Time and miles pass and these shall never pass again.

  • Thursday, June 23, 2022
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Some days you just wake up with hope and expectation, there is a feeling in your heart that is telling you that it is a day of new beginnings and you feel that anything is possible. Running through the graveyard the sun was out and my accusers the crows absent. The path was clear and the headstones silent and lacking reproach. I got a lift with my shamwari* before my run, "do you want windows open or the air conditioner" she asked? It has to be the windows I said, it is more bohemian, more beatnik, I like to feel the wind sliding over my face, teasing the tears from the corners of my eyes and leaving little shiny rivers on my cheeks. She looked at me for a moment and I wondered if she found me odd before nodding once and starting the car. Don't worry I told her, I have a plan and the music has stopped anyway. I am going to roll and run in Umber and Olive, still in the woods and over the common, crushing ankle high grass and meadow flowers, creating a small trail. Foxes, badgers and other animals create these indents in the grass and by doing the same I am joining with the communion of nature. I shall go
 on steps of air and leave behind me the grey ghosts, watching from behind trees and splashing invisibly in the streams, their power fading and the sun rising.
 I have a plan to create my own symphony and invite everyone to dance. 
I shall break the ropes running and keep running. I told her
 about t
he words of the Indian mystic Kabir who said, If you don't break your ropes while you're alive, do you think the ghosts will do it after? I was gone before she could reply.
Sunrise is important either physically or metaphorically. As children the Navajo, people of the 
First Nations are taught to wake up and run. They run to the east, where the holy creator is awake and out at the birth of a new day. I like the idea of the creator being out at dawn, it makes sense that God is there in the beginning. The Navajo run to celebrate life, believing that running gives them the tools to be successful in all endeavours. At dawn the sun pours from the East with a purity and quality that is supernatural. It is molten gold, with streaks of fire and almost humming with electric intensity. It floods every dark corner of the tired space that is my heart, lifting it out of it's poverty and making it a palace where God and the greedy would feel at their ease. This is the rare light that points toward a revolution in heaven where the angels mount barricades wreathed in smoky clouds and hammer down the gates of hell. It is the light where the only response is worship and the reverential realisation that life is a gift that must be enjoyed in stillness and peace. 
I have fallen in love with the idea of Wabi Sabi, the Japanese concept of finding beauty in unexpected places and flawed things. Although it is a life philosophy it fits perfectly into the frame of running, It values simplicity impermanence, incompleteness and transition, the passage of time and it's subtle degradation on people and objects. Richard Powell wrote in his book Wabi Sabi Simple that Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Importantly for me it celebrates the natural world and natural things. It teaches you to look for and appreciate ever changing landscapes, oceans, rivers, sunrises and sunsets.
I run on with my thoughts floating past the Silver trees with their Silver leaves and Silver bark. I hear in the wind the voice of Black Elk, "And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell, and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of things in the spirit, and the shapes of all shapes as they must live together like one being."
As I run I discard my dark soul in its dark hell, with its black birds and the deaf. Time and miles pass and these shall never pass again.   
It is in this passing of time and miles I experience Wabi Sabi. I encounter a man sitting on a fallen tree. His face is brown, too brown to belong to this climate and he is hunched over a guitar. He is wearing a wide brimmed hat and a gunslingers coat, his fingers weaving through the strings creating scattered notes that die on the breeze. As I pass he smiles, his teeth brilliant white in the afternoon sun, his face reshaped by a dozen deep creases. It is benediction from a holy monk. 

*Shona for friend.