Sunday, January 29, 2012

Subject to the Metronome

I run now only in my daydreams
when my mind spins freely
as it used to wheel when running shoes were tied
and I headed out along the forest trails.
Then as breathing settled
resting on the edge, balancing oxygen loss and gain
a disengagement occurred of left brain control
and the freely spinning right brain
filled my self with vivid sense images.
The old log pond on the right side of the trail
breathed a bouquet whose complexity
defied full description and transported the runner passing.
I think now of those running days, and sadness descends, bittersweet.
All things are subject to the metronome.
Rust and the moth prove the power of entropy.
Yet the spirit: imagination and memory
lifts and reconciles
and yields acceptance for what is gone forever.
-by Bob Dickerson (died Dec 7, age 89. Six Rivers Running Club founding member).
*taken from the North Coast Journal.

Parenting sucks. Oh wait, I mean it is the most amazing thing ever, like feeling the warm gaze of God looking upon you, like opening your heart to a thousand possibilities. Except it is hard and not at all glamorous. If any of my kids are reading this, I shall quote the great Paul Simon: "I sure do love you, let's get that straight."

It is such an old story. You start getting old, then you look at your kids starting to toddle towards the edge of the nest and spread their wings, and you realize that you cannot possibly ever read all the books you should nor learn the piano pieces you could nor run as fast as you would of had you just started taking it a little more seriously say, about, 20 years ago. Their wing spreading spells your demise.

I do believe I am hitting my mid-life crisis. I am not exactly sure what the definition of mid-life is. At my current age, both of my parents faced their first serious health concerns. In fact, I said goodbye to my Dad in the Coronary Care Unit, him all hooked up to machines and me all of 5 or 6 and I swear I can still smell that place. He went on to live, in the usual midwestern, stubborn way, and even survived a heart transplant. But this year marks 13 years of life without Dad, 16 years of life without Mom. Mom's is easy to mark, as it coincides with whatever birthday my eldest is celebrating.

Moroseness aside, I did run 12 miles today. I meant to run 15, but I was post night shift and had this queasy feeling at mile 11 which told me I'd better just wrap this thing up and soon. 12 felt like a respectable long run, at least for someone my age.

I knock heads with my left hamstring on a daily basis. Also with my teenaged son and with my desire for some kind of balance in life, some kind of understanding of what it is all about. The hamstring responds well to massage, but is never satiated. The son responds to love, or so I keep telling myself. The balance is a hopeless quest, windmill tilting at best, and probably a sickness of the west, philosophically. Understanding what it is all about? I am left speechless. But this I know: youth is nice, but I never want to go back. I love my kids. I hope Medicare still exists when I hit 65. And what really matters is the answer to the deeply meaningful question:

Whatchya gonna do now?

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