I am stronger than a dead fish.

  • Sunday, February 28, 2021
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"You can't erase a dream, you can only wake me up/ My mind is turning slower, never to accept defeat/ it don't matter where I stay, I still got a house to heat"
(Peter Frampton) 

I've been re listening to Peter Framptons beautiful song "Lines on my face" on repeat.
I still own the classic live album and this song is one of my favourites. Frampton brings a lot of nuanced emotion to it both with his guitar, especially the liquid fragility of the intro and his vocals. It is sensitive, deeply felt and beautifully conveyed. It's essentially a heartbreak song of loss and bewilderment, a person shouting up a deep mineshaft of pain their voice futile and echoing off the deaf ears of the hard walls.
Last night I was struck by the words toward the end of the song though. Maybe I'm stating to feel the light and the warmth of my own fledgling return to mental stability but when Frampton sings, "You can't erase a dream, you can only wake me up/ My mind is turning slower, never to accept defeat/ it don't matter where I stay, I still got a house to heat" I sat up a little straighter and had another listen.
I'm always going to tell you what I think so here it is. My interpretation is that our dreams are indelible unless we erase them ourselves but they can be held up or lost in the maelstrom of our lives. I think we need to slow down sometimes and take stock. We have to find our priorities and ourselves again when we get lost and our dreams buried. It is up to us whether we accept defeat or not. And when Peter sings, "It don't matter where I stay, I still got a house I got to heat" he is telling us that life goes on regardless of our position. I think that is a call to movement, it's a choice, we stay in the mineshaft or we start to climb. Either way life is still happening to us. Doctor Martin Luther King said that faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase and he was correct. It takes courage but it has to be done or we remain where we are. Either way we still got a house we have to heat so it makes sense to go on an adventure. We either die in glory or we die in the mineshaft.
Life is always about choice which births change. Everything we do or experience immediately becomes history but history that throws itself forward into the future. Each person we meet, each triumph and tragedy, each scuff mark on our spirit becomes a part of a patchwork that we become. We literally embed these things into our souls and become the entity known as (insert name here). Consciously or not we pass it on, the good and the bad. We are social beings who are endlessly communicating both verbally and non verbally and we project what is inside us to others. I am morally incontinent but I can say in grace that we are responsible for what we project, whether we hurt or heal so therefore we need to be mindful of the choices we make.
We are all dreamers, some of us have just forgotten how.
The indigenous people of Australia have a beautiful belief system that enables them to keep hold of the centre of their lives. They have no word in their language for time and have a deeply held spiritual belief called The Dreaming which at it's core holds the concept of moving from dream to reality. It is an act of creative belief that they hold within themselves always and places great significance on nature and human interaction with it. The Aboriginal Australian belief is that the ancestral spirits created everything during a time known as the Dreaming as well as the relationship between people and nature, and once they had finished they transformed themselves into rocks, stars and water and thus remain which means The dreaming is never ending. Because of this places and nature have enormous significance and are sacred. There is a continuous link between the people and the earth.
I guess running is when I do my dreaming.
Each time I run I take something of the running experience and build it into my life. I take the dream and give it shape and substance and it takes on a spiritual form.. I posted on Instagram recently that I am odd and I feel like a social misfit but that I know I am home when I am running synched with nature. I am alone with myself, I have nobody else's expectations or demands to be subject to. I am rarely constrained by time. I can just be and interact with my surroundings. When I run I allow my mind to roam. The by products are things like resilience, self confidence, clarity and a deep respect for living things. I feel a strong connection between myself and nature.

My goal for the spring and summer months is to carry these things forward and just be. This is my current dream. To be simple. I am exploring the idea of existing, detached from the issues of the world and life as far as possible. As the poet Walt Whitman said " I exist as I am, that is enough" Running wise the last ten months have been hard. I have suffered two debilitating foot injuries but even worse I have found running hard and almost joyless. It has been a colourless grind. I honestly think it has been a reflection of my ghastly mental state. I love the simple runs where I am light and harmonious. The dreaming runs. I want to slow down and love running as I always have, simply for what it is and gives to me. I want to give back to it. I want to keep running the way I always have, not overthinking but floating free and gently engaged with my surroundings and then return to my garden and sit still in the sun. I want to read interesting books and let the ideas they contain ferment in my spirit. Someone once said that when we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago so I am going to take this time to retreat from tiredness toward peace. I shall become my own oasis. Both through running and sitting I am going to rediscover my thoughts and ideas and make my choices and decisions. It is said that only dead fish go with the flow and I am stronger than a dead fish. I am going to dream myself happy.
Whoever you are and wherever you are, take care. Make great choices. Keep it simple. Remember to dream. Talk to good people. I'm out there somewhere, I hope to see you around.

Life is change
We move on
And where you go
I hope the summer goes along
And in the trees
The autumn breeze
The winter's cold
But summer's soul is underneath
(Goo Goo Dolls, Autumn Leaves)

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