Round in Circles

Here I go walking in circles again. If it’s not one direction out my front door, it’s the other, always in circles, round and round the neighborhood, looping past the same houses, same yards, same trees.

Here I go nodding to the same people as I pass. The short round woman who keeps up a running one-sided conversation with her dog. The woman in the knee length down jacket, another in the bright blue sneakers, both of which I covet. The woman on her phone, the couple with their big black dog, the couple with their two big dogs, the man pushing a stroller with a toddler who solemnly stares as we pass, the woman who never looks up. Perhaps they’re thinking the same about me; there’s that woman in the same gray sweatpants, the same green puffy jacket, the same purple hat, oh wait no, it’s her other hat.

We do the same dance every day, one of us crossing to the other side of the wide streets without sidewalks to avoid the others’ space, nodding apologetically, or smiling, or grimacing a fake smile, commenting on the weather, saying with our eyes, here we are again, going in circles.

Here we go watching this pandemic circle, another virus spike, another virus slowdown, another round of lockdowns, another loosening up of rules. Another discussion about opening schools, and about how schools are or aren’t working, another set of parameters for when to re-open everything. Another group of people ignoring the mandates for masks, for gatherings, for openings.

Here we go wondering again, vaccines are coming, vaccines aren’t coming, oh wait we don’t have enough or we can’t get them to you or you’re not old enough or you’re not sick enough or you’re not on the front lines. We’ll soon figure out a system to get them to you, oh, there must be a system we can use, if only we could figure out a system. Who’s gaming the system? Does it matter? Oh wait, there isn’t enough to go around, or to get your double dose.

Here I go out to the garden to rake soggy magnolia leaves yet again, pulling errant weeds, picking up stray willow branches, sweeping stones back into place, admitting that I let my husband do the bulk of the work out there, or once again paying for it with aching joints.

Here we go in a political loop, another election, another run off, another celebration of one race, or mourning another. Another chance to restore democracy, another round of violence, another protest, another evil person doing evil things, another denial, another lie, another great speech, another promise.

Here we go again, another police shooting, another Black person down, another mistaken raid, another harassment, more racist, mysoginist, sexist, ageist acts, another protest and another, more tear gassing, another denial of rights, another “Karen” taking offense, another Nazi, another white supremacist, another Proud Boy, another Confederate soldier, another new hate group.

Here’s another round of doomscrolling, refreshing another news page or Twitter or Facebook, get to the bottom I go back to the top, the news has changed the news has changed the news has changed, it’s the same. 

Here’s another mindless TV show, another rerun, another stab at getting exercise, another pint of ice cream, another attempt to eat better, or form new habits or better myself in some mysterious way or some specific way, another success, another failure, another try.

Here I go again writing another essay, spilling words onto the page, shaping words into thoughts, putting one thought after another, spelling and misspelling, rearranging, trying to make it make sense, or be readable, or relatable. Writing a poem or a song instead.

Here I go again thinking my words are great, thinking my words are shit, thinking I’m a good person, thinking I’m a bad person, thinking yes I can, thinking no I can’t, thinking how can I keep doing this. Another cycle of hope-loss-disappointment-prayer and try again.

There goes another morning, an afternoon, another day, another day with not enough hours, another day with too many hours, another week, another month in quarantine, more wondering about what have I done, where did the time go, what did I do with it, ah time for bed again, hooray.

Here we go, another winter, another rainstorm, another day of shape-shifting clouds, another sunrise of coral and lemon, another sun-drenched blue sky day, another few buds blooming on bare magnolia branches, witch hazel blossoms opening, and garlic sprouts popping up. Another crow alighting on the hemlock tree nearby, another robin on the cotoneaster’s brilliant red berries, another extra minute of sunlight, another spring lying dormant underground readying to burst forth. Another chance to meditate, another moment to breathe deep, another heartbeat, another moment unlike the last, full of potential and promise and hope.

12 thoughts on “Round in Circles

  1. Honestly, Nancy, i think this is your best one yet. I have liked all of them, but here you really capture something that is, yes, relatable, but also beautifully executed. It flows in circles, just like the title, just like the days and the walks and etc….A+ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for coming by Cheryl, even from the depths of your Wintering. Will I be able to just stop everything? Or are you picking and choosing? Well, I’ll read the book and find out…. And yes, not being alone even when we’re alone is the best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m still picking and choosing, but very consciously. I’ve mostly been nonexistent on social media. I’ve tried keeping up with blog reading because I enjoy that. I’m working on a big writing project, but without self-judgement. Still writing about five hours a day. I lost several writing jobs last year due to Covid. And I’m taking this time to regroup and think about how I want to proceed. I was beginning to lose the joy in some forms of writing. I’m enjoying long soaks in Epsom salts. And drinking more herbal tea and less coffee. And yoga, walking, and gardening. It can’t last forever, but I’m preparing for when I must leave this cocoon. Right now I’m staying curious and letting things unfold. And it feels good.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Like Groundhog Day. Another shooting (actually SO many more), new Covid variants, still walking in circles. I’d like to think that we’ve gotten better, but it’s a hard thing to measure. Certainly your writing is still relevant and getting better all the time. You’re still a good person, it’s still an imperfect world and we still lead with our compassionate hearts when it all seems overwhelming. Let’s keep going 💙

    Liked by 1 person

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