The only thing that is constant is change.Heraclitus
One of my guilty pleasures each day is to read widely and voraciously. When I say “read”, I am probably making my browsing seem too organized. I skim the net, for example, I look at the NYT… I lived in Scotland for many years, so I tap into the BBC… I am Australian, so the Australian ABC is a touchstone for my homeland. And across everything I read, I usually gravitate towards that which inspires me… but not today.
No easy way to put it, today I was upset by the NYT. Or rather, I was upset by an article in the NYT. It was well written, factually accurate and captured interest… I was upset because it reported change. I will write this once, and once only… the Pawtucket Red Sox are no more. Now I suspect few of you are going to be brought to tears by this, but, well, for me it hit home… ouch. Let me explain.
For many years I, along with several of my favorite coaches in the world of squash, would assemble at the Brown Squash Camps in RI. Good weather, hard training, a great coaching lineup with old and new
Reading the NYT today I learned that the Pawtucket Red Sox have relocated, and honestly, I don’t care where they’ve moved. The ground is vacant and caretakers description of “hearing the birds and hearing no baseball,” hit me in the gut. It’s been a long couple of years in the squash world, as most of you (who have managed to read this far 😉 ) would know, Brown Squash was moved from varsity to club (although we hope they’ll be back), Coach Khan retired to Arizona, Coach McNally retired to Florida, Coach Flynn to Australia, and Scozzie retired to legend. All that I could deal with, but no, please no, not the Pawsox.
Tempus fugit is a Latin phrase we have taken from Virgil and means literally … “time flies”. The phrase is used as a proverb that “time’s a-wasting”. For “Rocky 3” fans, it’s what Adrian meant when she told the Rock that “there is no tomorrow”… for Shakespeare devotees it may be found in Sonnet 19 where the bard addresses the “devouring time” and for me in my quiet moments, it is what I take from Shelley’s Ozymandias, amongst other things 😉
By way of relating this to our squash experience, I fall back to baseball, “Moneyball” in particular and the immortal Billy Bean for his archetypical quote…
“We’re all told at some point in time that we can no longer play the children’s game, we just don’t know when that’s gonna be. Some of us are told at eighteen, some of us are told at forty, but we’re all told.”
The take home message may well be “carpe diem quam minimum credula postero,” which may loosely be translated as “pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the next one”. Make the most of the present… don’t dwell on the past, you can’t change it, don’t dwell on the future, it will come soon enough. Let’s make every moment, every interaction, every training session, every darn ball strike… a work of art. Let’s be present with the people we love and even with the ones we barely like, find the best in the dull days and the repetitive training sessions and revel even in the moments that may not immediately seem all that special.
And, from my perspective, I try and take this mentality into all my days, although I can’t help but look forwards. Squash Tigers opens in Fall folks, and I, for one, am going to make some memories!