Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The hard days

I wake reluctantly, staring at the ceiling in a lethargic stupor. My muscles are stiff, my joints they creak, and my blood is tired. The damp, lazy heat closes around my almost naked body, and my mind wanders, loosening its once steadfast resolve to engage in reality.
No conscious thought is articulated, but there is a feeling. A feeling that tells me not to leave home, to stay inside, to remain inert.
I contemplate this feeling, dwell on it, and then break free from its hold.
I run.
I reluctantly run.
I run because it's a hot morning, and there is nothing else. I wish to cast a line into my mind's pond, and see what we can reel in.
I run to be.
My feet patter along the sidewalk, up and down hills, and arrive at the trail. I am not blessed with the feeling of homecoming as usual; the forest seems as indifferent as the cold tarmac of suburbia.
But all I do is run, and then walk when it gets too steep, and before I realise it, the lookout is a few steps away.
I can see the whole of the city.
I hop nimbly yet sluggishly down the rocks of my favourite Mountain Bike trail, and eventually I become the forest. I am the currawong with the grub in its mouth, the goanna grasping the tree, the turkey scratching through the scrub, the human running.
I am alive, and I am home.
I come accross barking dogs, and eventually their owner, and remember my other life. I am the forest, but I am a human estranged from it.
I lope lazily down the now wider trail, hopping accross the creek, and walking up to the road. My calf twinges slightly, hope it's ok...
I pick up the pace a bit; I'm feeling better. My body remembers, it never forgets.
See the driveway, touch the gate, press the button.
A beep of the timex, and the run is over.
I come inside, have a drink, and get out my log book.
The run is etched indelibly into eternity, with great satisfaction.

These are the days that are hard. The days when the commotion of your banal life interferes with your escape to pure existence.
But you run so that for a short moment you can experience that warm, familiar, lucid reflection.
You run so that for a short moment you can just "be".

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