Seasonal change has a way of making me feel reflective, and the transition from Summer to Autumn usually does it more than the others. This year it’s only amplified as I approach my forth decade.
While I didn’t grow up on a farm, we were surrounded by fields. Whether it was the appearance of hay bales, the smell of peanuts being turned over to dry or the blizzards of cotton coming into bloom, there were visceral reminders. An in the South, that also meant football. And while I have what I would currently describe as a “complicated” relationship with the wider sport, I can’t deny that countless Friday nights and Saturdays have been filled with it.
One of the best pieces of prose that I’ve ever read using the game as it’s framing device, and if I look back over the things that I’ve taken in during the last 5 years there aren’t many that have come up in my thoughts more often than “When The Levee Breaks” By Spencer Hall. I’ll admit that there are some things there that won’t resonate as well with others who don’t have a similar cultural background, but for me, Hall nailed it.
He talks about offense and the development of plays, and it’s hard not to see strong correlations to what I spend a good portion of my days doing:
... the obsessive need to figure something out and build a framework, any framework at all, that can not just survive and float out of chaos, but end up dry on the other side
What I find funny, is how often those frameworks need to be rebuilt. Not because they weren’t able to float, but because the nature of the chaos changed. You can see it in many sports as strategies change and fads come and go, just like you can see it in business and technology.
I’m reminded of the old saying about C being portable, and yes for a great many important cases it is. But more importantly and FAR more interesting is that the people who know C are.
That portability is one of the things that drive’s me, and draws me to others. The want-to to connect something known, with something unknown. To conceptual, analogize, and build new frameworks from the rubble of old ideas, it is nothing short of exhilaratingly.
In that cycle of planting, harvesting, and doing it over again, I’m reminding myself to take a few moments to take it all using all my senses.