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August 26, 2007

I see the road is long, so get on my side

A couple of weeks ago I was running in Prospect Park, and I had an epiphany. (I love having epiphanies in the park, it's part of what makes it mine.) It was a perfectly beautiful day to run, low 70s, dry, brilliant blue sky, other people out but not so many that the running paths were crowded (just enough that it felt companionable to be out). I was running while thinking about future running, how I was planning to do a 5K in SF in August with a friend, and another one in October, and I was thinking about how when I'm 40, the qualifying time for the Boston Marathon will go up. A 40-year-old woman only needs to run a 4-hour marathon to qualify for Boston, and I've been thinking I could someday do that. And here's where the epiphany came in.

I realized I was doing all that future running and not paying attention to Right Now, and I let it go. I got back into the moment and felt the cool breeze touching my whole body, naked as I ever am in public, and I felt my heart pounding and sweat soaking my hair. I really saw my surroundings, and I drank them in and let them replenish me. I realized that when I run, I have to run because I love to run In That Moment, not for any future gain or reward. When we train, we don't know if we'll be able to run the future race. Maybe we'll get injured, sure, but maybe there will be insane weather, or a loved one will be sick, or there will be a car accident on the way to the start point, or any number of other disasters. If everything hinges on that race, if we can only be satisfied by running it, then all the other time is just preparation, just effort spent for the future. If we run for right now, if we stay aware and present, then both the current moment and the future one can be perfect. And more perfection, more joy, is all we can hope for in the world. By the time I ran down the little hill at the end of my two-mile loop, I felt fast as the angels and in love with the universe.

I didn't realize how well this attitude would come to serve me, just a couple of weeks after the realization. First of all, that 5K in San Francisco? I didn't get to run it. My stupid neurological problems started acting up the week before the race, and I've spent most of the last two weeks on a cane. (I promise, I will go see the crack neurologist who is supposed to play Dr. House for me.) But I had a wonderful time in SF, and I went out to the race site (by the marina!) and walked most of the 5K holding hands with my new love, and we got to see my friend zoom past us running the “back” part of the “out-and-back,” and the bay was beautiful and the fog was ethereal and the Golden Gate Bridge was Just Over There but invisible behind its shroud and it was a perfect morning. If I'd been too concentrated on running that race, my disappointment might have kept me from enjoying what turned out to be an exhilarating experience.

Secondly, keeping my heart in the now instead of focused on a future goal is helping me negotiate the emotional minefield of a new romance. We don't know how things are going to turn out, and everything is new and a little scary, but we don't need to know how things are going to turn out. We just need to stay in the eternal now. Because now is the perfect moment, and always will be.

Posted by Rose at 11:05 PM | Comments (2)

August 04, 2007

I like the way you smile when you're having fun

Had a lovely NYC moment last night.

I was in a happy mood after leaving work, waiting on a phone call and walking down Sixth Avenue looking for a snack. Saw the Mr. Softie truck and felt that a vanilla soft-serve with rainbow sprinkles would fit the bill. Ordered, and was beaming up bright-eyed at the young man in the truck, who suddenly said, as he handed me my cone, "Your hair is beautiful!"

"Thank you!"

"Are you in love?"

"Umm...I suppose I am! Yes!"

"Ohhh. He's a lucky guy. What's your name"

"I'm Rose. Why did you ask me if I'm in love?"

"Hi, I'm Danny. I asked because I am looking for someone to love. Rose, that's my sister's name. [brief pause while he smiled down at me] Whoever you love is a very lucky man. You have a good night!"

Just before that, as I was walking, there were three guys who *seemed to think* that they were having a discreet conversation. ABOUT DOPE. "Hey, it's 25 bucks a gram, you gonna pay it or not?" (The reason I say they seemed to think no one knew what they were discussing is that they kept using body language that implied secrecy and quiet -- while shouting in broad New York-ish accents about something sold in GRAMS. BWA-HA-HA.)

God I love New York. Of course, at the moment I love everything and everyone in the universe, so New York is but a tiny percentage of what I love.

Am at Tori's, hanging out and knitting at poolside, drinking frozen drinks and chattering with all her boys. It's time to get back in the pool, I'd say. Bye now.

Posted by Rose at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2007

When I get that funny feeling, I know I'm in trouble again

Ganked from Spiderwords, another lovely poem by Neil Gaiman. Between this and his story "How to Talk to Girls at Parties," I'm enormously touched by his sense of wonder about women and sex.

Neil Gaiman

I am continually disappointed by nudity
decently covered breasts could look like anything when revealed,
the nipples might be eyes or snake heads or flowers glowing gold,
they might be anything, but never are.
And as for the rest of it, the whole between-the-legs business,
when I was a boy, and simply wondered about women, why back then
it was the mystery of mysteries,
and now, grown up
I still think,
I wonder what she keeps hidden, down there, beneath that cloth,
imagining miracles and mysteries and dreams
conjuring secret mouths and lips that smile and sing
craving petals, tentacles and stars,
desiring the unimaginable.

The reality of nakedness
makes me mutter Jesus Christ with delight and awe as well, of course,
but still, the revelation is in its way prosaic.
Just another gentle biped with bumps and flesh and cleft and hair,
always looking just
a little bit more awkward and less interesting
than when she wore clothes.

Posted by Rose at 12:36 PM | Comments (3)