Blog 1864 – 10.31.2020
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Today’s one minute tale is appropriate for Halloween. This Halloween due to COVID-19 we may see even fewer children trick or treating door to door than the Halloween following the pixie-sick poisoning child death in 1974 in Houston, Texas where I was living then and am this Halloween. The father who committed that terrible crime of killing his own young son is still referred to as the man who killed Halloween.
What encouraging word could ever been found in such a tragic Halloween tale? Just this that such horrific holiday incidents are few, one being way too many. Old people like to point back to a better less dangerous time for children than today. I am not sure such a time ever really existed, but I do believe we can yet if we choose make today and tomorrow a better world for our children and ourselves.
I watched again one of my favorite baseball movies yesterday, Field of Dreams. For those unfamiliar with the story a thirty-six year old Iowa farmer hears a voice in his corn field saying, “If you build it, he will come.” After seeing a vision of a baseball field complete with lights in the cornfield near his farmhouse he clears the corn away and builds a baseball field with bleachers. Most of his friends and family think he has gone crazy. The next spring a lone baseball ghost from the past appears on the field, Shoeless Joe Jackson, the farmer’s long deceased father’s favorite baseball hero. Joe looks around admiring the field and asks, “Is this heaven?” And the farmer replies, “No, it’s Iowa.” Joe goes on to ask him if he can invite some others to come out and play baseball with him on the field. The farmer says, “Sure.”
In addition to the first voice the farmer later hears two other cryptic messages, “Ease his pain” and “Go the distance.” The farmer’s dad had played professional baseball as a young man and wanted that for his son but as a rebellious teenager his son leaves home estranged from his father and never makes it back home again till his dad’s funeral. His last hateful words to his living dad were, “I could never respect a man whose hero was a criminal” even though he knew Joe Jackson was not one.
In one of the last scenes in the movie the farmer gets to see again his father as a young catcher standing on the baseball field he had built in his cornfield. He says to his wife, “Look how young he looks and I am not yet even a twinkle in his eye.” Young John, his dad, is introduce to his son’s wife and granddaughter that he never go to know in life. After a catch with his son he asks him, “Is this heaven?” Again the son replies, “No it’s Iowa.” The son asks back, “Do you believe in heaven?” And his dad says, “Oh, yes, it is where dreams come true.” The son looks back up to the house where his lovely wife and young daughter are swinging in the porch swing. He smiles and says, “Maybe this is heaven.”
A few hellish acts inspired by our lesser angels do not prevent the countless others inspired by our better and best angels. John Lennon in his song, Imagine, asks us to imagine there’s no heaven, but if you listen to what the song is really saying, it is that this is heaven right here if we can just imagine all the people living together as one in peace. Heaven is where that dream always comes true. I vote for Heaven here today and hope you’ll join me.
Your friend and fellow traveler,