Monthly Archives: August 2013

Once and done, probably

Thanks to Tricia for reminding me of two more parks.

It never reached the status of my bucket list. But I live in New York. It seemed something I should do. Once. Just so I could say I had done it.

IMG_1191 (800x420)Today, it happened. Eric and DeLaina went with me and I watched my first, and probably only game – that may change should the Pirates play the Yankees some day, in Yankee Stadium. It is not the House That Ruth Built. But it is the House That Those Who Followed in Ruth’s Footsteps Built.

It is a good stadium. We sat in the right-field, lower grandstand. Good seats except when the ball was hit to deep right. The Show does have lefties who pull. They hit to right fairly often.

We all wanted to see Mariano Rivera pitch since this is his last season. But it was not to be. Ivan Nova threw a three-hit complete game shutout. That wasn’t bad to see.

Great company. Baseball. A historic franchise. Good times!

As I surveyed the stadium, I found myself wondering about the places where I have seen baseball. I start with Pittsburgh stadiums. Then I move to other teams in no particular order.

Pittsburgh – Forbes Field
Pittsburgh – Three Rivers Stadium
Pittsburgh – PNC Park
Philadelphia – Connie Mack Stadium
St. Louis – Busch Memorial Stadium
Chicago – Wrigley Field
Chicago – Comisky Park
Denver – Coors Field
Houston – Astrodome
New York – Yankee Stadium
Kansas City – Royals Stadium (as it was called at the time)
Cleveland – Cleveland Municipal Stadium (but never to the new stadium until the team changes its name and iconography)

On the one hand, it makes an impressive list. On the other, I have many stadiums left to see. It may happen.

See you along the Trail.

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It was nice

Anyone for tennis, wouldn’t it be nice?

Cream first posed the question in 1968. Today I came up with an answer.

IMG_1165 (800x600)Many, many pounds and long ago, not as long ago as 1968 but long ago nonetheless, I enjoyed playing tennis. I never played competitively but I played regularly. Each evening I would jump on my bike and ride to the Grove City College tennis courts. Perhaps as many as 12 or 15 of us gathered. Our abilities varied, but we would play until dark.

Today – on a day when we held our breath while leaders of the United States pondered whether to attack Syria – on a day when colleagues faced serious illness – on a day when my heart and mind ranged many places – my son Eric and I attended the U.S. Open.

We watched men’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles, women’s singles, and women’s doubles. We saw a bit of everything.

We saw a number of seeds win. And we watched an upset of the top seeded mixed doubles team.

I came to realize that doubles is an amazing, fast-paced, and exciting.

I learned that my old doubles strategy of serving the ball into the back of my doubles partner is not used by any of the top players.

We cheered. We laughed. We wandered through the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

It was nice!

See you along the Trail.

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Stated Clerk issues statement in the wake of the escalating violence in Syria

This story originally appeared on the Web pages of the Presbyterian News Service:

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness provides an opportunity to tell President Obama and Congress to refrain from a military response in Syria.

LOUISVILLE

The Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) issued a statement today (August 30) in the wake of the escalating violence in Syria, calling upon U.S. and world leaders to refrain from military action.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

We are deeply concerned about events in Syria. We grieve for our brothers and sisters who have suffered so deeply for so long. We yearn for an end to the bloodshed and renew our call for a cease-fire and a mediated process involving all parties to provide new choices for all Syrians.

We condemn the use of chemical weapons. Regardless of who perpetrated the attack, such a usage violates a longstanding international norm.  We recognize the authority and the responsibility of the United Nations Security Council to deal with this violation of international law. We call all nations to encourage the Security Council to address this illegal and immoral act. We do not doubt that justice is needed, but question the unilateral and inevitably selective role the United States has too often played, too often leading to greater violence, terrorism, and instability.

We call upon the President and the members of Congress to follow the example of other strong leaders in the past by exercising the courage and wisdom to refrain from military action that is likely to escalate the conflict further, and to bring our country directly into another war in the Middle East.

We applaud the President’s efforts to consult widely, conferring with international leaders and with Congress.  Now we ask him to spend time over this holiday weekend listening to what Americans want and fear.

Now is not the time to feed the violence and instability that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 Syrians, driven 3.4 million Syrians from their country, and displaced an additional 6.8 million Syrians from their homes. Most people affected by the conflict are noncombatants. Expanding the conflict will increase the suffering of the innocent.

Now is the time to heed the voices of our church partners who pray and call and work for peace. Our partners look to us to challenge policies of our government that help to fuel conflict in Syria and proxy wars across the Middle East.

Now is the time to reflect on the lessons of 12 years of involvement in conflict in the Middle East by the United States. Limited engagement is never truly limited.

Now is the time to support the peacemakers of Syria who seek to end the violence and build a future. In any Congressional deliberations, we urge that nonviolent forms of intervention be considered, and that next steps beyond military force be grounded in defensible cooperative goals for the region.

Now is the time for all outside parties to cease all forms of military intervention in Syria. States and and non-state actors must stop feeding the conflict in Syria by sending weapons to the government and to opposition forces.

Now is the time to renew the efforts for a diplomatic solution. The United States must work with the United Nations and other governments to contain the violence, restore stability in the region, provide humanitarian assistance, and encourage the building of an inclusive society in Syria that protects the rights of all its citizens.

Now—in the grimmest of situations—is the time to build a coalition of nations and peoples willing to do the long, hard, and essential work of establishing interfaith relationships of respect and understanding.

Now—for Syria and all its neighbors—is the time to seek a new vision of cooperation and nonviolence that will support an intervention with the power of impartial justice that will lead to a just and lasting peace.

Now is the time to pray for wisdom for leaders, for courage to turn from violence, for grace to build and nurture relationships, for justice to roll down like waters, and for peace to prevail in Syria.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” For the people of Syria, may it now be a time for peace.

 

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Purple flowers, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

IMG_1131 (600x800)

 

Purple flowers
surround the statue of Arthur Ashe.

30 August 2013
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Queens, New York

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The AMA

Behind the emergency room curtain,
the addict argued with the doctor
who had revived him,
who had returned him to life –
again –
the third time it had happened in a month.
“Please,” the addict pleaded.
He whined,
blustered,
threatened,
begged,
raged,
wept,
bargained.
“Please let me go.”
The addict listed all he had to do,
all he could do,
all he might do.
“Please let me go.”
He made promises and
when those failed to move her,
he just as easily promised the opposite.
“Please let me go.”
Two things the doctor asked.
Two things the addict would not do:
sign the AMA,
take the prescribed meds.
Firm the doctor stood.
As security guards arrived,
Death,
gaunt Death,
quiet Death,
unseen Death,
Death rose from the corner and
said, “Not today. Not today.”
Then Death slipped silently through the curtain
To move down the ER hall.

29 August 2013

DL 6026

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Measuring

We may measure our days in
minutes, hours, or
other units of times.

How we fill those minutes, hours, or
other units of time
also measures our days.

We may measure our lives in
months, years,  or
other units of time.

What we do during those months, years, or
other units of time
also measures our lives.

28 August 2013
Louisville, Kentucky

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Purple flowers, Annapolis 4

Purple Flowers Annapolis 2 22 September 2012 (1024x768) (800x600)

Resembling ears of popcorn,
purple flowers
seek the sun.

Annapolis, Maryland
22 September 2012

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