City Run

Franklin afraid of thunder.
The earth has been thirsty for the past several days and the sky has been generous. I haven't seen the sun break through the thick rainclouds in at least three days now.

This change in climate has been a merciful reprieve from an 80-degree, mostly sunny winter. As I write this blog post, thunder is rolling, lightening is flashing, and an anxious dachsund is curled up next to me in my dark room. My windows are rattling and plaster walls shaking not only from the strong wind, but the roaring thunder. Don't worry, Franklin, God is just bowling right now; judging by the flashes of lightening, He seems to be cosmic bowling.

The weather was so 'nice' today (cool, overcast, and wet), that I decided to go for a late afternoon run--a feat I have not accomplished since I arrived 3 months ago.

When I moved to Hawai'i, I imagined that I would fill my days with routine, sunny beachside runs. I'll tan and get fit at the same time, I thought; I'll rip off my running clothes and leap into the clear ocean in my sweat-soaked bathing suit, I thought. Hah! These have remained unrealized dreams for many reasons: 1) I don't live on the beach, 2) it's too hot to run during regular waking hours, and 3) I've been lazy. In the rare case that I have set out to experience the familiar runner's euphoria, I often felt cheated because of my strange, suburban backdrop. My usual crazed hamster laps around my cookie cutter neighborhood of standardized military housing cause me paranoia--the quiet streets feel volatile rather than calm; neighbors pretend to ignore passerbys while watching curiously. Such runs do little to free my mind.

Today, I inched away from this strangely placed suburban pocket toward town. I ran in the rain on a long, flat, straightaway alongside a highway and underneath the protection of, of all things, a freeway. This was during rush hour (a time when, in Honolulu, driving 5 miles could mean up to an hour in traffic, a.k.a. my daily commute). The hum, buzz, whirr, purr, and occasional roar of traffic sounds proved to be better company than the anxious silence of my neighborhood. I allowed the sounds to fill the crevices of my mind. I let myself forget in what city and in what state I was running. I welcomed the invisibility of being one in hundreds of people, all of whom were distracted with thoughts of work, family, and the task of driving.

During my run, I thought of everything and nothing. Afterwards, I felt compelled to write everything that came to mind. Of course, to do so is difficult when all thoughts while running are lost while running. The needling urge to write remains, but my thoughts need to be re-pieced together.

I'll say this much for now: I'm happy to be inspired again and encouraged in knowing that more inspiration awaits me.



As of late, I've been chugging along track by track
No push or pull, no map at hand
Embers aglow in my firebox, waiting

I'm a wanderer, even lost
Not sure what I'm in search of, no longer searching
Let the tracks take me where they lead.

And then I caught a glimpse; a peek of me -- myself.
The old me, the new me, the future me:
the alive, awake, inspired me

Too vain to say our meeting was like looking in a mirror
Much truer to say I found a soul
whom I've somehow known all along