Many thanks to Rena Max for her wonderful story about Border-Ball, Sick-Amour, and doing what we can to improve the world. The story, “Tikkun Olam: Improving The World Through Creativity. An interview with Joel Tauber inspires change”, went live on March 4 in Fresh Ink For Teens and can be read here.
Many thanks to Will May as well for his excellent story about Border-Ball. The story, “Deacon Profile: Joel Tauber”, was published on December 7 (2019) in the Old Gold And Black: Wake Forest Student Paper and can be read here.
I love what Rosanna Albertini wrote about Border-Ball and the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in her blog, The Kite: about thinking as the art of desire, and art as the desire of thinking fresh. Inclusivity. How liberty is a better guiding principle than freedom. And how art is the servant of need.
Read Rosanna’s post, “Border Ball: THE OTAY MESA PORT OF ENTRY”, here.
I’m getting ready for the 17th day of Border-Ball: a 40-day pilgrimage along the U.S. – Mexico border. I start each day at noon at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California. It’s wonderful to see so many people cross the border, even in the middle of the day – both into the U.S. and into Mexico. There are distinct pathways for trucks, cars, and pedestrians; and each of these pathways are always busy.
I find the fluidity of movement at the port to be extremely beautiful. The constant flow of people from so many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds reminds me that the United States is a place of immigrants and diversity. And, so, I’m often moved to declare:
Oh, say, can you see, our country’s gorgeous dream: an endless field of green, where everyone can live and play? Our star-spangled banner yet waves, over the land of immigrants and the home of us all!
I spend most of my time at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on the pedestrian bridge, tossing a ball. I introduce myself to people I meet and ask them to share their stories, experiences and thoughts about the border and baseball. Then, we play catch.
The borders between us disappear when I’m listening to their stories. And our connections deepen when we play catch. It’s amazing to me how, even after sharing incredibly sad and heartbreaking stories, people start smiling and laughing once we play catch. All of a sudden, we are friends, playing and laughing together.
We are all on the same team, after all.
People thank me. And, I thank them for connecting with me and for giving me strength to continue my long 7 mile journey each day: from the port of entry, along the wall, and up to the detention center – and then back again.