This morning there was nothing to do about anything, so “I had to walk around the block like a little kid./ But kids don’t know,/ they can only guess.” John Prine said all that. Works for me; here, look at this image I made. I said that.
“They don’t know,/ they can only guess” is how most mornings feel these rainy spring days. I’ve been sleeping badly for weeks, beset, it seems, by a rolling dream journey in black and white and sometimes 3-D, a sweat inducing, dry mouth generating experience, which is emotionally and spiritually uncomfortable. I get up glad to be done with all the drama. Then I do the usual personal need things, make coffee and wonder I why I am not out “there,” running in the predawn, or more precisely, why I am not running at all. Running before daylight used to be my thing, my way of leaving the night demons behind, and welcoming myself to the day. “Used to be”: there’s the key.
My “used-to-be’s” need to be left behind and gone. They serve no purpose here. Melancholy, “used-to-be’s” close associate, will not get me out the door. Nor will depression, another old friend, parading about as sadness or anger. Nor, it turns out, will “Just do it, goddam it.” Getting up and being grateful for the orange streaks in the eastern sky, for the familiar morning quiet of my long lived-in house, is a better way to go, despite the lousy nights and the bad dreams, the aches and discomforts of aging. It means I am still here and able to get after “doin’ some bidness.”
If you are like me, all this happens in an instant, so instead of sitting about and mourning the loss of a quick ten-miler that never really happened, I do some pushups and go to a meeting, do my best to listen and sit still; when that fails to to get my engines running, I come home, lace up and walk around the block like a little kid, kicking the random stone and beginning to let the day happen. I’m not training for the Olympic Trials, I realize yet again. I am just doing what I can do with what I have to keep on keeping on. What choice do I really have?
Photo by Michael Lebowitz. All rights reserved.