On the Path…
I can’t sleep with the air conditioning on anymore.
I could when I was in the Austin. The searing, 105 degree temperatures, the running, the house fixing, and the yard work made it impossible to live without air conditioning.
I am back in Indiana now where the heat, while intense, pales after The Summer of Run and the Great House Rehabilitation Project of 2011.
I leave my windows open, and I turn off the air when I am alone. Which is most of the time.
I have decided to block out Tuesday and Thursday evenings to write my own words.
I am not myself when I don’t write, and I haven’t written in the last few weeks. Words seem cheap and easy to people. Show them a book you have written and they shrug. They do not understand what goes in there.
Writers, though, understand. That’s what makes them so easy to pick out in a crowd.
When I don’t write those words, I feel empty and un-whole. I bore myself in those phases, unworthy of even my own interest. After peeling back my layers, you’ll find there is nothing else there.
In my life, I have experienced the void. I have faced down oblivion and limped back to tell the tale. Nobody really survives that encounter although from the outside it may be hard to tell. To stare into the end is a humbling experience, one the helps you recalibrate the mechanism.
“It’s hard,” she said.
“It’s really not,” I replied. “It’s what you make it.”
“You’re right,” she said.
“Today I wish I wasn’t,” I replied.
Then we parted. Her on her path, me on mine.
“Don’t get lost,” I told her, but I knew it was already too late.
I know how this story ends. I always know how the story ends.
I will never stop reading the story.
Four years ago the doctors told me they didn’t know what was wrong with my heart. Three years ago, I told a group of strangers who meet daily I didn’t know what was wrong with my soul.
This summer I ran up mountains to test both of them.
I long for the early morning runs up technical trails, the pain scorching my legs, and the devil’s heat blasting down on me. I miss the afternoon’s wandering strange places, alone while surrounded. I miss the nights, the early nights, when sleep was earned at the hands of Earth.
I felt my heart on those runs; I felt my soul in those nights.
Now I can’t sleep with the air conditioning.