October 2021

I went to the basketball game last night to see the Nets play the Heat.  The Nets lost, and I don’t want to talk about it.  What I want to speak to is the walk I took near the end of half-time.  Sometimes at this point in the evening at the game I will use the Meditation Room, but last night I decided to go for a walk in the concourse that circles the arena or as I call it “my walk around the block”.

No matter which way I turn once passing through the tunnel out to the concourse it seems I am walking against the flow, and last night was not an exception.  The concourse was really crowded causing lots of sidestepping and maneuvering. I may have been the oldest person, at least visible to me, and one of few females.  Most were younger men of color.  I thought what an odd duck I must have seemed, yet I didn’t feel odd at all.  I felt mostly in concert with everyone in spite of whatever differences each of us harbors; we were all there for the game.  I have this sense of community watching the game, but it’s from individual seats kind of like lots of parallel universes.  In the crowd, I felt immersed, a real part of the whole.

As I walked farther on, I felt content mainly because I had eaten before the game, I call it dunch, a late lunch early dinner.  So I was relieved not to stand in line and pay an exorbitant price for crappy food.  I congratulated myself on my change in routine and stepped on.  Then I had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude.  I was grateful for having access to such an event and of feeling welcomed. I thought of one of my row mates who told me earlier that he was so glad to see me, and I thought of the usher that works in a section where we used to sit who stops by every game to say hello.

I thought about my mom at my age now.  Going to a basketball game would have been one of the least likely options available or of interest to her for that matter. I felt like the luckiest person alive.  My strength here is appreciating being a part of and involvement in the community.