Archive for January, 2012

You Gotta Have Balls

Posted in Uncategorized on January 8, 2012 by Queenie

I was pondering this very day – whilst in the middle of a new or should I say renewed exercise venture – about the preponderance of balls in so many aspects of our lives these days. There are the obvious, of course: football, baseball, basketball, billiard balls, golf balls, bowling balls, pool balls, (are billiard balls and pool balls the same thing?), beach balls, cricket balls, croquet balls and the like. And then it goes on to meatballs, balls of twine, balls of fire, sour balls, brass balls, blue balls…. I’m sure I’ve left out many. All this came to mind as I was taking a break from whatever it is I’m doing or not doing, and decided to spend a bit of time communing with whatever was going on in or about the south acre. I took my camera with me so I would have it at hand in case brilliance or opportunity struck.

While puttering around in the Potting Shed, my eyes spied my old bat and newer,  somewhere found softball, and suddenly what I was struck with was an idea.  I’m in dire need of exercise, and I could easily pick up my old buddies and whack a few around the property. I’m not too bad at it, and it’s not nearly as overtaxing as taking some five mile hike when in reality I need to work up to some shorter distances.

I took the first establishment shot of my “equipment,” and then headed under the fence to the Back 40, a very small trespass, (and now I more or less have permission to be back there, unless it should go to court, probably), and proceeded to have a go at the old pitch and wham. I have no idea how old my bat is, but I’m sure it must harken to junior high or more likely elementary school, which would put it in the semi dark ages. Back then, (insert geezer voice), we didn’t have middle schools, or whatever they are now. What was wrong with Junior High? But I digress.

For those who have fallen a bit off the fitness wagon, the Pitch-Whack-Walk and Retrieve Method of Baseball for One can be an admirable approach to re-entering the fitness arena – a stepping stone for more concentrated efforts down the road. First there’s the hand/eye coordination requirement – always good for most any tasks requiring balance and connection. You’ve got to be able to pitch your own ball, (that would be throwing it more or less straight up), and then connect with it and send it soaring into the hinterlands of sky before it falls back to the earth below. Most of the time, I actually hit it, and sometimes it’s a good whack. I never much liked football, but if I’m watching those pro sports at all, I’d choose baseball. Or maybe golf, because it’s generally located in pretty, green places. (Don’t get me started on golf, however.) Perhaps I come to any talent at all in Softball World due to a natural predilection to it via the Queen Mum’s association with it in her youth. She was the star, the pitcher, and pretty damned good, as I gather. Other stories of how I came to be a hitter – in Cedar Chopper World, (before I really knew of such, but was living on the fringe of that existence in Dallas as a child) – beg at least two glasses of wine or a Mexican Martooni for revelation.

I just thought I’d insert here a little about the preponderance of ball games in the dawn of history. Particularly ingrained in my mind, especially as a Southwestern Archeology and Anthropology major in college, are the many ball courts down in Central America, where this ball game thing was quite the thing. In fact, if you won, which was indeed the purpose, your great gift and reward, (for which you played your heart out), was to be the headline attraction on the sacrificial altar. And this was an honor. So you see when I made mention of playing your heart out, it was true, for having your heart cut out and presented to the wonderful, appreciative gods in the heavens, or wherever, was de rigueur. Now we do much the same in our vast arenas of super bowls of this and that, served with more bowls of Velveeta and Rotel, where we celebrate the moving of the ball from one end to another, and have been known to beat up fans of the opposing teams in the parking lots. I can’t say as we’ve evolved very much. Oh dear, it seems I have digressed once again.

So, back to South Acre One Woman Ball….Think about it. First the pitch, and then comes either the miss or the whack. Even the miss requires an intention to bend to the ground to pick up the ball, and then back up. Or even better, the hit entails a walk of indeterminate distance to retrieve said ball for another round. And then another, and another. And before long, you’ve done a good bit of pitching, swinging, whacking and walking. And the better it’s done, the further you walk. Why, it’s a regular irregular workout, and the amount of pain relievers I needed to administer before dinner confirms that I did move things around more than has been usual of late.

However, I must consider that the Dillo Art Marathon more than broke the ice for physical activity. There’s not a small amount of physical heaving and ho-ing  to get things done, but it comes in large spurts, and the last one is a lulu. It seemed I was some source of amazement to the stage crew guys, (one in particular, bless him), who watched in awe (or who knows what) and helped as they could as I lifted and loaded and shoved and wangled the heavy art boxes back into Arty during breakdown efforts. More every year, the doing of it all and the actual end of the show leave me in a hapless mass of Tired, and I tend to lie around near worthless for a week. I now appear to be making positive movements – I even worked on orders today – and after “work” I rewarded myself with time outside. It’s been a very pleasant and unseasonably warm stretch of days, (like what else is new?), and the thought of being outside sounds better than most anything. There’s also rumor of a cold, wet front headed our way, so better soak in that sun and fresh air while the gettin’ is good.

I hit more than a few, closer to “almost many” balls around in the Back 40, and then started wondering about recording the event. I may have had my camera, but this definitely required tripod work. I certainly appreciate a tripod, but it is pretty well known that I like to shoot fairly fast and from the hip in my photography, (likely frowned upon greatly by the greats), and I resort to a tripod only when necessary. Sometimes it’s just necessary, and isn’t that true of so many things in Life? A platitude, if you will.

I gathered it would be even a bit fun to see what results I could actually get with setting up a tripod and then a time delay on the shutter, and it wasn’t that hard to get set up. I did, however, move my project into the South Acre rather than cart everything back and forth under the fence. And I was already losing the light.

It took many shots, (and hits, and misses), to test out the distance, focus, amount of time to hustle back to the batting cage and pitch and hit the ball before the shot fired…you know, technical stuff. So still, more exercise! And indeed, it was fun.

And here’s the sequence, just because it’s all so silly, and as said, that fun thing.

 

The Set Up

How’d that get down there?

There goes one.

Ready for another.

Watching it go….

And again.

Get it!

Going for it.

Bam!

Following through.

Full Swing! Blam!

Get under it!

Kablooey. Thar’ she goes… Home Run!

 

So, all it took was a few balls. Or maybe it felt like a lot of them, plus a little action. Balls and Action, is that my new mantra? Perhaps the Balls are the inspiration, and the Action is just that. And if I live through it all, Spring will find me looking and feeling pretty good. I’m coming off the most sluggish period in the last few years – something that started with breaking both my elbows, and removing the option of swimming the summer before last; then the barring of walking on the Back 40; then the drought and heat and no lake and STILL no swimming; and whatever it was that was impeding my intentions, or just the general lack of them. Funny, both Sandy and I gained the same amount of weight, both of us being denied our usual exercise options. I feel like I’ve been running (insanely in place, yet not) since last July, but so much of it was stressful and barely productive, and harder than it needed to be. And still and all, it’s just Life. Everybody has one – until we don’t anymore. Either by choice or by chance.

It takes balls to do anything majorly. As for being an artist, it takes balls, (or ovaries, call them what you will), to make a statement of who you are and then hang it up there on a wall and hope you’ve touched someone enough so they’ll have to have the danged thing. It’s a heady thing to get paid for your passion, but sometimes, ofttimes, it’s not always so easy.

It takes balls to love someone. Unless it doesn’t. Love, like everything else, is an option. It really isn’t an option, when it comes to nourishing the human soul, but some people seem to live as such. There’s lots of big talk about it, lots of hype, but when it comes down to it, some are blessed with the ability (or the courage) to embrace the whole notion, and some choke when they come up to the plate. Their loss. And some others.

It takes balls to do the right thing. Unless you just do it. I am astounded and saddened by the state of this country, when the problem seems to be too damn many sets of balls run amok, or a supreme lack of them when it comes to those who have the opportunity to Do The Right Thing, and choose otherwise. Too many or not enough. Familiar story.

“Balls.” It is, I believe, a British expletive of sort, and it is short and succinct. Says it all, totally and completely. I need to remember to say it more than some of the other less than stellar epithets that escape my lips. Plus, it’s just one that doesn’t get heard every day, and using it would certainly set you apart from the masses. I suppose if you wanted to go all-in British, as far as you could take it, you’d be saying “Bloody Balls!” but I fear I’ve lost the audience (if not myself) with the word picture and will take my own self in hand and call it a day.

If pressed, there are surely more balls to throw in the air, but it is too late now, and I must away. I encourage you all to seek your own balls, or whatever, as you look for inspiration in the tasks before you.

Batter up, Y’all. Balls to the wall. Or just have a Harvey Ballwanger, uh… Wallbanger.  Never mind.

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