I’m going ‘round in circles!

No, I don’t mean that maddening activity of starting one thing but picking up another before the first is finished and then jumping ahead to the a third or fourth or fifth but having to backtrack to the second or first in some fashion. Know what I mean? Don’t we all have days like that?

This blog’s merry-go-round, meanwhile, feels more like a spiral.

The circles I’m looking at this morning are much calmer.

Let’s start with the fact I haven’t been getting much exercise this autumn and winter. It’s not like pre-Covid, when I was swimming laps in Dover’s indoor pool. Up here in Downeast Maine, the nearest such pool is in Canada, and the border’s essentially closed. I used to joke that I swam laps to keep my doctor happy, but now my new one has been concerned about my current blood pressure level, so I guess I’ll have to do something to keep her, too, happy. . Does that sound familiar to any of you? So we’re back to the lack of exercise and maybe a rising intake of salt.

After learning earlier this month that the high school gym is open weekday mornings for walkers, I’ve started venturing forth (it’s only eight blocks away, no need to drive) and begun circling the basketball court briskly in full comfort for an hour or so, switching directions about 30 minutes in. It’s nice not having tree roots, rocks, mud, or inclines to deal with, too. Frankly, even when they’re not snow covered, the local trails can be pretty challenging, not just where they’re along bluffs dropping into the churning ocean, either. There’s some pretty rough terrain around here.

As for the gym? I’m the only guy showing up so far, the rest are all women. Make of that what you will.

Guess the indoor track is gonna be the anchor of my new routine into spring, likely with pickleball thrown in somewhere during the week. (So far, I know nothing about said sport, other than what I found on the Web and that a couple of guys here have told me it’s a gas and I should try it and it seems to be the big social activity through the depth of deep cold. At least the avid players have a Facebook page here, and I’m kinda signed up, when the next round of newbies get introduced. Please stay tuned!) I do miss swimming those laps and some of the social connections I had many miles and months ago. Could that be a fine substitute?

That said, being back in high school, even it’s only a building, stirs up its own mixed feelings. I did resist an urge to deface a sign, TAKE THE SHOT, by altering one letter. I would be a horrible student if I had to do high school again. For instance, those PA announcements that interrupt the calm of my stroll really could prompt comedy. They’re unintelligible, far as I can tell, but they do have sound effects. BLARROOM! BLARROOM! Seriously. And you wonder that those kids aren’t learning anything? I think back in antiquity we relied mostly on bells, but I do vaguely recall that “come to the office” demand from a speaker box above the escape door.

In a more leisurely circle of activity, another highlight these days is the Eastport Arts Center’s Sunday afternoon free soirees through April. This coming week is some guy who’s invented a lot of instruments, starting with hubcaps, and is renting a U-Haul truck to bring them all up and perform. Some solid musicians insist it’s a revelation. I’m game. And last week was a discussion of dramaturgy. Hope I spelled that right. Well, how many other community theater companies do you know of that came out of the Covid shutdown with a Brecht-Cocteau double bill? By they way, I did know a fifth of the cast of their last production, Almost Maine, and a same proportion of the band. How’s that for a newcomer to town?

What anchors your life, week to week or even day to day?

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