At last, back on line after an unplanned absence, a metaphorical twist in the tale.
Even the best laid plans (plots?) go astray and this prolonged diversion lent me hours of TV time devouring old movies on M-Net including, fabulously, a formative film from my youth about two of my favourite things: poetry and sport.
Bull Durham. I LOVE this story!
Who’d have thought a late-’80s movie about baseball with a kooky cast of characters and some seriously bad hairstyles would have introduced me to a lifetime’s fascination with the work of William Blake, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman?
Opening with a soliloquy on the soul that is pure gold by Susan Sarandon’s character, Annie, in the vein of the metaphysical poets at first it sounds outlandish but makes perfect sense. This story never fails to reach into my imagination and switch on the floodlights.
Annie is disarming, fiery and tender, choosing between her self-imposed role of mentor and ‘life’-coach to young thunderbolt ‘Nuke’ - Ebbie Calvin LaLoosh - and the magnetic pull of catcher Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) whose wit matches hers in pace and intellect, and whose skills with the glove are tested off field in Annie’s Edith Piaf inspired candlelit boudoir.
Now, as proven time and again by my mates, there seems to be a gene built into the male DNA that enables guys to recite movie lines on demand and ad nauseum. How do they do that? I can’t even remember a one-line joke.
Besides Grease (standard for any self respecting child of the ’80s), Bull Durham is the only movie I can recite.
The scriptwriting is hilarious and sharp. No superfluous words. And for all its surface fluff, its message about inner-belief, courage and remaining true to one’s self is universal.
So my unexpected detour threw me a curveball and presented me with soul food and a change in direction for my own story. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, a taste of Bull Durham that always makes me giggle:
Tim Robbins’ ‘Nuke’, caught yawning in the change room after a late night with Annie and assumed by his team mates to have gotten lucky.
“Nah man, she read me poetry all night. That’s way more tiring than sex.”