March 16, 2014 by scratchtype1
It is early and I marvel at the full moon that is setting. Cold air has come in overnight and if I were to step outside, my breath would form plumes of steam that could dance in the silver moonlight.
I am now in Kennett Square. The sky to the east has red hints, lending credence to the predictions of some light snow later tonight or early tomorrow. So strange to take a phone from my pocket and snap a picture:
The sun is up and the moon has disappeared. There is now light to see and I take a couple more pictures to document the walk I’ve taken:
Now a picture that was taken of me almost a lifetime ago:
Stories, good stories, are about movement. So think on that and what Bernd Heinrich says in the video that I put into this post, Unexpected Pursuit. Perhaps then every run we make is at least a small story. Perhaps every one yields a bit of character development. Not all of them will be grand epiphanies or ones that shake the foundations of our spirits or souls or essences. But it’s perhaps no wonder we’re a storytelling species, it’s been written into us and developed from what evolution wrought, a persistent hunter for movement, movement in order to survive, live and thrive. Perhaps just as much as we were born to run, we were born to tell stories. Some of those stories are plain and soft, thin cotton sheets, and others are rich and thick, itch at us like wool. Some of the stories are runs of elegance, the ones where the feet dance in a seemingly perfect rhythm and others are rougher, struggles to keep moving in spite of the path we might be on or the state our selves are in.
If it hadn’t been for running, I wouldn’t have the story that almost made me despair that I might not have any stories to tell or that I would even want to. Perhaps the story begins with that picture of me running. If you look carefully, you’ll see the bit of a shoe behind my one leg. I am running hard there. I am running hard because I wish to catch the runner in front of me. There is too much tension up in my shoulders and neck. Forgive me that, I hadn’t yet learned the lesson to run relaxed and it’s a lesson I still work upon with every run I take. Breathe. Relax. Loose shoulders. Flow. Float. I do not know it then, but I am running headlong into a story of leg cramps at the Philadelphia half-marathon in November, then a story of falling in love. Then finally the dissolution and ending of that love. A lifetime ago. You can live a lifetime within 5 years. I have done so.
Or maybe I’m lying. Do you realize that? Lots of our stories are lies we tell to others and tell to our own selves.
But I’m not lying. There’s a slight chance of self-delusion, what can you do about that? But for now I am happy to still be moving and to be running again. Eventually I will see the things I need to see to write the poems that are jammed down somewhere in the tangle of neurons. That jumbled tangle of them, it’s why I sometimes get strangely attracted to seeing both sunrises like this morning and then going to take pictures of the no longer used NVF water tower in Kennett Square. The human experience ranges from the gentle sublime to the horribly tragic to the debris of our past. All those stories are the stories that make us who we are.