Monday, December 10, 2012

Reconnecting with an old friend.

Dean Jackson's Facebook profile

I became reunited with a friend recently.
A companion on my journey through youth, and a voice  prompted me to spend my life telling stories in the media, specifically sports media. 

I never knew how much missed the influence. The subtle things that made me appreciate life.

The prodding to look for the story beyond the story.

The meaty ideas we shared made me want to make a feast from the so-called cotton candy aisle of modern life - sports.

I barely recall a week, let alone a day, I we weren't together

But this friend, you see, we spent a lot of time together.

The photos from those times never left my mind's scrapbook. It's magic imagery, is all but engraved on my heart.

The school bus.

The library.

The study hall. Trips; everywhere.

And, I do mean everywhere.

But, mostly just to tell a story, one crafted so careful to share an unintended lesson or just an experience that was so rich you had to drink it in.
In grade school it was a treat. In junior high, a source of education. In high school about as much a part of my life as breathing.
Oh in college, I became too sophisticated for that. I didn't have time to spend the time. We drifted apart.

I was to busy re-inventing myself to know who I really was. I didn't make contact.

Not even a passing glance.  No time to even reflect.

I had poo-pooed the relationship as trivial, insignificant, and well, irrelevant.
My friend hadn't changed. I had, and plenty
Me, at least 25 years, 30 some states, too many jobs, lots of packing and unpacking of equipment. Lots of malfunctioning equipment.

Lots of bills. A missing tooth from a playful hockey fight gone bad. A few more chipped from more horse play.
A few games of shouting into a telephone handset.
A love lost, well a few. But, who's counting.
A lot of time, I fear misspent.

Shattered dreams, new ones.

Lots of experiences and joys too amazing to imagine.
A daughter. A battle. A few good doctors. A lot of prayers.
A lot of other friends came and went and countless stories from one life I'd be happy to tell till the second-coming.

That was until the other day, well really tonight.  My first contact came, by mail. I was so excited it sat unopened in my computer bag for nearly four days. 
I am wrong.
That long-lost friend is Sports Illustrated.

A legendary coach is paradoxical life and his early death. Or, Larry Fitzgerald's quest to lead a life that embraced a calling. His crazy mix of travel and mission work. Is whimsical, but convicted thoughts on charity. 
Or even the unlikely ascension of a phenom named Johnny Football.
In the age of instant information that cost less than a coin in a fountain, no one has time for these old notions.

These time things are to difficult to handle for modern thinkers, er dabblers.
No purpose in the human, in the human interest story.
These aren't stories you see cramed into SportsCenter. Its too messy, too complicated to attach to a scoreline or 16 column inches. But, this is like tea is to an energy drink. Like savoring wine, i suppose, when everyone else is throwing back beer.

Playing a video game before playing catch.

Like walking for pleasure through a rough path in the park compared to speeding to work on a modern highway.
I got a practically free subscription, unwilling to pass up a freebie. A priceless connection back to a part of my soul I didn't know I left. Until tonight.
It's been a long time, my friend. We have a lot to catch up on.

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