Monday, March 14, 2011

What shall I row for now?

There is no one to say to me, anymore, You did great. No peer, no pedagogue, no protégé comes to me to tease my noggin with emoluments of even seeing what I do, who I am. This is not unusual. The other, was. Oh, one lacked for noth-ing in encouragement, including its secret, treasured corollary, scourging for some good not done. My sibling was my nemesis in this, which made his praise unreason-ably sweet, for no one could ever match it.

A new rowing machine ar-rives in the house today, and Whit has been alert to clearings of one of our large windows over the pond, to prepare for it. The kinks in the neck of blogging are no fun; the nature of our life calls for resuming old play. I know these devices well, they all have their deficiencies. But now the producers of the 'breed standard' have introduced a machine to resemble our stroke under movement over water, and we are one of its "early adopters." We're excited; we miss this kind of exhaustion.

There is no outgrowing the spurrings of this sport, and there is no outgrowing the affections at its core. I know there are single scullers; I know the bliss of what they do. But those indulgences are available by other means - the taking of pictures, for one. 

I row to defy the probability of the absurd, that there is no one with me. I row to celebrate that company. Every stroke I take, is weight I never lift alone, and indeed have never known without its sharing. Besides .. it's a toy.

Sir Hamilton Harty, arr
Georg Frideric Händel
Water Music, Air
Herbert von Karajan
Philharmonia Orchestra
July, 1952
Walter Legge, producer
EMI, 1953©
EMI Records, Ltd., 2005©


  1. The most aesthetic of sports, and one I remember fondly and with reverence. I was never such a fine-tuned athlete, nor had I such abdominal definition, either before I dipped my oar in the water, or since.

  2. Certainly, with these perspectives and this experience, I would hope that if you haven't done already, you might "write it" into your page. It is an extravagantly beautiful and guilty pleasure, and as you say, there are amiable tuning effects which seem almost unfair in their obvious elegance. I would like to see this wonderful pastime compared, too, with dancing, given the gifts for anticipation and sharing that it sharpens; with riding, given the stamina and poise required, to say nothing of the upper leg discipline; with skiing, given the alacrity of attention it develops. And then I would be remiss if I didn't ask to see it compared with window shopping, given the fluidity in the lats it develops, for pivoting spontaneously at A La Vieille Russie, at a demonstrably sparkling egg in the window.

    As you may surmise, I just dismounted from this new toy, and can pronounce it a wonder. Boys need to have one of these things; pure glee.