| 10 Apr 2008 @ 16:59, by David Bartholomew|
[excerpted from DoingIt!, August, 2006]
I told a friend a while back that I thought she was a living saint. And caught her before she told me I was crazy or tried to prove me wrong, and described the definition as I see it.
I have been seeing a lot of living saints these days. Joan is one on most days. I guess I am seeing them because I am looking for them. On any given day, for any given spell… you might be one. And I am doing my best to be one too. To me it boils down to a function of batting average. And it is for us only to try to extend our hitting streaks.
In my world I see us all as works in progress, and can basically assign a mental batting average to how well any of us might be hitting, as a percentage of how we are playing with others on this playing field in comparison to our potential at a given moment.
In professional baseball guys get paid millions for batting not much over .300—getting on base only 3 out of 10 times. And we, then, must be doing pretty good if we are getting things right 3 out of every 10 attempts, right? Would it be that we could be so lenient on ourselves.
Well, as a lifetime fan of “Kung Fu” and other stories highlighting zen and martial arts and other masters, I always wondered—“Hey, why hasn’t there been some yogic or other master of the subtle energies, who has come to baseball and blown the average out of the batting average?” Knocked the skin right off of the ball each and every time, or say, at lest 9 out of 10? Couldn’t Yoda do that? Or Obi-Wan Kenobi? Mr. Miyagi?
Surely Kwai-Chang Caine or Buddha or the Maharishi could hit a few into the cheap seats or park the occasional peach of a pitch with a little practice? Can’t you see His Holiness (Dalai Lama or Pope) spittin’ some chaw-tobacca, knocking the dust from his cleats, and pointing to deep centerfield before tapping bat to home plate and awaiting his juicy pitch… promised to clear the klieglights so that some kid in a hospital bed might live to walk again?
As this has not yet occurred, I have had to look to other fields to witness stellar play that is “out of our league”— and more and more it is happening in the little moments, with much grace under pressure, by more and more of us.
As I shift my attention to those leaving the stands as opposed to the field, and follow them into their daily lives— that continue to intersect my daily life— I am witnessing batting averages approaching Mother Teresa, and swearing that just out of my peripheral vision folks are smackin’ each other’s butts in that little “way to go” way that the big guys do.
This is what I mean by living saints. Putting in regular clutch performances that snatch victory from the jaws of defeat each time they punch the clock.
I am not putting some headtrip on folks that says we can’t mess up. But I think giving credit where credit is due, as people are clearing karma and accumulating grace points in the squeeze plays of their lives, is, well… due.
Doing one’s best these days earns one a place in the show. The big leagues. Overcoming, and recovering from adversity, playing with pain, giving it all for the skipper (whoever one’s Skipper might be), is helping all of us to envision our individual and joint fields of dreams.
We can each work toward our individual approximation of (egoless) living sainthood. We can strive for the Hall of Fame. Or at least getting out picture on a spiritual Wheaties box.
You cannot win, if you do not play.
So-- swing, batta, batta.... swiiiiiing!