The upside of being down is… well, it’s the upside. You start coming back up one step at a time and before you know it you are back on top. I beat back the blues (again) simply by putting one foot in front of the other, over and over again as fast as I can.
I did not get to use my favorite treadmill today. And I brought the water bottle that leaks. I turned on my music and I didn’t hit the playlist I had intended. Instead, quite accidentally, I started a single song. On repeat. Somewhere around the third time the song played I realized that I had it on repeat. Somewhere on number five or six I had run just far enough to realize that I would definitely hit my goal for the year – one thousand miles.
This morning listening to the Cowboy Junkies’ cover of Vic Chesnutt’s “Flirted with You All My Life” I ran. I ran and ran and I cried (yep, on the treadmill like a lunatic) and I realized that I am not ready to quit. (It’s not the first time that Vic Chesnutt made me realize that I am not ready to give up.) Chesnutt’s tune is about death and suicide but to me it has always been an allegory about letting go and moving on. Death is the absence of change, the absence of moving on and transforming. And I am not ready to give up on Change.
I am so desperately afraid of that which is Unknown. But sometimes to accomplish anything at all you have to change. I am even more afraid of Hope. But I am certain that in order to Change you have to Dream, you have to Hope.
When I decided that my bizarrely cathartic weeping and sprinting act really needed to stop I hit next on my phone.
And I had to smile. The Universe was having a time at my expense today. Jeff Buckley’s version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah serenaded me as I crossed my thousand mile marker.
I updated my Facebook status from the gym today (like you do) – “I try not to be a runner that is all “holy shit, y’all, RUN. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.” But if you don’t do something every day that makes you feel like every song you hear is the best. song. ever. and that you are at peace with everything and you totally understand your life – well then, find it. Because it will save you some heartache. Really.”
I can’t seem to find better words than those above. I don’t care what you do. Yoga. Meditate. Paint. Organize your linen closet. Skateboard. Do it. And love it. And listen to music and figure out your whole entire life. I promise you that the Truths that you realize in that hour a day will vanish. It is similar to the way that dreams tend to evaporate in the time it takes you to roll over and say “damn, I just had the most fucked up dream.” But for that hour everything makes sense and music sounds so good and your Life feels like no matter what it will all be okay….
I wanted to tell you what I figured out this afternoon. I wanted to wow you with my simple understanding of Life and Death and Fear and Change and Hope. But it’s gone. Up in smoke. Rather it is up in the grocery store and laundry and math homework and nap time. But I will find it again tomorrow.
I want that for you. I didn’t run one thousand miles today. I ran them over the last 343 days. I have twenty two days to figure out what I will do with the next 365.
If you’re not sure what you are doing with the next year of your life go hide in the bathroom and listen to these two tunes back to back. You still probably won’t know but they are damn good tunes.
Thank you for reading. Thank you to all of you that have reached out over the last few days to say “Hey, I am sorry that you’re blue.” It’s imperative that I write it down when I am hurting. I need to. It makes it start to go away. But sometimes I forget to make the time to write it down when things are on the up and up. I am back on an even keel, guys. xxoo