The Dreamers Tribune: Merle’s Farewell

Through three seasons with the Uncertainty and two seasons on the Rouge River (Ballsheviks and now Blush) as part of the Field of Dreamers I have learned and unlearned. I have learned to embrace conflict, to win with grace, to find victories in losses, to ask for help, and that other worlds and ways of being are truly possible. I struck out nearly every time I went up to bat during my first two seasons with the uncertainty. The experience of a team of people, most of whom I did not know, cheering for me as I struck out has changed me. Being valued even as I feel I am fucking up has taught me to value myself differently, to take more chances, to keep trying even when I am not immediately skilled.

I have played and I have captained and I have tried my darndest to be a leader on the field for the players that feel like they are fucking up. Fucking up can be a generative space to be in, where we recognize the ways we are incomplete and the ways we depend on each other and the ways we can grow. We all come to softball with our own stuff to work through and the field generously creates a space for us to shift our relationships to cooperation, competition and the land we are on.

I will be gone for the remainder of the season as I begin a PhD at the University of Minnesota. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the league: players, coordinating committee members, subs, people cheering from the side, partners and families and friends that have made this space possible through supporting us, feeding us, loving us. Thank you to the land we play on. I am so grateful for the opportunity to fuck up and be bad and still be cared for. Thank you.