Monday, December 26, 2011

Living in a Prayer

everybody looks like someone I just saw 5 minutes  ago
if i looked too far in the mirror i know i'd have to run
from copper harbour way down to acapulco
where the sun shines on the moon and the moon gives it back to everyone
i'm living in a prayer

Greg Brown, Covenant

Assiniboine River, December 26, 2011

I loaded the shuffle with Greg Brown and headed out for my first double-digit slow dance in a while.  I ran parallel to the Assiniboine for much of the way, south side outbound and north side home bound. The sun was shining hard and walkers, cyclists and runners were out in strength, all smiles and nods with full eye-contact. Why is it when you walk the streets of this city we avoid eye contact, we even become highly uncomfortable with any pretence of eye contact,  but here on the trails it's expected.  It's even worse in Toronto. In Toronto one could walk naked and no one would see you, you're invisible.  There's a different vibe on the trails I suppose. On city streets we're on a schedule, the clock's ticking, we're late. On the trails time slows and our thoughts are pleasant.  We smile and nod and reflect it back through our eyes, like the sun shining on the moon, only to have the moon give it back to everyone.

I ran on the roadway in my neighbourhood because the sidewalks are slushy and uneven.  All but one car gave me a wide berth and slowed as they approached.  I remember the one car, the big black suv with two men.  They passed me within 18 inches at about 60 k/hr.  I wonder what goes on in their heads?  Why is it always men?  And what's with the suv culture?  This man was passing through my neighbourhood on a street full of runners and walkers and he doesn't slow.  We made eye contact and his eyes were angry as if to say what right do you have to be on the street, his street. I returned my thoughts to Greg Brown and moved forward refusing to be sucked in to this negative space.

Bill Clement Parkway Bridge, Assiniboine River looking east, December 26, 2011

At Assiniboine Park the children ran and played.  The big old toboggan slide was swarmed with moms and dads and kids... all yelling and playing.  "Watch me dad" with an emphasis on "me" as if to say watch ME make YOU proud dad. Watch ME. The laughter of the children is a glorious sound, it's contagious.  It gives me strength to keep moving outbound, past the park, through the forest, to the bridge.  A slow drink of water at the skating rink shelter.. why does water always taste better after a few miles of running?  The simple answer is ..because your thirsty, stupid... but it's more than thirst... water is a life force and I feel ... we feel... the life force as we sip the water, the cool clean water from the fountain.

I ran 10 miles today and it was a good day, a good day to be alive, living in a prayer.