The Beautiful Game

Last month our family was captivated by the World Cup. We went on emotional roller coasters, moved by the anthems of countries around the world, the ebb and flow of each match, and the implications of choices made (or not made) by FIFA, Qatar and the players.

A commercial ran during halftime of nearly every match that ended with USA women’s player Megan Rapinoe’s refrain:

“…because the beautiful game is for everyone.”

This poem/spoken word was birthed from her powerful statement.

The beautiful game,
and that it is.
Cultures collide, slide into each other.
Get up, we know you’re fine.
Whales anthem transcends —
melodious chords reach across language
and time and land in a nine-year-old’s heart.
History refuted in muted mouths
while brown hair flies freely under a banner of green
and white and red — like blood spilled in the streets.
It’s more than just a game.
What’s going on, Mom?
No baby, it’s Iran, short I, not long.
Missed shots. Don’t look away — you’ll miss it too.
We stand and shout and groan.
Gates close to some
The pitch speaks: I am for everyone.

*Photo Credit: History of Soccer

Vanessa Sadler is a trauma-informed Spiritual Director and Enneagram Specialist. Through her company Abide (@abidinginstory), she collaborates with clients who seek deeper abiding and a greater understanding of the ways they relate with God, self and others. Vanessa has Level I and Level II certificates in Narrative Focused Trauma Care from The Allender Center, located within the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and also offers Integrated Story Work to her clients along with a culture identity component.