Meditating in the fifth deck

6 04 2011

A couple of times a year, I go by myself to a Blue Jays game (I did it tonight). I pick a week night that is likely not to be too crowded, I buy a ticket to the fifth deck, and then I go find a seat away from the rest of the spectators. It is very peaceful there; except for maybe a day at the beach, the ballpark is the only place I can go where I feel relaxed. There’s nowhere I have to be other than where I am right then.

I always feel a little weird going to the Rogers Centre (or the SkyDome, as I still think of it). I’ve been going there ever since it opened in 1989, so going again brings back all sorts of memories of when I was younger, and when the Jays ruled baseball. Especially going up the ramp to the fifth deck: if you get there early enough on a sparsely populated evening, you can get to go up the ramp all by yourself. The concrete floor of the ramp is cracked and repeatedly patched now (which, some days, is how I feel too), and many of the seats in the upper deck show the wear and tear of twenty-plus years of heavy (and occasionally less than heavy) use. The weight of memories can feel a bit oppressive.

But the present is now as interesting as the past for Jays fans. While it’s too early to be too optimistic about the team, the Jays do have a group of talented young players who seem to care about the team and each other. And there are more on the way. And young players tend to get better, not worse. Stephen Brunt, in his video, is correct: it’s time for Jays fans to look forward, not back.

This was a broody kind of day, so here is a broody song for you:

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