Dear Wide Readership,
This is Carson Cistulli. You may know me from such films as “How Stella Got Her Groove Taken Away in the First Place” and “Haters Gonna Hate: The Life and Times of Jimmy Stewart.” Also, I contribute with some frequency to this site.
Tonight, as you probably know, we, the Baseballing Enthusiasts of America, have the opportunity to watch Colby Lewis pitch a potentially ALCS-clinching baseball game against the New York Americans.
Alot of people have asked, and attempted to answer, the question “Who is Colby Lewis?”
The answer to the question is obvious: there is no answer. Or, rather, there is no one answer. Allow me to explain.
It is not uncommon for theologians — and this extends across multiple faith traditions — for theologians to describe God by describing, instead, what God is not. The practice, called apophasis, is predicated on the belief that God is ineffable*, and therefore cannot be apprehended directly.
*I once had a girlfriend who was ineffable, but in a totally different way.
The Mystery known as Colby Lewis is also ineffable. Yes, we can point to him and say, “There is Colby Lewis on the baseball mound” and, yes, we can look at his player page and say, “His slider has been considerably above average (+1.56 runs per 100 thrown) while his curve has been below average (-1.54 per 100).” But that is to ignore the entirety of Colby Lewis.
Jorge Luis Borges comes closest to representing this dichotomy in his very short story “Borges and I.” In said text, Borges struggles to see the similarities between Borges the Man and Borges the Famous Argentine Author. “I do not know which of us has written this page,” he ends by saying.
Similar is the case with Colby Lewis. Sitting here, in Madison, Wisconsin, I imagine Colby Lewis. Later, in front of a television, I will see someone named Colby Lewis, pitching against the Yankees. But that man, throwing from that mound, is only part of the Colby Lewis I imagine.
My colleague Joe Pawlikowski has suggested, via Twitter, that Lewis will fail tonight versus the Yankees and that I, among his (i.e. Lewis’s) biggest supporters, will be crushed.
But I have the leg up on Joe Pawl here, on anyone who’d adjudge Lewis’s success by mere wins and losses, by swinging strikes and groundballs-induced. For the Mystery of Colby Lewis is unassailable. As Walt Whitman has stated, it is large and contains multitudes. One game will have no effect on it. Colby Lewis has won already.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.