When you lose the words

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November 19, 2013 by scratchtype1

I’ve got some pictures from the last few months. They are images of events, things, or places from where bare feet or sandals have taken me.

Above is a picture of the realization that you don’t have to worry about shoes and socks getting wet. My feet felt very good stepping into the creek that warm day.

That there above is a rare sort of photo, one of me happy. It was taken after I had finished my first barefoot 5K race.

I had done this hike before across the countryside near where I live. But this time I got it done barefoot and it was richly sensuous experience, although I might have appreciated it if the squirrels had done a better job of clearing the fallen nuts and acorns in the woods we had walked through.

Best pair of racing shoes I’ve ever worn to a race.

Finally a picture I took yesterday of a new running place for me. I wanted to add some variety and realized that a nearby open-space preserve could be a good place to run over terrain other than asphalt of roads and park paths. Plus it’s rarely ever flat and I get to practice using muscles never used before or in different ways. I figure if I can get to where I can run from one end of the preserve to the other and then back again without any walk breaks, I’ll be in fairly decent shape, and certainly in the best running shape of my life.

I’ve felt quite joyful and happy while doing the first two initial runs in there yesterday and this morning. It’s feel so right to have the bare soles of the feet touch the different textures — matted grass, hard dirt, soft dirt, some stones and rocks, some asphalt for a short section, and a short bit of gravel. When you run barefoot, you interact more deeply and intimately with the earth and with your own self. I realized I didn’t see the hills as monsters or enemies, they were simply hills that I have to learn, one step at a time. It’s something like that which soothes the terror I sometimes see in the world and which still often haunts my more troubled dreams in sleep. Fortunately now I often have good dreams about running, so there is some counterbalance to my darker internal disposition. I suppose I have good dreams about running now because maybe I am falling in love with it, the feel of my feet kissing the earth in different forms and ways, the feel of a smooth glide when the cadence is quick and light, the sounds of breeze or wind, the sounds of mourning doves or crows, the sight of a hawk above some trees. I love the challenge of picking a path through the stonier sections of the paths.

That is how running and happiness have come together for me. It is not necessarily something that would appeal to everyone, we all, if fortunate enough with circumstances, have to find our own paths, our own strides. Perhaps we can guide others to those paths or similar ones, but never be so arrogant or unsympathetic to think that your path is his or her path or my path.

And I don’t know ultimately where my path will end or anyone else’s. Perhaps it will remain largely solo, only shared in small portions with occasional friends and unexpected circumstances. I’m more peaceful about that now, even when I wake from the bad nightmares and find myself struggling to sink back into sleep on my own. Eventually there’ll be no words anymore. I sometimes have that now while I run, the words disappear. Maybe there isn’t so much difference between things we think are so different — life, happiness, death, and loneliness.

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