till I should jump peninsulas
Could I but ride indefinite
And dwell a little everywhere,
Or better run away
With no police to follow,
Or chase me if they do,
Till I should jump peninsulas
— Emily Dickinson, XX
Today it snowed. Tomorrow I begin marathon training, and thanks to help from kind folks at the Runner's World forum, picked a plan. It sounds so competent to write that: "pick a plan".
I remember this time last year, jumping into a Higdon plan late, amping up its miles, and all the winter runs with the funny encounters typical of where I live now: the most frequent being misted greetings exchanged with a certain kind of pensioner who goes out in inclement weather, usually so glad to see someone else outside. Then, at the tip of spring, the marathon came, and although no Pheidippides, on completing it I felt like all those miles actually built a distance between me and what was ailing me. Like I'd loosened a noose.
All those constricting, suffocating situations have nothing on me when I am accumulating miles, day in and day out.
When I began running again a year and a half ago, it was a way to deal with PhD frustration - all the waiting, never instruction or opportunity, just waiting. And as an underpaid lecturer, I had no money to get out of the city that summer, so I took to running out of it.
And this year, I feel constricted again for other reasons, in part yet again to do with the fact that I have so much I need to overcome and get done if I am going to continue on the path I'm on. Every single day, I run short of time - it's been like this since the end of last summer. I can't see the end. Also, there is no guarrantee of where I'm going. I "shake the hand of doubt". Could I but ride the indefinite Or better run away.
And run indefinitely...
The soul knows: who needs a road.
Leave the maps unwound.
The quote above, and the one about dout, is by Cape Town's Signpost Sound, for a beautifully atmospheric African Attachment Salomon video featuring suspenseful shots of ultra stars.
The song reminds me of when I used to go out to Ping Chau Island in my former life as a journalist just to hike the huge slabs of shale - medicine for the eyes after staring at a computer screen for hours on end. The shale was totally untouched by manmade paths, just a flat expanse where I could hike in any which way, uninformed by suggested direction, like Dickinson writes,
And row in nowhere all day long,
And anchor off the bar
Brush: Ewansim via DeviantArt.