I ran under a cloud of my own making. I struggled mentally to find that open space I crave, when every thought can be captured inside a bubble and either popped, inspected or put aside for later perusal. Instead, my mind filled with too many bubbles, an overflowing tub run amok. There were flashes of beauty; like the woman wearing a “Survivor” shirt that also listed the names of her colleagues who lost their lives. There were bursts of laughter, like the snail and the turtle joke (which did not impress family when I retold it).
But mostly, I felt just kind of off. And I’ve already rehashed that enough for three lifetimes.
The compulsory Twitter check that attends my first sips of the first cup of coffee sent me spinning with jealousy and other shattered commandments. So and so’s project got the green light, Whosewhatsit’s got another book deal, JimmieX is funnier than I could ever hope to be and better looking to boot. And BobbieJoW ran so fast she PR’ed the heck out of that race.
Where is my happiness for these people, my friends? Where is my YAY? Where is my usual celebration in human achievement?
Apparently it’s on hiatus.
Coffee on the patio, not my patio, but my friend’s. Where there is no clutter, no laundry or assignments or deadlines waiting inside. The breeze blows our words as we follow the webwork of the conversation easily. We sip our coffee and watch the rose bushes bend under the wind, hear the call of the birds who’ve built a nest in the treehouse.
The talk turns to running. I tell her how it is. How when I find the sweet spot, elusive and unexpected when it arrives, those light bubbles of thought rise before me. They float and I address them or ignore them. I listen to music. Or not. I talk or sing or sometimes I cry. But it is mine: the time, the run, the road, the thoughts, the power.
Our conversation was the thread on two knitting needles. I looped my irritated run on Sunday around my mean spirited twitter reading, slipped the new loop through and saw the whole. Both experiences unspooled from the same place, the same ball of yarn. I can run someone else’s race no more than I can write or parent or think like someone else. I can run a mile I haven’t met yet no more than I can I fix a problem that hasn’t arisen. When I try, I meet the resistance of a dark heart and irritability. When I run my race, when I fix my eyes on the mile I’m in, then, there, ahh yes, the sweet spot.