Another Underdog Story the World Won’t Get Over

cubs

I am not a Cubs fan, despite residing in their home state all my life.  I’m not even a sports fan.  While I can watch a game and appreciate the strategy and athleticism that goes into it, I can walk away completely detached.  If I were to choose a team to root for, it’s most likely going to be whoever the underdog is in a particular game.  And maybe that’s why the Chicago Cubs winning the 2016 World Series has me so choked up.

Because seriously, why am I crying just watching the highlights of Game 7 and hearing the crowd go wild?  I didn’t watch a single game of the World Series or any other game this year for that matter.  Because I DON’T CARE.  But there’s something about their story that has made their victory feel especially meaningful.  There’s also something about a bunch of dudes hugging and loving on each other that, well, tugs at my heart strings.  As a spectator, I can feel what it’s like for them to have failed time and time and time and time again.  And that to me is what makes the reward of their championship title all the more significant even to me, a non-Cubs/sports fan.

All good stories, the ones we internalize and cherish the most, include an underdog.  It seems most people tend to identify with those individuals who have been on the bottom, but after copious defeats and perhaps even because of their recurrent struggle, rose to the top.  And I have to wonder if that would ever be possible if they didn’t have at least someone in their corner who believed in them to cheer them on and defend their honor even when there is no success in sight.

The Cubs team has had a lot of people in their corner for many, many years despite having been on a losing streak for more than a century!  So who would the Cubs be without their devotees?  It is the ultimate test of loyalty when the support one receives is not contingent upon a particular outcome; when the worth and potential of a person or team is never diminished in the eyes of their votaries.

But today, the Cubbies and their tried-and-true fans are feeling vindicated after several decades of being hated on for being the dark horse of baseball.  Today, their story gives hope to all underdogs everywhere that if we believe, we can achieve.

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writing to survive

A brilliant writer doesn’t write for the masses;
a brilliant writer writes to survive.
Pen to paper or whatever scrap they can find,
just to scribble down the thoughts pouring out from the inside,
sometimes like an avalanche making way for further expansion.
Such a great release to give
voice to feelings by means
of what can only be described as divine intervention.

Intentions: Bringing Us One Step Closer Or Taking Us One Step Back

Good intentions don’t always yield the results we had hoped for. I found myself spouting this tidbit to a fellow comrade this morning, realizing the relevance it has had in my own life lately.

Rejection tends to leave one feeling broken, weak, and powerless. Instinctually, out of the pain and betrayal I feel, I want to hide behind my fear and anger. And I have done this. But once the dust has settled, once the storm is passed and I am back in touch with the deeper meaning of my life, I choose instead to express love, kindness, forgiveness. Because I believe those are the only things that last; certainly, they triumph over every misguided or ill intention I may have at one time harbored. And unquestionably they are what give my life meaning. I could choose to remain bitter, I could choose to disown those I feel betrayed by, to cast them out of my life like a thorn in my side. But all that does is increase the likelihood of eventually stepping on said thorn, creating more agony and turmoil for me down the road.

Ignoring someone who has hurt us isn’t facing our fears; it’s running away from them, especially when that person is trying only to show us the healing power of love and forgiveness. When we run from fear we run in circles, ending up always right where we started. Progression, growth, these things imply a linear movement forward or upward. They are also impossibilities unless we relinquish our fears and reach towards the light that is the extension of someone’s merciful hand.

Some motivations to express kindness are self-serving. Behind these acts there is a desire to get what we want, to feel better about ourselves, to feel less rejected. I’ve been rejected in love plenty. I now have what you would call a thick skin. You could set me on fire and I’d probably not bat an eye. And yet, to those who I have been hurt by and regardless of whether the same generosity is rendered to me, in the end I will always choose to extend graciousness and benevolence, not with my ego, but with my heart where the purest of intentions coexist often with the deepest well of sorrow and discontent.  And in this way, I’d like to think I am destined for growth and for true love.

today’s quip

Let love be your only intention.

I suppose that’s not enough to be blog worthy perhaps. But it’s enough to fill your heart with an exuberance of warm fuzzies. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about? Life is hard.  We are all trying to overcome it in some way. Let the love in. Let the love out. Feel the warmness.

Throwback Thursday #2

In the spirit of my first Throwback Thursday post where I shared some of my earliest poetry pieces, I’ve decided to continue publishing what has otherwise been written on scraps of paper, napkins, old mail and whatever else I could find at the time, desperate to see the words in my mind exist in front of me.  For years these words have been stashed away in a box for no one else to see but me.  What follows was written who-knows-when exactly; I got out of the habit of dating my work.  I’m pretty sure these musings were written within the last 10 years, but I’m hoping their relevance is timeless. Happy Thursday!

******

If I am to be a dreamer, I want only to dream that the moment is real.

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Let your desires be filled with a concern for others. Anything you achieve in this world, let it reflect a deep sense of compassion.

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Only when we learn to understand one another can we begin to understand ourselves.

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Love for the sake of loving,
Give for the sake of giving,
Ask for nothing in return and ye shall reap the benefits.

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You mock the blind by choosing not to see what is right in front of you.

******

What you will find in the eyes of a mime–
That which was there the whole time.

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The greatest thing one can do for humanity is to utter only truth.

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If we knew how the story is supposed to end, why would we bother going cover to cover?

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The only thing that makes a villain a villain are the heroes of the world.

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The thrill of Hide-n-Seek is the process of being discovered. Once found, game over; it’s someone else’s turn to be “it”. Now run along and play nicely.

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All we are is just a series of memories getting passed down from generation to generation.

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I am but a reflection
of a reflection
of a reflection
of pure consciousness
giving way to distortion.

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Life, I think, has more to do with the non-existence of life than of one’s ability to live and breathe.

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The boundaries you see before you are only imagined. The key, I believe, is to unimagine them.

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It’s not me that’s changing, it’s the weather.

cultivation

I think if at any point in your day you were able to look and find beauty, then it was a successful day.  I often look toward the trees for inspiration — scabs and scars upon their backs and bellies; symbols of growth, time doing its telling.  I ponder just how far their roots must stretch into the dirt, providing firm footing for me to tread upon, casting a woven blanket upon the earth.  And yet they reach — branches like arms, twigs for fingers — they beckon to the sun, mercilessly pleading to be closer.  Intertwining and connecting without even touching, each limb of the same tree which came from a single seed planted there in the ground; buried to be forgotten, yet look what came to be!

Brain Boner

If brain hard-ons were a thing, I’d have one for this guy (watch the video to find out why):

I discovered Mark Grist several years ago and it seems that since then he’s made quite a name for himself.  That’s because when he’s not encouraging other guys to look past a woman’s tits and ass as a basis for attraction, he’s making a difference in the world by inspiring kids and adults alike to think.  Grist describes himself as an artist and educator.  From English teacher to Rap Battler (which you should totally check out), he now performs his poetry for a wide variety of audiences and conducts writing workshops across the UK.  Personally, I find what he does to be creatively inspiring and profoundly moving.  Here’s another one of his more recent videos:

Again, when a guy publicly challenges traditional standards of beauty… when he incorporates the importance of inclusion in his art and in his teaching… it not only makes me go weak at the knees… it fires up all kinds of protons and electrons that make my brain go BING!