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The Playbook
by Alex S. MacLean
Hardcover, $24.95
Thames & Hudson (W.W. Norton)

Yesterday was a day of being off kilter. One of those days where one mistake led to a series of my own unfortunate events. Not the kinds of things that change lives, we’re not talking brain surgery but books, but annoyances that could have been avoided if I had only paid attention. And yet, the kindnesses of others helped calm that inner voice that screams for perfection. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about, right? Poised on the Eve of Destruction (homage to Barry McGuire) I caught a glimpse of a fresh, bright strawberry as I dangled from my limb.

tiger above me
certain destruction below
beauty kissed my cheek

That’s when I saw this curious little book. The Playbook is a collection of aerial photographs of different “playgrounds.” MacClean shows us waterslides (as the one on the cover), golf courses, baseball diamonds, a prison handball court. They all have a captivating design from above. And this book played into a day of sports connections: a woman wanted a lacrosse book for a 12 year old nephew, a lacrosse coach walked into the store minutes later, my coworker lettered in lacrosse when we was in school in Vermont. How amazing life can be when we pay attention! And when I saw how we are all connected somehow, somehow the gaffs of the day faded into the background. And all that mattered was now. And this book became the impetus for this discovery.

[HINT] You may look at this book and see it as a one shot deal. A bunch of photos about the way we play. What’s the use of this kind of book once we looked at it? Here’s a suggestion. And you may or may not tell the author or publisher I suggested it. BUT, hey, you buy it, it’s yours. I like to use books like this for other purposes. To me they become blank books with photos. Plenty of white space for writing, doodling, creating, inspiration. I’ve even used books like this as a guest book when I had a housewarming party. You could easily use this as a wedding guest book. The ideas are unlimited.

If you want to see more of MacLean’s aerial photos go to is website: http://www.alexmaclean.com/

And a special thanks to Dave for encouraging me to write haikus. I have a haiku project in the works that came as a result of his continual haiku work.

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