Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sublime, ridiculous, or overthought?

I'm not sure if this qualifies as sublime or ridiculous, or neither. But I think it might qualify as one or the other. Be that as it may, I'm always a bit astounded when such things happen.

I like tonic water. Yes, jokemeisters, I don't mind it with gin either, and a twist of lime. But I like to drink tonic water by itself. I like the vaguely chalky taste. And I held a bottle in my hand on this past Sunday morning, Father's Day, as I stood in the aisle of the grocery store I was in. I hadn't had any in awhile and thought I might buy a couple bottles. But I didn't, just, well, because I didn't.

Several weeks ago, I read an article about a new biography of Ty Cobb, the famous Detroit Tiger and perhaps the greatest hitter in baseball history. It was written by one Charles Leerhsen, and purports to shed new light on the supposedly disliked Cobb. You can read the article here: https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/who-was-ty-cobb-the-history-we-know-thats-wrong/ My apologies if you have to copy and paste; I have yet to learn how to embed links. Anyway, after reading the article I thought, I want to read that book. Then I promptly forgot about it.

Upon arriving back home my daughter and son-in-law asked if I wanted my Father's Day gifts. Sure, why not? I said. I like gifts. And they handed me two bottles of tonic water, and a copy of Lerrhsen's Ty Cobb, A Terrible Beauty.

The tonic water I get: they knew that I liked it yet hadn't bought any in months and figured I wouldn't mind a bit. My question is: why would I have not bought it earlier that day? Why we were somehow, someway, on the same wavelength?

As to the book, to my knowledge I hadn't even told anyone that I'd read the article much less wanted the book. Somehow, then, they found the book and figured dad, being a baseball wonk and huge Tiger fan, would be interested in it.

I realize there are many quite plausible explanations for each of these instances, not the least of which is the happy accident scenario I just offered. I am also aware that there is a bit of a quality to them which doesn't quite register. Sublime, or ridiculous? Or merely overthought?


Joseph Cosgriff said...

I would have to say that this is definitely not ridiculous. I would lean more towards the sublime. While it can easily be explained away is a “happy accident”. I believe that your story has more of a larger implication to the power of relationships. Therefore, it impresses the mind while inspiring awe…

Consider this, through your daughter’s life long relationship with you and then adding in your son-in-law, your desires, thoughts, feelings, points-of-view, have all coalesced at that exact moment in time.

They understand you and what you like, which drove their decisions to purchase the items they did. Your own personal likes drove you to consider these items even though you did not purchase them at the time you had the opportunity but you would have at some point.

Some believe in a greater consciousness. Which if you do, your thoughts somehow transcended your internal self and became part of the consciousness of your daughter and son-in-law. This drove her to purchase those items. To me, this also aligns it more to the sublime rather than the ridiculous.

That all being said… I am assuming it was still a happy accident for you. So, since we are in the voting season, my vote goes for sublime.

Charles Martin Cosgriff said...

Thanks Joe. I think I was leaning that way too.