Pussy Willows, the Marsh, March 2013
My first memory of pussy willows is my childhood best friend's cat, with same name. Pussy Willow was an appropriately colored cat and I think she came after Josie (named after Josie and the Pussy Cats). Any way, I also have early memories of picking pussy willows in the woods near our home and enjoying the softness of their grey blossoms. It was less toxic for me than the cat version, being anaphylactically allergic to cats.
As Wendell Berry notes in his poem, it is best to go to the wild places when your life presents you with wild twists and turns. The meeting wild with wild thing is perhaps not very intuitive, but it works every time. Which is a very impressive success rate for any medication. Take one dose of night heron, and call me in the morning. I learned when running in the marsh the other day, followed by a long walk with a friend in the marsh (with closer attention to detail), that we are known for our night herons. Between the pussy willow and the night herons, it was a great dose of wildness. Not a bad run either. Though I could not get the theme song for "Josie and the Pussycats" out of my head.
Today I ventured out on a route I generally have been avoiding, due to traffic and tragedy. But the sun was out, and I just started out heading that direction and next thing I knew, there I was. I hugged the curb, scowled at speeding cars and listened to David Bowie's new album a little too loudly under headphones. This album is said to confront mortality, love and war so it seemed perfect for the occasion. Mostly though it has a good beat, and the song "Dancing out in Space" has a perfect running cadence. I was sub 7 by the last mile of the 10 that I ran today, and I owe it all to David.
I am feeling oddly hopeful about this year. I mean, everything is more or less in constant chaos, but I have a lovely family and I like doctoring so it could be worse. And I am super excited about these three things:
1) June 16: San Francisco Marathon
2) September: Running and Good Eats camp
3) December: 50 miles on trails
Ignore chaos. Set outrageous goals. Take a daily dose of wild. Keep running. And never forget the 1970's.