Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Strange Night

As I was leaving my day job today, I was having a conversation about changes. One of my friends said he has recently done a "purge"; he quit smoking weed, quit eating red meat, and did a couple days of fasting and sweatlodging.

This got me thinking about the things that I would like to change in my life. I thought about how I am addicted to my lifestyle, to drinking, to smoking, to having and spending money. I would like to be able to experience life without getting addicted to it, I would like to be able to have a drink or two without getting trashed. I would like to buy something amazing that is perfect for me, not buy six or seven dresses on the way to finding a decent one.

I would like to spend more time being creative, writing, drawing, sewing, painting, singing, and dancing.

I would like to save money to travel.

Tonight, I stayed up. I have been all over the place, drifting in and out of time. Getting lost in another universe, reading tales of a desert and planning elaborate structures. As the sky started to lighten outside my office window, I began to travel so deep into other people`s thoughts and creations that I actually came back around to my own.

I got up. I picked up my darling grey cat from my lap, where she had been cutting off my circulation for several hours now, and I went outside. Sliding up the creaking stairs, trying not to wake my lover, smoking half a peach cigarillo in the cold morning air. Even at 5 am the wind is gusting around the house. I put up my tent, struggling by myself, checking for missing parts and strange smells before our camping trip this weekend. It takes me all of five minutes. Still wiggly.

So I decide to go for a run. The thought has been sneaking around my head lately, passed back and forth between laziness and a desire for something better. Running has never been my thing, it takes too much mental fortitude, but the few times I have succeeded, its almost a religious experience.

Find fresh batteries, pull shoes out of closet, pull on sweater, leave note in case lover wakes up.. 5:23 I sneak out the front door. The world has a certain stillness, a quiet that I haven`t heard in a long time. There`s no ringing in my ears from the club speakers, which is usually the case when I see the sunrise. The sound of engines slowly starts to increase as the morning shift starts to travel off to work.

My feet pound against the pavement, in time with the music in my ears. My breath comes surprisingly easily, in-two-out-four, in time with my feet. It is my muscles that protest, not used to this endurance, strong and powerful in short bursts but stiffening up quickly.

I run down into the grass, into the gravel, between the trees. The early light filters through. Just after the solstice, the sun is already half-risen at 5;30. The grey light is fading into yellow and green, filtered through the trees. The creek is still, choked with green water plants, nibbled on by a mother duck and nine fuzzy, floating puffball babies. Poplar fluff flies up my nose, rising under my pounding feet in little clouds of dust.

Running up and down gravel hills, pausing at the top of the ravine, I decide to go back through it rather than take the shortcut back along the paved streets. Push yourself. Go ahead.

The last few minutes are hard. I walk more and more on the uphill, lenghtening my strides on the downhill. Half an hour is a long time when you haven`t gone running in god knows how long. I walk up the last hill, peeling off my sweater as the air starts to heat up. The path ends on a grassy shoulder, peeling off the edge of the trees and blending into pavement and houses. I sprint the last 100 metres, coming out of the shadows of aspens and bursting into the sunlight.

Stop. Walk to the nice grass. Stretch my arms high above my head, feel my spine crackling, my quads and hip flexors complaining. Sun salutations, greeting the new day with the itch of grass against my palms and the rising sun blinding my opened eyes.

I`m not a stranger to this feeling, but its so elusive. I want to remember to go looking for it.


  1. beautiful, graceful writing.

    -a fellow gypsy.

  2. I love you and wish I could see you dance :(