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July 2024

The Body and the New House

Michael Bettencourt | Scene4 Magazine

Michael Bettencourt

With the buying of our new house, my body has found a new phase of being, a constant state of stiff, sore and not-so-supple. At 71, I find myself doing different choreographies to tick things off my to-do lists.

For instance, our yard. About half an acre that needs to be mowed pretty constantly during the summer. I’ll be damned, though, if I’m getting a riding mower. There are a lot of these navigating the other yards around
us, ferrying in circles and rows ramshackle men (and they are all men) doing their lawn duty with no sense of joy or engagement.

I have a Ryobi battery push mower, and I walk the whole damn space with it. Yes, I could get the riding mower. I could even get the propelled Ryobi version. Hell, I could hire a lawn service to do the work. But that would be giving up, giving in, giving ground. I cannot do it that way.

The house and I are about the same age, and we are both showing how much repair work needs to be done to the seams and joints and bases and foundations that keep us upright and a haven for the dreams and dreamers inside. I amend and slow down and find new leverages to get the things done, fighting against entropy to keep moving forward toward open horizons. I don’t have much time left, but I will keep doing what I can do to keep the body alive and capable and consequent.

Better the aches and pummels than riding the mower down to the River Styx.


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Michael Bettencourt is an essayist and a playwright.
He is a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.
Continued thanks to his “prime mate"
and wife, María-Beatriz.
For more of his columns, articles, and media,
check the Archives.

©2024 Michael Bettencourt
©2024 Publication Scene4 Magazine




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