Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Between the Lines

I have a theory about why some of us have pastimes like a sport or hobby or reading habit. Life is chaotic. These things can make our lives seem more predictable and knowable.

When I'm on the tennis court, usually playing doubles, things are organized into two sides of the net, Each is 39x36 feet. The service box is 21 x 13.5 feet. There are rules about where the ball must land. There is containment. The points are counted off. The teams change sides. It's all prescribed and rule-bound although the ways things go are still infinite. It is so much simpler than life.

I like the predictability and yet the surprise. It allows me to step outside a messy life into a merely interesting fake world. It is a form of meditation. Waiting to receive a serve, deciding where to stand, assessing the server's habits, strike the ball. Waiting to serve, everybody ready, decide on a spot in the service box to try for, toss, racket back, strike, move to return. So much and yet so simple.

And then it's over. Back to a messy life after trying to get all the clay off my shoes so I don't track it into the apartment.

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