Navajo sandpaintings, “places where the gods come and go”
In their language, are made not to be art hanging on a museum wall,
Tapestries that tell great and vivid tales of heroes,
Portraits of long-gone families and imperfect beings,
But for healing the body and the soul, spiritual places
That come from the heavens, with their geometry and
Mix of hues and interconnections. They soothe the maker
And, once inevitably destroyed, take their place in the imagination,
Filling once-weakened humans with hope and with belief.
Watching a baseball game from its inception
Is tantamount to viewing the creation and construction
Of a sand mandala dedicated to the religion of our
Nation’s pastime, the sweep of the tawny sand painted
And shape-shifted with slides and spikes and hard-hit balls.
This growing infield pattern, never twice the same, symbolizes
A mystical spell, each game, of athletic artistry that all at once
Calms the human spirit and sends it soaring to celestial fields.
The shifting, dancing colors of the uniforms, often mixed with
Living sand and verdant planes, presents the transient spirit
Of an invigorating work of art
Determined to bring both excitement and tranquility
Not only to participants of this game of life and glory
But also for the souls perusing every play, seeking some small sense
Of wellness in their universe. The finished field indeed
Is the place of gods — those who aspire to a place in the afterlife —
Holy names like Trout and Judge and Ohtani and Betts, and
The Eternals — Ruth and Aaron and Clementé and Koufax
And the rest who rest above and through each mandala
That is created in each field of glory and of love.