers at Wrigley Field, WC met a 66-year old Cubs fan, who told WC he hoped to see the Cubs win the World Series before he died. That didn’t happen. Any smugness, any certainty that WC’s fate would be different, that WC would certainly see the Cubs win it all, that smugness and certainty have leached away over the years – decades. Each year is a new year. Each year is a new hope. But as the supply of new years dwindles, it breaks your heart.
Sure, the Cubs have new owners, and the new managers are the folks who brought the Boston Red Sox a World Series trophy. There’s hope. You can always find hope. it just gets harder.
Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.- A. Bartlett Giamatti, The Green Fields of the Mind
Postscript: For those who need an explanation of the title.