still kept needing that Buddhist mantra; "Pain is optional, suffering
is inevitable”. A hot Park Run where my breath seemed to forget that
simple going in and out manoeuvre we’ve been doing okay with all these
years. An eight mile run that stretched my sinews to their limits, but
allowed a huge endorphin hit at the end. I went from outside Tynemouth
Priory to nearly the path down to St Mary's Lighthouse. Significant
because that’s where I got married last year. In two or three Long Runs’
time I’ll be able to jog from home to marriage place and back under my
own steam. Seems a good symbol of something, not sure what. However, I’d
still been thinking about how it’s not good to ignore pain signals from
your own body. Growing up I was rubbish at taking notice of what my
body was telling me and was far too good at dissociating and cutting off
from it. It suddenly clicked, mid-run, that that’s not what the mantra
is asking you to do. It’s saying, be aware of your body, but know that
that isn’t the whole story. Or, be aware of it, but not enslaved to
every nuance; not all pain is a signal to stop immediately. Maybe.
Anyway, the resulting poem says something I need to hear I think.
against the relentless motion
of sea and sky.
Something shifts; up and out,
in and down.
Not you being frightened
into flying like a moth
above your own head,
or banished like a spider
to scuttle beneath your feet,
lonely and relieved
as a devolved nation.
Not the electricity
generated by the pulse of your knees,
your aching shins
the radio waves from your ragged breathing,
the whooshing in your ears.
Not you leaving one arm
in the cardigan of you, but
realising you are
your own wi- fi router,
a self made of signals
and breathing yourself in
like a message in the air.