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Point of View: It’s Good to Have Avatars

Wed, 02/23/2022 - 17:03

A murmuration of blackbirds this morning had me doing a quad flip with a triple toe loop, thinking that, possibly, spring might be around the bend.

As for bending, I’ve had trouble doing that lately, not surprising, I suppose, when one is 82, but regular attendance at East End Physical Therapy has been restorative, so much so that I think I’ll spend the rest of my life there.

Yes, Virginia, you can always improve, a heartening thought when you think about it. If the drive to improve were not such a motivating force, who among us sub-geniuses would ever do anything, confronted as we are by those who have been and are excellent. I remember thinking after reading some of Pablo Neruda’s poetry why bother to pick up a pen? But he said he wants us to sing with him, so we do, however off-key.

Same thing in tennis: Why pick up a racket after you’ve seen the greats, except to improve, knowing, of course, that you’ll forever fall short. It is good, then, that we have these avatars. They show us the way to go as we stumble along.

I stumbled the other day, in reaching up for a high, deep lob. Fell right on my back. I hadn’t fallen so hard since I met Mary. Richard said, “Just lie there, take your time, lie there . . . don’t get up.”

I asked if the ball went in, if we’d won the point. He said yes. I got up.

Balance at this stage of the game becomes more and more important. It’s the chief thing, I think, physically and mentally. Don’t force it and it will come. 

Acceptance is not so much the goal as is patient striving. And, wonderful to tell, an occasional setback can contribute to this way of being — that is, if you don’t just lie there and say what’s the use.


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