Running. With Ghosts.

Friday morning weigh-in: 2 pounds up. Disgusting. Shameful.

It’s 5:25 a.m. 58º F. I’m out the door.

Memorial Day weekend.  Squirrel lays in the gutter on Post Road, its claws tucked inward, no defense against Auto.  The mind leaps to the Thursday morning commute, a large doe lies on the shoulder of I-95 S, a fresh kill – no chance against Semi. Shake it off. A few hundred feet further up, road refuse, a MacDonald’s Big Mac carton and an empty plastic soft drink cup. The mind leaps again, this time to Ben‘s comment on an older post – his boys have returned from visiting a turtle hospital in the Florida Keys where they watched the creatures suffer from ingesting plastic drinking straws. They’re quick to anger at the waiter who sets two plastic straws on the table in front of them. Boys. They get it. This world still has a chance.

My pace slows, with the mind leaping from black to blacker blacks, gulping energy, sapping strength. Shoulders and legs are heavy, they sag. I’m winded.  GPS: 1.5 miles out. It’s mental DK. It’s mental. Alter the narrative, Damn it. Alter the narrative.

I round the corner to exit Post Road to Cove Road.

My head is down. I don’t notice low tide. I don’t see 100’s of geese floating in silence. What do you think you will see looking down at the asphalt.

And here it comes. From somewhere.  Chögyam Trungpa’s inclination. “You have an inclination: In the flash of one second, you feel what needs to be done. It is not a product of your education; it is not scientific or logical; you simply pick up on the message. And then you just act: You just do it…that basic human quality of suddenly opening up is the best part of human instinct.”

I don’t look right towards the homes, the driveways, the spray from the automatic sprinkler systems in the front yards.

I don’t look up to the sky.

I don’t look east for the sunrise.

I do look up and left. Something pulls me left.

In the 10 years of running this route, along the Cove River to Holly Pond to the small salt marsh which all opens up to the Long Island Sound, I’ve seen geese, ducks, swans, seagulls and a host of other water fowl. But never anything on 4 legs.  And why would you? 23 hours on most days its covered in waist deep water.

And so, there they were. Where they didn’t belong. The pungent smell of low tide came first, lungs full. Then standing in the muck were two deer, ears pointing up, alert, both staring at me as if to send a wake up call: Listen. Look. Pay attention. The heaviness lifts. It’s Afanasy Fet’s moment: “the heart starts to blossom. Something flutters, is stirred. But no, not a word.”

I run silently, only to the sound of my footfall, and the mind leaps to Elissa Cobb.

Elissa Cobb, after placing a plant in a sunny window with its purple blossoms facing into the room, finds that moments later, those same blossoms had turned outward to face the sun again. “Everyday miracles occur all the time” she says, “we need only to be awake enough to catch them as they happen.” And yet you run amidst such largess, and often see nothing, head down, praying to asphalt.

I run past the beach where Zeke and I took walks when he was a puppy. His large ears flapping. His nose wild with Joy, his World so Infinite. He’s ahead of me by 50 yards, and looks back to ensure Dad is still with him. I’m following behind, looking down at the imprint of his paws in the muck in low tide. Zeke’s gone, his paw prints are still with me. The tides rise and fall.

The Sunrise bursts through the clouds, immensely large, orange, warming.

A seagull’s silhouette is etched against the large orange sphere.

I run by the spot where the deer stood. A few geese hang around. The deer, are ghosts now, footprints filled with the rising tide.

My pace has quickened, the light propels me forward – Hesse explains the phenomenon:

“You fly, a bird in the air; you swim, a fish in the sea; you absorb light, and you are light; you taste darkness and are darkness. We wander, soul, we swim and fly, and smile and tie the torn threads and with ghostly fingers and blissfully drown out the destroyed pinions. We no longer seek God. We are God. We are the World.”

You fly.

A Bird in the air.

You absorb light, and you are light; you taste darkness and are darkness.

Nap time.


Notes:

 

 

Comments

  1. You get back what you put out. Fantastic post, pal. Wishing you a great, light-filled weekend….

    Liked by 4 people

  2. You are incredible, no, incredibly fantastic – you should get a prize for this – you… you… you… made my heart galopp… my soul sing…. you made me sad, despondent and then lifted me up – tout est dans la tête (it’s all in the mind) as HH says! I thought of him, my Hero Husband, who is the most unsportive person I know and since he’s very tall, always walks through life with a bent head (he says he’s humble but I doubt that! ;)….) – I am a small ball and up to some years ago always had my head in the clouds, I saw every tiniest little thing, a bird, butterfly, flower, a movement, a leaf – right until I always fell and damaged my poor body so badly that now, with terrible eye sight, I MUST look downwards so that I don’t get more broken by the obstacles on my way… You describe life’s situations so well, and you cite all known and unknown writers in such a sure and competent way, I can’t believe it! AND those matching photos you always find. Can you REALLY also have a family, kids, a job, and (hopefully soon another pet)? Has your day more than 24 hours? Are you working/writing/searching in parallel worlds? Ah, my eternal questioning of everything….
    Have a beautiful, blessed and satisfactory/happy day.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. “Everyday miracles occur all the time” she says, “we need only to be awake enough to catch them as they happen.” – that’s it!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. And this morning my friend, you were my miracle. You were my message. And for that I ha e no words that suffice, except to thank you. Message received.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Ying and Yang, Dark and Light. We get to chose.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll just let Kiki do my talking.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yes, following the leader today, Kiki 🙂
    And guess what, I almost, almost skipped my walk to the lake this morning. I even went back to bed. But no, coffee and out the door. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What they said. Thank you for this, David.
    Happy long weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for taking us with you, David! So, you weren’t alone, even when praying to asphalt (LOL!). Like the purple blossoms, we are impelled toward the light…..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You know these are my favourite posts of yours. I love how you are awakened, and in your generous spirit, awaken us.
    Have a most wonderful and RELAXING long week-end, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Feeling a little bit of darkness this morning….and then I read this. You are an incredible writer of words that come at just the right time. Have a wonderfully restful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. David, I love these posts because I feel like I’m right there with you (even though I do not run ever). Great post! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m impressed by your tenacity with the running commitment..

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful post and writing Dave and reminders of the light filled captures around us. We have to practice seeing them, feeling them, we have to practice remembering we are them. ☀️☀️☀️

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wonderful writing, David, but please don’t stop looking for God. We can’t be God, as your quote puts it, without first finding and accepting our creator and His love. And we can only become God in the sense that we can become His adopted sons and daughters, and one day may partake of the beatific vision.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “smile and tie the torn threads…” Yes.

    We (you, me, us) believe we dwell on the dark, and are almost always startled when we find evidence to the contrary. The Dark is a dream we’ve learned to wake up from, or stand back while in it to see that it is the Dark.

    There is another part of us that Remembers the Light, recalls the feel and sound of it, reaches for it now without conscious effort.

    Even as we label ourselves in unkind terms, another part of us feels the lie of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sandy, I’ve read your comment 5x. Each time, thinking, this woman is kin. She gets me. She is me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sandy; I hear a wise woman speaking. You must have had your fair share of life’s darkness. BUT although we all (I think) have, in one way or another, spent too much time in the darkness, please don’t ever forget that the light is stronger, ‘lighter’, and after every night there is a new morning. And, as you so beautifully state: …Remembers the Light, recalls the feel and sound of it, reaches for it now without conscious effort, the great thing is that we DO KNOW – even in the darkest night – that all will be (slightly) better in the morning.
      Sending you love and a cheerful smile
      PS: Knowing all this still doesn’t (ever) make me running!!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Every once in awhile, David, you really fulfill your potential as a Writer. Capital W. This post is definitely one of those times. Not that all your offerings are not well thought out; not that anything you post here is small in any way. It’s just … this post shines. Is illuminated from within, like those flowers turned toward the sun. And if we should spy them from a certain angle, we note the light emanating from the petals. This.

    Reflecting as you have in this post comes to you more readily and deeply than before, at least to my mind, having swept eyes over your words these past few years. This: “… yet you run amidst such largess, and often see nothing, head down, praying to asphalt.” Isn’t this the truth. We live on The island where Ironmen athletes train. Constantly. Relentlessly. And there it is, the sparkling ocean, volcanic cliffs sweeping up to crystalline skies. There are days that take our breath away, and we’ve lived here 13 years. Just sucks the wonder out of us. And here they are, traveling from distant shores, longing to train in Hawaii, and what do they do? Look down. Praying to asphalt. Gosh. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Always wonderful to run with you. The creatures, the foot prints and the light. So much light. I hope your long weekend has been great.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a a great touches/writing… fascinated me, dear David, and also Hesse, my favorite, beautiful post. Thank you, have a nice day, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

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