March 26, 2015 by scratchtype1
The paper is smooth even under my diabetic fingertips that bear the marks of being poked and bled so many times every day. Touching this surface, the memory of how it feels when I can run barefoot over smooth asphalt. A tactile world, the one of sensation, the touch of things, the memories: the gusty winds, the hands touching the white-painted concrete wall of a lighthouse, pine needles underfoot, and so much more.
The paper nearly intimidates me. Last night, with a pen and some inconsequential scrap paper, I tested whether I could remember how to write cursive. Could I remember its intricacies and loops? Would it be legible? I wrote various random words and phrases: to tell, kiel vi fartas, mi scivolemas ĉu mi povas skribi kursive, eu escreveo para você, mais ce n’est pas un homme, c’est un champignon. How long had it been since I had written cursive? So many years, but somehow the memory still guided the fingertips that held the pen and I found a measured pace which resulted in legible script.
That bore some resemblance to the sensations I felt when I first began to run barefoot, although I had no memories of running that way or being educated on how to run. But perhaps, then, running is more deeply instinctual than putting script to the fibers of a sheet of paper, although there is deeply embedded into most of us the desire to tell stories, to communicate, to confirm the reality of our thoughts, our thoughts given life by the words that we have learned to use.
So here it is. I have the instruments before me. Paper and pen. Today I will fill some sheets of paper with words and ideas, and when satisfied, I will fill an envelope with those. The envelope will be addressed to a person and location in Brazil. Yes, I have now a long time emailed with the recepient (ricevonto, esperante) but it’s interesting how we both agreed that it would be delightful to write something with more tangibility than the flicker of pixels on the screen, the transmissions of long strings of 1s and Os. Something that I will have touched and held. Something that will have traveled the vast distance.
The paper awaits me, just as the earth and roads awaited me to come touch them with my bare feet and make running ever more real to me than it was when I ran in shoes.
Do not be afraid to remember, do not be afraid to go forward. Run honestly, write honestly. Run barefoot and put something to actual paper. Live, run, be desperate yet solid, fierce and wondering, fast when needed and patient otherwise. There’ll be rains and wind today and then will come another lash from the hands of winter that this year refuses to go quietly away. So be it.