Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘springsteen’

The Yearning Curve

This phrase comes courtesy of “Crankshaft”. How good is that phrase? There are all kinds of ways to draw that particular curve. Crankshaft, a bus driver who had a cup of coffee as a minor league pitcher, limits himself to very rare occasions of reminiscing. He wanted more in those days, and he misses those days terribly. Yet, in his tortured wisdom, he realizes that he can’t go back, and he can never change either what came before or what came after.

So he visits that time, opens the window to that little room tucked away in his attic rarely and for the briefest of moments, lest his yearning increase.

Times like those, times like Crankshaft’s stint as a pitcher for the Toledo Mudhens, are the classic double-edged sword. When distressed a quick visit can re-set your compass or fill your tank just enough to get through whatever it is that’s got you down. Spend too much time there, in Toledo for example, and nothing in the here and now might measure up. The yearning can overwhelm the living.

Some places and some times were so special that the yearning can become an irresistible force, driving you back in real time to bring your present day self to Toledo. The yearning curve as a boomerang, if you will. My in-laws gave in to this and just visited Cap Ferrat in Southern France. They yearned to walk the quaint streets of their young marriage, to eat a breakfast of fresh milk and baguettes left in the box outside their tiny apartment while gazing at the impossibly blue waters of a harbor dotted with tiny sailboats. What they got, of course, was the hustle and bustle and hurley-burley of a modern tourist trap en francais.

The yearning curve is never a circle.

A very nice bunch of college buddies, mostly football teammates, recently include me and a couple of other “youngsters” in an epic email thread dedicated to college memories. It’s been fun reading it for sure. We all had 4.5 second 40 yd. dashes. Everyone maxed his bench each time we lifted. Each or us had a full head of hair, and we always got the girl. A magical place and a magical time, indeed. It can be easy to yearn for a place like that.

But it, like Cap Ferrat ca. 1975, is no longer there. It only exists in a picture, or an email thread, or behind a door or a window in the attic of our minds, available for a brief visit when the yearning curve peaks.

Like Toledo.