Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Monthly archives: June 2008


Breaking the Cycle
2008-06-30 06:40
by Derek Smart

Sometimes, I go through periods where I simply can't face the idea of writing. I desperately want to. Want to feel the satisfaction of turning a phrase. Want to transform my love of baseball into a series of sharable observations about the game, about my life, about the world in general. Want to fulfill the obligation I feel to the few people who have stuck around through the fallow epochs that only seem to grow in number as I grow in age. I want to. I need to. But I can't.

And when I can't, I enter a cycle of self-loathing, where breaking through and piecing together a string of coherent thought seems more impossible with every passing minute, as if writing were a physical act taking place in a giant bowl of recently gelatinized water, each tick of the clock bringing nearer the eventuality of liquid morphing to solid, of having my mind be forever encased in a jiggling sea of lime with nothing but the chunks of canned pineapple and pear to keep it company, all of them imagining the glories that could have been had they but the littlest ambition to shirk this fate and grab the potential that was always theirs to claim.

We know what holds us, know how to break free, yet there we are. Stuck. The sum of us less than our parts, and that total diminishing exponentially by moments.

So as the account of my whole shrinks, as I get farther from the last post, the seeming impossibility of a new one balloons, because after a while the next dispatch isn't about what you say now, but why you didn't say something then. A day or two of absence can go without mention, perhaps even a week, but get into plurals of plurals and something must be said, some explanation given.

But what? Time? None of us have it, and many here far less than me, yet they manage regular contributions. The malaise of team failure? I've had the pleasure of witnessing the best start to a Cub season in my lifetime, so no fault there. No, I don't have a reason beyond my own shortcomings, and as the gap grows, so do my failings, and so does my inability to face them. The cycle continues, spinning, expanding, until I go from not being able to post, to fearing that one day I might and no one will care.

I suppose the healthy way to look at this is that it's not about what happens during these downturns, but how you break out of them that matters. It's something I'm trying to take to heart, and as the Cubs suffer through a similar cycle of failure, one can hope that they find a way to break through more quickly than I am.

Or, perhaps we'll do it together. Perhaps we'll start today. I can't think of a better time, can you?