(this blog wouldn't be this blog if I didn't mark the end of a Viking season with a pompous, pretentious, needlessly introspective post).
If you're like me, you have recently been investing whopping portions of mental and emotional energy into the Minnesota Vikings. It has all seemed imbued with a grandiose sense of something (tragedy? pathos? absurdity?). I've been prone to unwilled fantasies, dreams of all the bizarre luck and unlikely scenarios and superb play that would spur this team to a championship run. And today I wake up, blinking, looking around at everything else in the world, realizing there is so much else in the world, and realizing it has been there all along. There are other things to look at. Other things to do. Other things to dream about.
That doesn't mean the fantasies are done. No, the irrational hope that the Vikings will win a championship in our lifetime will kindle new forms for our dreams. Those dreams will still rise up during cold winter nights and hot summer days. We're still Viking fans today, and we will be Viking fans tomorrow. But somehow the season ending also removes a burden. Watching a team with a stifling, dominating defense is enjoyable, but the frustration of watching a team without a quarterback capable of winning playoff games (but trying to convince oneself that maybe the team will win some anyway) won't be missed. Yesterday the Metrodome was filled with loud, buoyant energy, but I came home physically exhausted, emptied. That energy doesn't need to be called upon again for a while; we can blink out at the bright world. Reading a book, going for a walk, playing a game, whatever it is you do: these are no longer things to do to pass the time between Viking games. They are now the stuff of life.
But the Vikings will play again in 2009. And one more thing: wait till next year.
"Loveliest of trees, the cherry now"
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.