Was watching another of my favorite movies last night that goes ways beyond simple entertainment, although it can be viewed in that way. More than a baseball film, more than a showcase for the talents of Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan. Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster, it is chock full of so many spiritual messages that it is a shoo-in (or in this case…’shoe in’, since the motion pic is an homage to “Shoe-less Joe Jackson” and the Chicago White Sox/Black Sox who were accused of throwing the World Series when they played the Cinncinati Reds) for a Bliss Blog entry. I have seen it at least a dozen times since it debuted in 1989, and caught many of the concepts, but not until just yesterday, did they come trumpeting out at me, waving pennants, scattering popcorn and peanuts.
For those who have never seen it, the plot line is thus: An Iowa corn farmer and his family are living quite happily on their land, enjoying the bounty and the simple life, when one night, whilst standing in his field, the main character; Ray Kinsella hears a distinct voice telling him “If you build it, he will come.” Huh? Ray scratches his head in bewilderment. “If you build WHAT, WHO will come?” That statement sends Ray on a hero’s journey to discover the meaning of that declarative statement that is really an instruction. The back story is that he has some unhealed places with regard to his relationship with his father John Kinsella who had a love of the game, but was never able to hit a symbolic home run with his son, so they parted ways and his father died before he could see Ray marry and have a child of his own; his daughter Karin, played with precocious wisdom by Gaby Hoffman.
Ray follows the guidance and figures that The Voice is telling him to plow under his crops and build a baseball field. Once he does that, the magic begins and the teams appear from the beyond to play once again. He is astounded as the messages keep on a’comin’ “ Ease his pain.” is the next one…little knowing that the pain to be eased was in himself and “Go the distance”, while sitting in the stands with 60′s icon Terrence Mann played with cantankerous charm by (Darth Vader) James Earl Jones.
On the outside chance you have not watched this baseball bliss, I won’t spoil the ending, but this quote that Jones/Mann utters gives me goosebumps each time:
“Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come. ”
The messages come through as loud and clear as The Voice which I have come to trust in my own life, as it has led me to the relationship with my husband, to create and publish a magazine, to enter the seminary when Michael subsequently died in 1998, to write a book, to meet certain people and have extraordinary experiences…. My choice ALWAYS is whether to listen and heed the guidance or wear symbolic earplugs. I prefer to listen, because when I do, I become an All-Star.
Some of the silverscreen sagacity:
Fear/’reason’ vs. love/truth: what might seem rational, logical or reasonable may be cloaking fear. The habitual ways that we live may limit and constrain us, while listening to our highest truth is garbed in love, and we need to take that internal guidance as such.
Leaps of faith: trusting that we will be safely held and caught as we ‘go the distance’ to live our passion and purpose full out. Going that distance and refusing to give up our dreams in the face of opposition and feeling reined in by others’ contagious fear. That being said, recklessness and irresponsibility is not the same thing as acting on the messages we receive. In the end, as I have heard attributed to Ram Dass “You still have to remember your zip code.”
Seeing what others may not be able to (yet) envision. Viewing the world through miracle eyes and imagining what could be, even before it is apparent to anyone else.
Be a team player. Working together for a common purpose yields powerful results.
Listening to the gentle or insistent internal guidance; call it The Voice, God, Spirit….. takes you on a wild ride that will have you doing the ‘wave’.
Inviting others to play with you as you have fun…the more, the merrier.
When you come to end of the 9th inning, you will be able to answer the question: “Is this heaven?” and the response won’t just be “It’s Iowa.”
What is YOUR field of dreams?
Take Me Out To The Ballgame http://youtu.be/qscED3psy_U
Centerfield by John Fogerty http://youtu.be/JyMXKWNGz7g