I have no idea why I'm so into taking pictures of baseball, lately. I just am.

I have no idea why I'm so into taking pictures of baseball, lately. I just am.
image by ja gledhill

That’s not an entirely accurate title, but it's the essence of a text I sent to a friend, today.

The reason it's NOT entirely accurate is because technically speaking I do know why I've been enjoying baseball photography so much: it’s like a meditation. I’m in the moment. I mean, if you aren’t in the moment with a camera is in your hands, well, then you are missing the whole point of photography. A picture only demands about 1/250 of a second from you. If you can’t even give it that, well….

Shooting baseball is a way of participating while remaining invisible: every introvert's dream. During the games I’m a voyeur with a purpose.

Also: there are no politics in baseball. Not even in the dugout. I’m sure it creeps in every once in a while, but I’ve yet to hear it.

There is grace and beauty in the game of baseball, for sure, but chaos can erupt any minute during those 9 innings, and when I’m shooting the game I have to be on my mental toes to catch it. I call it ADD yoga.

"Breaking Bat" - image by ja gledhill

"Breaking Bat: the series" - image by ja gledhill

So in a way it makes perfect sense that I would enjoy this activity. But baseball photography? Dafuq? I’m an actress musician screenwriter blogger novelist it doesn't really matter and anyways I have a couple of theories.

I’m sure there is an existential “fuck it cloud” hanging over my head. North Korea-v-Trump? My kid and I will be at the ballpark if anyone needs us.

I’m sure there is a call from my soul for a solid meditation practice - "whatever works" it counsels.

I will not deny how desperate I am to build a solid bridge out of my decades-long career into the next phase of life that has long taunted me from just over the horizon. I could totally see myself being happy shooting sports for a living. 

Great. All lovely sentiments. BUT..

... on the after-hours drives this past week to games played by strangers-for-now/friends-to-be, I can’t escape the whisper of discomfort that sounds something like this: “Baseball photography? MMkay. Whateves. Go on, get it out of your system, weirdo, then move on to the next thing. Again."

You’d think by now I’d be completely comfortable with my role as the court jester in the Kingdom of Common Sense. And I am, for the most part: by now I know I’m no closer to having it 'all figured out' than I was at 10/20/30/40. Nothing really “works out:” it’s more an 'interesting ride' than anything else.

And I know, too, that my …oh man. You guys. As I was writing that last sentence, I lifted my arm up off my keyboard only to find that there was a glob of chunky peanut butter on my forearm.

Did anyone even have peanut butter tonight?

You know what? I think that’s an entirely appropriate way to end this post. Good night!

***

That's my piece, and that's my peace. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my silly words. It truly means the world to me. Carry on...

JA

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