Running. With Other’s Service.


5:09 a.m.

Long sleeved shirt. Lined sweatpants. Tuk.  Tuuuuuuuk. Gloves.

I synch up the straps on my Waist Pack, then inhale, and give it one more pull for extra measure. I exhale, and the straps dig into my belly. (Another reason why you need to run. And note the use ofWaist Pack’.  Men don’t run with Fanny Packs. And yet for some reason my lips form Fannnnnnnny. Not sure where this is going.)

I’m out the door.

41° F. Feels like 34° F. Brisk. Light Northern wind bites.

0.1 miles.  Garbage truck. Spot lights illuminate the back of the truck. Back breaking work. Rest of us sleeping. Drinking coffee. Reading the morning Paper. Meditating. Out for a run. And he’s taking out our trash.

0.6 miles. U.S. #1, aka Post Road. Three signs spaced about 50 feet apart. Food Drive. Darien, CT and people are hungry.  And like a spreading ink blot from a fountain pen, this morning’s run, in early light, turns dark, with a  replay of yesterday’s headlines.  “Covid-19 could detonate a ‘hunger pandemic.’ With millions at Risk.” “Food Banks Are Overrun, as Coronavirus Surges Demand…‘Never Seen Anything Like It’: Cars Line Up for Miles at Food Banks.” And, Kids Are Going Hungry Because of the Coronavirus. Children hungry.

1.4 miles. Cove Island Park road.  Late model Camry approaches.  Nurse. Blue scrubs. Mask dangling around her neck. Fighting a World War, these ladies, and men. Throwing themselves directly in line of fire. All day long.

2.3 miles.  In the 3rd time we’ve intersected this week, the City Bus.  Bus Driver is wearing a black face mask. His eyes connect with mine. Not a soul on the bus. But he drives. The destination indicator flashes “Cove Island Park” and then turns over and says: “In Service.” Damn right he’s in Service.

2.4 miles. Mind just can’t shake trouble. I veer off the highway onto the shoulder and glance down below the break wall.  There she is. A Mallard.  Paddling quietly in still waters. I stop, pause, and pull my camera out to take the shot. The morning sun and its reflection on her wake.   Watching her slowly make her way forward, I feel myself soften, relax, and follow my breath along with Mirabai Starr:

Breathe quietly inside the wreckage. No need fo fancy formulas or prescribed affirmations. No goal. Just be. Right here. Inside the fire of grief. One breath in front of the other.


  • Pictures. Mine.Someday, I’ll get this Focus thing right.
  • Inspired by: “We began to discover that the unbearable became bearable, that by whispering “yes” instead of screaming no, an ineffable grace began to fill the space of our shattered hearts. Try it. If you’ve tried it before, try it again. Find the smoldering ache of loss inside of you and soften into it. Allow yourself to gently and lovingly explore exactly what it feels like to hurt in this way. With compassion for yourself, disarm your wounded heart and breathe quietly inside the wreckage. No need fo fancy formulas or prescribed affirmations. No goal. Just be. Right here. Inside the fire of grief. One breath in front of the other.” ~Mirabai Starr, Softening into the Pain (January 12, 2011) (Thank you Make Believe Boutique)


  1. it is so sad to see those food lines…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I fear the fault lines from this pandemic will run long and deep and continue to reveal themselves bit by bit over the coming months. In ways big and small, I think we’re all going to proceed ‘one breath in front of the other.’

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you, Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of your best posts. And one of the saddest ones too….. We are continuously getting heartbroken and even admitting the pain and impossibility to be of direct help only turns the knife in the wound another quarter of a tour….. I watch the info on Jose of the World Kitchen and others and can hardly believe what I see. But experienced the same in France. School children who, when the teachers were on strike, had NO meal to eat. Same thing in many English schools too. What does that say about a society?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’ll tell you one thing, David. This situation has blessed us with more of your writing, your thoughts, your journey.
    The food shortages are the biggest mind blow.
    And yes. Hats off to the bus drivers. They drive in front of my house, mostly empty.
    And a final yes. Breathe, one breath after another.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A beautiful, poignant photo, though I believe it’s a he-mallard, and he has a waist-pack, too. 🙂 Well.. this country has been headed in the wrong direction for a long time. My last work at the soup kitchen was years ago, but even then there were elderly folks and young children.. here? Why are there soup kitchens in America? Why are there high-chairs in the soup kitchens? Now, food-insecurity is an even worse threat, and there’s little anyone can do — except to grow/raise food for self and others (instead of for profit). And to remain unarmed, despite the loose cannons.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Each Breath Is A Gift says:

    Dale says “I’ll tell you one thing, David. This situation has blessed us with more of your writing, your thoughts, your journey.” I agree with her… ///
    I can’t even believe that they’re are people who attack online, the Doctors and Health care workers who with their individual integrity & skill in service to their fellow man risk their lives and put their families in danger by giving of themselves… these other people in their Wake, who attack are Mean, Misinformed, Foolish and Hurtful…I am So Saddened when I learn of yet another Doctor around the World has Taken Their Life, due to the Overwhelming Situations they are dealing with (Doctors have a high rate of Suicide before the Pandemic and Now It is Worse) I cry as I write… I personally knew a Joyful Young Surgeon in training who took his life (previous to the pandemic) I grieve for myself and his Mom who has lost a second son previously and another Young Doctor (who has recovered, thankfully from C-19) his mother told me that with distress in her big beautiful eyes what he told her (this was back in early to mid March the last time I was at the grocery store & we so wanted to hug each other, this is paraphrasing “Mom, If this is a taste of what were facing, We Are in Trouble” he works a University Medical School Hospital …These is Time for People to Join Together in Perseverance For the Betterment of All People… Not a Time to Spread Discord, …there is No Boundary for all the Evil(s) in this world, No Boundaries for the Mutating Virus…and Thankfully, No Boundaries For Goodness and Love – Which Will Conquer All the Evil…/// I continue to Pray, Yield, Am Thankful For the Blessing and Rejoice when a Person either at home(recovers) or in the hospital improves until they can go home…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lovely shot, once again. Focus can be tuned easy enough in most edit programs. More important is the right light, which is hard to fake, and the subject matter, ditto.

    Funny you think of your morning rituals and the guy taking out the garbage. It always occurs to me, as my eyes are opening and I am hearing distant sounds of (light) traffic, that these people have been up since before dark (a thing I did for years, years ago, supporting my girls, hated it), eating when the body wants to do anything but (TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine, says the organs are still cleansing), sloshing down coffee or some other stimulant, and getting in cars to go to work at the resorts (where most people in our end of the road community work).

    It’s not the COVID that causes me to think this way, I have Always considered working people. The restroom attendants in Athens, handing me a linen towel after I exited the marble bathroom stall, shitting in a hole in the ground in 1974 (you didn’t see it, but first I typed ‘1074’ – might as well have been). But the bathroom was immaculately clean. And the attendant had dignity, at least. And although I have worked as a professional in suit and heels, my head was with the waiters in the Caribbean, the black people living in shanty towns just outside the perimeters of the resort with their own people strapped with bandoliers and rifles, patrolling pristine beaches, keeping their own residents OUT. Shameful shame.

    Good post, nice you are still getting out, despite your struggle with motivation, or so I have interpreted over the past few months. Keep that phone camera primed! ❤ Meanwhile, I'm headed out on my bike, 78 degrees, feels like 78 degrees. Looking forward to the chill before the sweat in our 'future home.' Aloha.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. So beautiful, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Christie says:

    PS those cell phones sure have great clarity! When you went for a run late afternoon or early evening recently,12 did you happen across the Goose Family? Cool and rain today…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. yes, and it’s all you can do, let the demons that swirl around you at every turn and focus on the good right before you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. And you think my questionable ability to write what’s in my head is something? You are the sensai, I’m the puny grasshopper.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. May we all remember to sit by the still waters, pause, feel and listen. This is where we heal. Beautiful post. 🌈🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

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