Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Pace of a Long Distance Runner

I just read Ed Ayre's piece in Grist, What Runner's Teach Us About Sustainability, and I have to agree with him about the need for us to take a long distance runner's pace. 

Just yesterday I ran my first 10 K race--which is not long in the way Ed Ayres decribes, but still long and challenging for me (the quite hilly Cow Harbor Race in Northport, NY).  I found myself going slowly, not pushing things, and pacing myself.  I ended up with pretty good time in the end, but that wasn't the point.  There was quiet and a sense of community with my fellow runners and the folks in the town at large.  People came out with water for us; they cheered us on with songs and signs and hand slaps.  

For the rest of the day, my internal pace changed. I felt peaceful, moved slowly, "accomplished" and consumed less.  The day ended with a hike in a local park, where I looked at clouds and watched egret and Canada Geese fly in the sky. 

If as a culture we could slow down to the long distance runner's pace, that would be a good thing for the planet, and for us. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Birthday Poem

three o:clock
huge belly bursting
(dad parked the car while)
I pressed on my BIGNESS

I walked alone into a room of green
to a man afraid afraid of my BIGNESS
he said 'lay on your side'
& stuck a needle in my spine

I was not afraid but did not
see how you were to come out
any other way than 
with a knife

they strapped my arms
like Jesus
sliced open the skin
above my pubic bone
pushed & lifted you out
shot me full of pitocin to
stop my death
so much noise and business
blood flowed in liters
for a such a BIG birth

(dad said his prayer things
from the doorway)

they held you to
my face for  
a kiss I knew:

you were everything GOOD

(and would be very bald for a long time)

Now, taller than I
you still curl against me

Another birthday day
Another year
Another year of remembrance
Of the many deaths and the day
that began mine