Friday, March 2, 2012

I went out running

I went out running yesterday, when the world was full of spring air, wind, blue sky and sunlight.  Some of the neighborhoods smelled like Easter with their cultivated gardens and blooming pansies.  I went out running and it felt incredible to be alive.  Feeling free and happy, I ran all the way into town. Forest Gump's voice was actually in my head, saying "I just kept on going."  I smiled as I ran, with a secret inside.  What a surprise to discover that this was easy!  By the time I returned home, I had traveled seven miles and despite feeling a slight discomfort in my feet from wearing old shoes, I wasn't tired.  That hasn't happened before.

Perhaps it was because I've been training at the gym on a consistent level, increasing my speed gradually. Maybe it was the weather and the fact that since Richard was home sick, I had hours of free time.  Whatever the cause, I felt a sense of great joy building up again, where the lows couldn't reach.  The bird had flown away.

As I was running, I thought a little more about what it would mean to devote one's life to writing.  This thought arose after seeing some really amazing fine art painted by Tom's son, who has lived his entire adult life as an artist in the mountains of North Carolina.  I wondered what would it mean to avoid all the tempting ways to make regular, steady money.  To give up comfort and security to create something over the course of years, never knowing if it would sell or be accepted.  The courage in that leap of faith is mind boggling.

So as I was running along, I was thinking about myself as a writer.  I used to hear this said on the subject:  "writer's write".  And that used to stick on the roof of my mouth like a wad of cheap white bread from a peanut butter sandwich; I longed to flick it out.  Writers write.  How obvious. 

Yet there's truth in the idea of accomplishing something with regular practice, like running on the treadmill.  One day, I might find that I've written an entire chapter and found myself in the midst of a town, with bustling traffic, fast food restaurants and medical buildings. What if I wrote things on paper in the same regular practice as I run?

I was thinking about writing as I ran.  I ran past an earth worm and knew I could write about that worm and my childhood.  I saw dandylions and knew that they would be in the writing too.  Then I passed an empty pack of Marlboro's and said, "yup, there's loads to write during those years."

Then  I came home and instead of writing those things, poured a cold glass of ice water and went out to the deck, feeling the warming sun and breeze.   Perhaps in the end it won't matter much if I ever write about weeds, worms and cigarettes.

But I think I might be leaning towards the idea.

8 comments:

  1. My momma always said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

    I think you are an excellent writer, Jenny. It takes all kinds of people to make a world and I made a commitment to love them all; but it's gratifying to come across a person like you who is so much like me. There's no struggle for me to relate to what's going on in your mind. There's no need to work at it. The recognition is immediate and it invites me to read on and on.

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  2. You have no idea how much I needed to read this today. You are so inspiring.

    First of all, congrats on a great run! It's such a mind freeing thing when you busy the body with such rhythm, as in running.

    Second, if anyone I know can support themselves with their writing, it's you. Keep that dream on the forefront, my front. It's much more real than you think.

    And finally, when I'm trying to decide if I want to continue to make the effort to write everyday (and not just grant proposals) your post gave me the perfect sense I need to sort that out. Thank you!

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  3. Wow! You've certainly written well today! This is an amazing piece, so fresh, vibrant and vivid. Full of life and energy. As long as you write your blog every day, you're a writer, writing! You have enough material on these pages to publish a book. Random musings on everything by Jenny! Why not think about it?

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  4. I should have said, "Keep that dream on the forefront, my friend!"

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  5. I admire those that can write - I'm sure you can do it, you write so well.
    I am better in "speaking" with my pictures and paintings :)
    Have a lovely weekend!

    Eva

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  6. The only running I do is in my head or in my dreams............lol not the point I know but thought I would share that tid bit with you, this was really well written and I enjoyed it.......

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  7. Well, writers DO write, and they manage to make whatever they write about well worth reading. Keep leaning in that direction!

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  8. I enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing from your heart!

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