Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dyersville and the Field of Dreams

"What you gonna do? Write about it?"
That's what Ray says to Terrence Mann in the Field of Dreams, just before Terrence slips into the cornfield to discover what lies on the other side.

Terrence Mann smiles that winsome smile and responds, "It's what I do."

And then he's gone.

In 1989, I taught Spanish at a small high school in Dyersville, Iowa. Field of Dreams had just wrapped up filming on location and everyone was talking about it. The students at Beckman High School were no different. More than once, I had to turn my students' attention back to verb conjugation and away from movie talk. Someone had waited on Kevin Costner when he dined at the local restaurant. He'd tipped well. Others had to tell me which car number they were in the line-up at the end of the movie. Everyone had a story. Everyone wanted to share it.

Back then, I wasn't Catholic. I simply had a teaching position in a Catholic school. I had no intention of plunging into the Catholic cornfield to see what I might find on the other side.

I guess that I was a little like Terrence Mann when Ray first encounters him. My life is fine just the way it is. I don't need whatever you are peddling. I don't need you coming into my life so you can shake things up.

Next thing I know, I'm hooked. Next thing I know, I'm like the Terrence Mann at the end of the movie.

And I'm the one smiling. I'm the one saying this is the most exciting thing that has happened to me. I'm in. I'm all in. Like Terrence Mann.

"What you gonna do? Write about it?"

To which I heartily reply, "It's what I do."


1 comment:

  1. What a great post! Thank you for sharing your story. Field of Dreams has always been one of my favorite movies, and as a Coordinator of the RCIA in my parish, I can see so many paraleels between the film and our Journey of Faith!

    Keep up the great work!