Sports here got off to a stuttery start last year at this time, and I’m hoping this dreary virus doesn’t eat again into one of my life’s chief joys, which is rooting animatedly for the home, sweet home team.
I’ve thought about this a bit, and I think it’s true, at least for me, that athleticism, graceful movement in all its forms, including graceful writing and inspired thinking, is what connects me most to life, and perhaps it’s also true that the older and more arthritic you get the more you yearn for that freewheeling, joyous feeling, all the more so considering how far you’re physically removed from it.
I read in the artist Wayne Thiebaud’s obituary the other day that he was an improbably crafty and deft tennis player, even at the age of 100, and that, as a painter, he continued to light his paintings from within. Now those are things to aspire to, even at the age of 81.
Don’t stop the music. And toward that end I said, “A boom box,” when Mary asked me what I wanted for Christmas.
I knew she was a bit wary, so to allay her fears I put on a Paul Desmond CD on Christmas Day, carefully picking it out of my trove, knowing she very much likes him, he being graceful in his playing, like a bird. Jump blues, with the bass at temblor level, are for when she’s out of the house. Any song with “Baby” in it is good, I’ve found.
The boom box plays tapes too, though I may have given all of those away. Frankly, I feel at times that I should give most everything away. We’ve got three of everything now. How much stuff does one need? In my closets are shirts and shirts and shirts, none of which I’ve worn, with a couple of exceptions, in the past two years. And scratchy jackets and shiny pants, which, likewise, I’ve not worn, far preferring warmups, white Asics (Anima sana in corpore sano) sneakers, and a black cashmere sweater as a uniform.
One wants to simplify, to divest, so that, on the eve of the New Year, we can, as the ball falls at 8, delight in what connects us.