January will mark the two-year anniversary of my running of the Dopey Challenge in DisneyWorld, and thus the two year anniversary of my second –and latest– marathon effort. I’ve made the excuse over those last two years that the marathon and I didn’t get along. It was not really my race. Forty-two kilometers in one go is a slog that is reserved for the strong and the fit and the mentally resolved: and despite the mask I wear, I so often fall short in a few of those categories. But it’s been two years, and there have been ideas and new goals blossoming in the still and chill air of my its-nearly-winter brain. And I spent some time late yesterday plotting out a fleshed out a ten month training plan –still hypothetical– that would ideally bring me into late August with the strength, fitness, and mental resolve to run another marathon. For whatever it is worth, for better or worse, it is like standing on the edge of a precipice and looking down into a deep, dark hole of many months of effort and pondering the leap. For the moment, contemplating it is enough, but I am currently feeling deluded enough to think it entirely possible that I might just that.
Another wacky installment of Head over Feets: Tall tales of tops, toes other training tautologies. Alternating Fridays.
To my great shock and surprise, it turned out that the dualists were right. Partially right. Or, at the very least they were on the right path, aimed in the general direction of being correct and running there at respectable and steady pace. After all, I’d personally accepted something of solipsistic approach to the universe: in assuming that reality wasn’t really provable beyond the confines of my own head, I thought that I could get on with my day and not worry about what I couldn’t perceive. It was metaphysically confusing, sure, and not much of topic for a family barbecue over beers, but important to think about occasionally.
I think. A guy’s gotta have a philosophy, right?
Yet there was my brain shouting obscenities at my feet… and my feet were shouting back.
Dualism be damned. This was a full-on personality disorder of a different order. It was a good thing that the disturbances only manifested while I was out running.
Truthfully, it was herein that I questioned my own sanity.
For the first week I ignored the voices. All of them. Nog, as I discovered to be the moniker of some independent faction of my brain, was usually contented and silenced by the distraction of Green Day tunes pumping through the headphones, and could easily find it in himself to overlook the pattering barrage of complaints being lobbed upwards from my feet. But not always. As it was, Links, my left foot, was not an intellectual champion by any measure and his contribution to the occasional bickering was easily brushed off, the same way one might scuff out an annoying little pebble from where it got wedged in the tread of a shoe. But Plod was a different matter entirely. He was more of an over-tightened lace, and just the type of disruption that if left ignored could leave one limping and numb. For the first week I resisted interfering in their debates and disputes, and I ignored it all.
Truthfully, it was herein that I questioned my own sanity, pondering the effects of hearing one’s own feet flabbergasted, fatigued and frustrated by the philosophies of a procrastinating and heedless head. But, I digress.
Then, in the second week I made the mistake of acknowledging the outbursts.
Really, it was more of an offhand scolding: the same type of peace brokering a dad-type-guy might lend to, say, a playground situation wherein while it wasn’t his kids throwing sand at each other, someone else’s kids were. Bullies were observed to be picking on other kids, and also where the possibility for innocent bystander involvement motivates the aforementioned father-figure to partake in the barking of few pointed syllables of control from the parents gallery. A “hey, kids!” lobbed merely as a warning shot. It was that sort of acknowledgement but between my head and my feet, and then I panicked and hot-potatoed that situation to a higher authority, letting the implications hang in the air as I ran on down the trail.
I prefer to think of it more akin to a regrouping.
Oddly enough, I think my acknowledgement of the bickering surprised them just as much as it had surprised me to hear it. All three of them retreated.
Thus, the third week was pleasant again and running and mostly quiet, too. But just mostly. Their retreat wasn’t complete and in retrospect I prefer to think of it more akin to a regrouping. Links and Plod would whisper at each other on our walk-breaks, and Nog seemed to be brooding and barely containing his own onslaught of verbal abuse, huffs and grumbles escaping as discontented jumbles of incomprehensible syllables with growing frequency.
By the end of the fourth week I was almost certain the uneasy peace was at an end, but it wasn’t until I’d stepped off the familiar asphalt and descended into a well-tread (though unofficial) trail alongside the local creek that the dam burst –in of all ironic places– as I was contemplating the possibility of tip-toeing across a makeshift log dam-come-bridge provided and maintained courtesy a busy neighbourhood beaver.
I’d stopped my watch, pulled out my phone to snap a photo of the trail for the obvious electronic bragging rights involved with the challenge, and then there I paused for a long, contemplative moment. I was standing with my left toe mere inches from the edge of the gurgling chaos of the narrow stream, flowing along in bubbling contemplation of its winding journey. The soft gusts of morning wind rustled the newly budding trees and a flock of small birds alighted from where they’d gathered near the gnarled, bare arms of a ready-to-topple birch. My nature-trailed detour had led to what was essentially a dead-end, dependent on my willingness to wet my toes on water splashing over the dam of course, but for that brief moment alone it had been worth every uneven step. I paused to consider my next one.
But the sigh had not come from me. It had come from the direction of my feet.
“Those shoes aren’t waterproof, you know that right?”
And then Plod, my right foot, broke the uneasy peace treaty and snarled. “Those shoes aren’t waterproof, you know that right?”
“Afraid of getting wet now are we?” Nog snarled, and scoffed a deriding kind of laugh that I’d heard many times previous. “I’d soak you both if it were up to me. I can smell you all the way up here.”
“Shut up, head.” Links retorted. “Just shut up.”
“Good one.” Nog replied. “Soak him first.”
I said nothing but instead stepped cautiously back from the stream. A few minutes later I was sprinting back home.
…to be continued.
a mash-up of philosophy & fatherhood
As far as life-time experience goes, mine is pretty short. But I’ve carried the “dad” card for nearly eight years now (particularly if you count those tenuous first nine months) and occasionally I feel as though I have something to say on the subject.
Actually, who am I kidding? I’ve been avidly blogging on the topic of fatherhood since I found out that metaphorical oven timer was running, filling the web with various and literal bits of insight and idle curiosity. I’ve ranted and retorted, shared stories and proffered advice, plotted, prided, pouted and philosophized on the very concepts of being a father that made me puzzled or kept me awake at night. And not a word of it was worth much of anything.
Apparently a few characters per second faster than my brain works.
It’s been six years since I last upgraded my SLR. That’s right. I bought my Canon 40D in the summer of 2008. A couple years ago I was contemplating an upgrade (an upgrade that never happened) and I was pondering the idea of moving up a category to the Canon 6D, a choice that surprisingly I think I’d still make today if I were standing at the counter of a camera shop with a mitt-full of cash: Full frame sensor, a wider ISO range with much improved noise reduction, a faster FPS rate, HD-video and some other nifty gimmicky add-ons like Wi-Fi upload and control and GPS-based geo-tagging. It’s been lurking on my mind because we’ve got a pretty awesome trip planned for sometime this summer –exact details withheld– and I’ve got about just the right amount of time to learn a new camera and put it through the paces before I take it on an epic vacation where I would be depending on it day-to-day. Are there any other options (preferably in the Canon family) I should be pondering?
“I actually like running alone.” She told us.
We’d just stepped out onto the wide asphalt trail that skirted along the avenue that transects our neighbourhood. It is an oft-noisy, exhaust-drenched route that forms the south ridge of our ringing-standard, and the loop that represents the frequently-reviled, fall-back route for nothing good but feeling as though you’ve actually accomplished something on an evening run sans-planning. The trail was dusty and speckled with the gritty winter remains of a municipal sanding effort in the embodiment of a gruel of thin and scattered pea-gravel.
There were six of us. “What are you saying?” I joked. “You don’t like running with us?”
She’d recently increased her solo distances, by necessity if not design. Training for a marathon leaves you yearning to cover lengths of time and space that at former points in your life would have seemed reserved for driving, or at the very least a sturdy bike ride.
A look. “That’s not what I said.” She corrected. “I mean, I don’t really mind running alone.”
Distances of that required for marathon training are rarely casual. Planning is required, and the chance that someone, anyone, will casually agree to follow you on a run, at your pace, decreases at a rate that is logarithmically declined against hope with each additional kilometer. She had reached edge of the Valley of Solo-ness many kilometers long past, and was now exploring its darker, lonelier corners.
I had toured there myself once before. It is a foreboding place full of doubt and unnerving voices.
“I mean, running alone is good sometimes. I put on my music and just… go.” She continued.
It is. I know that. I just don’t know why.
Pondering This Thing Called Running
As this long dark winter lifts her icy grip, I find that I have had (perhaps too much) time to reflect on this sport of mine. In the last year I have run two marathons, travelled across the continent twice –once for real to run an epic race, and once as a metaphor to make real my training– and spread myself thinly upon a multitude of sun-soaked, icy-slaked, muddy, mountain, tree-rooted paths, all in an effort to… I don’t know what.
Just run? Is that all? It can’t be. I don’t think it can be the whole answer.
I am pondering this thing that I do, and some that –perhaps soon, perhaps never– may emerge as words on these pages.
In many ways “being happy” is an illusion. You may have noticed that I’ve been following along with that yet-another-internet-meme called #100happydays wherein you tweet or write or update your status with 100 things that make you feel happy over 100 days. Though some might be inclined to superficially argue the point, usually I’m not one to jump on the internet meme bandwagon. Well, I’ll concede that I do… occasionally… but when I do it’s with purpose. See, I’ve had a couple good years. Happy years. And then it’s been punctuated by a couple rotten months. Or… then… well, at some point in your life you realize that happiness is not an event or a goal or an achievement that you obtain. It is not an object. It is not contained in something. It is not granted, given, bought, won, or found. Happiness by those definitions is an illusion, and like any illusion something that might tease you from a distance, but something that will be impossible to acquire by chasing it. Instead, I think this #100happydays has a deeper point: happiness, whatever happiness is, can only be measured as a state of mind. You have happiness in retrospect, by pausing for a moment out of your hour, day, or year to say: “Yeah…. that was good.” And that’s all there is. So, why not embrace it?
Occasionally I get goofy ideas for content on this blog. Well, more frequently than “occasionally” if I’m being perfectly honest, but that’s a topic for a different post.
One thing I keep coming back to again and again –and something I’ll likely never actually pursue with anything other than a tongue-in-cheek goofiness– is the idea of food and drink reviews.
Specifically, there is something curious to me about writing a series of posts that review various coffees (or, other ideas include beers or sandwiches, but again… off topic.) I mean, what better excuse to stick my nose into a new cafe (locally or while traveling) than saying “hey… gotta write a review, don’t I?”
This is even more appropriate lately as I’ve (with about 90% success) weaned myself off adding sugar to my brew, a habit I got into early on and after dabbling in the various variations of “how do you take it?” settled on “one lump.” I’ve been fairly consistent that way for going on a decade now. Until recently… I’ve gone black. Unaltered. Pure. Clean and simple. So… yeah, reviewing a good coffee would make even more sense now, wouldn’t it? I mean, I’d be tasting the actual product wouldn’t I, not something I doctored with sweetness.
Or maybe I’m just blathering about another goofy idea.
The trick is that I’d need a consistent hook: something I could taste for, look for, experience, and enjoy that would be my signature review style. And I’m still not settled on what that might be. Any ideas?
So, the results are official as of today, and as if there was any doubt since between now and the election, but we’ve got ourselves a new mayor. Full disclosure: I voted for him. You think? My demo. My age. My political slant. And despite my trend of too often seeming to side with the losing side on this democracy thing, my guy got in this time.
I don’t want to get political here. Anyone’s first official day on the job should be warm and fuzzy, politicians no exception. Either way you bend, I don’t want to get political here now, not am I planning to in the future.
But a funny thing happened in the way to the future this week. See, a while bunch of Alberta cities, including this one, voted themselves some late-Gen-X / early-Gen-Y leadership. If I counted right, three mayors under 40 and a couple more with only a couple years lead on that marker.
I’m less than a month from 37. These are my folks. This is my generation. And that concept has most definitely NOT been lost on me. And the psychology of it intrigues me, too.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a case of judgementally asking myself what have I done, comparing to a group of over-achievers, folks who have worked hard and sacrificed to make it to the political big leagues… or at least the minors.
Instead, it’s more like a case of what does this mean for reconciling the oft-felt notion that I’m still young and learning how to be an authentic and valuable contributor, with the reality that our generation is now –technically– in charge? While still staying modest, of course.
It is, an my title suggests, something of a generation slap, a kick in the face to wake up and figure out how to more fully participate. It’s something, of course, we should all feel a lot more often, but it just caught me extra special today.
I’m an Edmonton blogger, and proud of that. I was born here. I returned here. I live here. I work here. I work for here. And I often post stories that allude to the many reasons why this City is awesome. And that’s all I did. But then an election happened: A new mayor –and a mayor from my own generation– was elected, and I decided that I wanted to step it up just a little more. And like I try to do each day when I go to work, so I want to carry over to my personal life a little more and help to build a great city in whatever little way I can contribute. Thus –as of last night– a new blog category, a new sub-topic for this site, and (of course) a brand new tight-rope act of writing about things that won’t willfully overlap with my job yet still allow me to do some talking-up-and-about the cool things going on in Edmonton, the great things people are doing here, and the sure-to-be-awesomeness —*wink wink*— of my own personal and family efforts on that same front. Stay tuned and as always, share and enjoy…
In 8 Pics: A blog-type series dedicated to narrating the odd collections of photos I gather as I roll through the adventures of my life. Click to enlarge. Or visit the full gallery and respective album for more.
I haven’t written much here lately and this is a little odd. Not because I don’t take the occasional break from the pitter-patter of little fingers on my keyboard, but traditionally –in my multiple years of writing– August and September have both been months when I’ve done a lot of blogging.
But August was thin, and a third of the way into this month, it’s looking even more sparse.
Claire wanted to go for a bike ride this evening. She was brimming with bubbling-over enthusiasm, and so I grabbed the camera, set her up on her bike, and tailed behind her to the park.
She did loops.
I sat on a bench and wandered around a little bit snapping photos.
She bustled with glee at the glorious evening.
I turned on the grungy-like filter on the camera and took artsy-fartsy pics of the trees.
She biked five full loops of the park and in the middle even left her bike with me and ran –yes, ran– a full lap of the park.
I sat on the bench and talked about the weather to an old lady who was walking her dog.
It’s not sadness. Nor depression. Nor anything deep or broken. So, maybe melancholy isn’t exactly the right word. But after a summer of epic accomplishment, after months of training and build up to that one stupid race, the sudden crunch back into half-assed running and fatherly commitments to school and lessons and whatever else is swirling through our lives and –even if it doesn’t splash in my face directly swirls our lives in rigidly defined directions, that crunch is just taking a few extra days of getting used to than I thought it might. It’s a heaviness.
A weight, as if after putting myself through this ridiculous and monumental task, a task that is tied with credible anchor points to all sorts of societal expectations, after achieving that singular goal, that there is something heavier inside my brain that I haven’t quite figured out how to deal with.
I mean, I’ll get over it. I’m pretty sure. I’ll deal. I’m not looking for pity or some kind of fix.
But it does mean the blogs are a little more sparse.
The walks are a little more meandering.
The words are a little more weighty.
And this particular September continues to flit by in a breeze of uncertain expectations and unbalance.
I was actually doing a bit of reading on the topic last week and, as it turns out, post-race slumps are not uncommon. If for no other reason than just having an epic goal that is so complete and final –as if a switch was thrown– the moment you cross the finish line. After all, we did four months of hard training and it all built up to one run on one day and ultimately one step across a single arbitrary line in a parking lot. And bam! Over.
I have other races. I have other goals.
(And I have a brilliant little girl to keep me grounded, too.)
But at the end of the day all I can say is that I made some kind of trade with the race course: I left a little bit of me behind there that day and collected a few new fresh knick-knacks for whatever metaphorical dusty shelves are lining my brain. It changes you, I think. And it’s difficult to explain beyond that.
Either way, September is still fresh and a little melancholy for the trade… but I’m okay with that. Though, if I’m still moping around in October you have my permission to kick me in the butt.
Boggled? Puzzled? Confused? Read this page first: Philosophy, Etc.
VOICES OF THE DIALOGUE
X0R, being the narrator and recorder of the dialogue, with NOGGAMEMNON, who rests atop the shoulders and can gaze upon the path, and both LINKS and PLODICUS, being brothers, opposite but equal whose view is naught but closer to grounded. Herein, a dialogue between the voices on the merits or weaknesses of focus, attention, and diversion.
A dog barks from behind a fence and in the ethereal winter’s pale light, washed evenly across the brisk morning landscape, the dusting of the previous evenings snow-fall hints at a textured layer of ice slicking the asphalt below. The air moves in intermittent gusts of swirling chill, dashing the remnant flakes into a cold fury that rustles the bare branches of a nearby copse in a coloratura-flora of suburban sound. And from the shuffle and crunch of rubber soles upon the path a question breaks the harmonies of the run.
SCENE: Glavering Upon a Colloquy of Distraction
LINKS : Does our game strike your fancy on this cool morning or would the view of this rare daylight adventure lure your focus towards the sights and sounds of an illuminated landscape? How is it then, friend Noggamemnon? Have you considered the questions posed upon our moonlit jaunt now a few days past?
NOGGAMEMNON : I have. And such I am ready. Go on with it then. I await your enlightenment.
LINKS : As simply as that then, you suppose? I am not an instructor, let me first assert. This is a discussion leading us down an unmapped trail, dear Nog. Be at least clear upon that point.
NOGGAMEMNON : I merely imply that your lead is invaluable here. Take no offence upon your soles, friends. In fact, if boldness on my part is what you were hoping for let me then suggest that the pondering that has flexed my neurons these last lingering days has plodded upon the course of those self-same ideas for which we had proved wanting for discussion, namely the distraction and dis-focus of the mind.
PLODICUS : You mean to tell us that plugging your ears with the gnashing beat of electronic-powered music was supposedly, what? Research? Bah!
LINKS: What my brother means to say…
NOGGAMEMNON : I know what he means and I don’t contest, actually. It was exactly that.
NOGGAMEMNON : Listen or listening. We mean to chat eloquent on the ideas of wavering attention so what better form should that take than practical experience? It is my own such that for more than a generation and since the advent of portable electronics that those swift of foot and even-pacing have — as you say — plugged their ears with a distraction of the audio form. Music? Yes. Narrative yammering? Most likely. I would assure you this is not an anomaly.
X0R : Excuse my interruption. I don’t mean to take sides, but alas, here would concur. It seems from my own observations that there exists a small but significant commercial industry devoted to the manufacture of audio toys and accessories, which if I’m not mistaken are specifically designed and marketed to be carried and used discretely and efficiently while running.
PLODICUS : Eye-pawd? Bloo-too-dental-mumble-mumble…
LINKS: Hush, brother. Yes… fine then, Nog, your point is granted. I will admit that I too have noticed such toys dangling and adorning the ears of your fellow jog-abouts, and I suppose it worthy that our discussion blossom from such a starting point. That said, their existence does neither automatically presume nor positively assert their value. What have you to say there?
NOGGAMEMNON : Fair enough.
LINKS : My own point being — asserted, in fact — is that I question the value of distraction. I do not abide that distraction is necessary or necessarily a gainful state of engagement on the course.
NOGGAMEMNON : For you two… or for me?
LINKS : Equality or equity? What is the difference?
NOGGAMEMNON : Ah. Well, then here is the true rub of the question. Value of anything most probably, surely, looms large in equation of fulfilment of purpose, correct? I will gladly admit that your own role is more profoundingly and poundingly physical than my own. You step lively upon the path and are wont for even a moment of reprieve from the pace. A misstep or a wrong-footed break from the rhythm of the run would surely trip the progress that on a day such as this, for example, would land innocent X0R upon the ground and plant me snout-first into a snow-bank. My purpose, on the other hand, is far more one of tactical observation. I view the trail from a loftier vantage, a point upon which you’ve made no qualms about jostling, but a vantage that serves precisely the purpose for which it was evolved. That is to say, I see the trail while you trod it.
LINKS : And to your distraction? Your habits of waning attentions?
NOGGAMEMNON : Is that your perception?
PLODICUS : You don’t pay it. We do.
NOGGAMEMNON : Oh, but I do pay it. I pay my attentions full heed, or at least when and how they are required.
LINKS : Tell us.
NOGGAMEMNON : Listen friends, for this could be the pivot on which my points are likely to turn your hearts. Let’s talk first of the very notion of focus and attention. I ask you now this: what is it that you consider to be an affirmation of my focus upon the material reality that would balance the equitable realization of my due unto the trail? By that, let me ask you more plainly why you feel so cheated by my inevitable push to avert my attentiveness towards the immaterial?
PLODICUS : ‘Cause it isn’t fair.
LINKS : Nor really balanced. As you said yourself just then, perhaps it is only that we wont of a desire for reprieve and the more casual notion towards this effort as seemingly befits you. Again I tell you, I question the value of distraction. We work, while you play.
NOGGAMEMNON : Then your assumptions are incorrect. Plain wrong, in fact I say. Think now about focus and what it means to your goodly selves pattering in rhythm along a snow-laden trail. Each step is an affirmation of your job, no? Each step a operation of mechanical action that is a physical manifestation of X0R’s movement along real trajectories and vectors parallel to the ground. Decisions are made in a moment and the impact of impact is felt as a shivering shock and within an instant of rebounding energy with barely a moment to consider and process the result before a repeat is required.
LINKS : It is our lot.
NOGGAMEMNON : True. I give nod to your efforts. I nod because my own efforts are stretched along a parallel course but drawn upon much longer, lingering intervals. On occasion I get recompense for my patience, but often I cannot know the success of my decisions for much longer. Each operation of tactical decisiveness may result in an impact that can last in time-spans from mere seconds to bountiful minutes of airy decisions, and this can take it’s toll to be sure.
LINKS : Let me paraphrase your claim such that my dimwitted brother might continue to follow your convoluted conjecture. Is it so simple to claim that because we are so routinely and regularly affirmed by the step-by-step patter of soles on asphalt but that the rebuttal of your own decisions is locked out of step with their consequence, that you are more entitled to distraction?
PLODICUS : That isn’t fair, is it?
NOGGAMEMNON : You are drawing your own conclusions from my position. We are here to discuss the value of distraction not the entitlement of it to any one party, my friends. Let’s not forget the purpose of our discussion, after all. You suggested the point yourself not but a few moments ago and I will rephrase that to make certain we are all of us clear. The question is asked so: does distraction benefit a run?
LINKS : And you assert that it does then, I take it?
NOGGAMEMNON : I do. And the foundation of my claim lays firmly in the tactical and scattered nature of my roll in the effort.
LINKS : But to argue that it is a benefit for your focus to wane distractedly from that job is the crux of the matter, correct?
NOGGAMEMNON : Let me continue my claim by adding another element onto our map. Let us forget the fairness of it. Let us forgo the illusion of equitable roles. Let us no longer dismay upon who does what and how much effort is asserted. It is true. You both, Links and Plodicus, are the foundation upon which our journey is borne, I concede that and do not wish to remove any glory you derive therein. Instead, let me explain to you the notion of my experience and perceptions from atop these shoulders.
LINKS : I am a little hesitant, but go on.
NOGGAMEMNON : Running is a balance between we three, no? The two of you represent the physical nature of the effort, honouring endurance and strength and a push through the inevitable and unavoidable forces of sheer physics, forces such as gravity and inertia and turbulence and even the slip-and-slide of a snow-covered walk. Conversely, I hold in for the mental nature of the effort, pulling for patience and perseverance and a push through the unavoidable natures of the wandering attentions of the mind and the weight of inevitable boredom that looms around each bend on the path. Boredom is my gravity, the weight upon my very core that pulls me to ground and grounds to my last steps of endurance.
PLODICUS : Are you telling us you’re bored?
NOGGAMEMNON : Please don’t over-simplify my friend, but… in a manner of speaking, well, it is an idle threat that adorns my efforts. Boredom for the mind is as inevitable yet unpredictable as the wind is for the body. Sometimes it swirls as if nothing more than a gentle gust in shuddering draughts. Occasionally it pushes hard from a single direction in a constant blow that drives one forward in one direction and halts progress in the opposite. Boredom, like wind, can be expected but never controlled, managed but rarely avoided. One’s best hope on a blustery day is to run directly into the wind for the outbound push and let it work to the advantage on the return journey, and many similar metaphors and connections could surely be drawn for boredom and the mind.
X0R : He’s got a point.
NOGGAMEMNON : Thank you, X0R. But to clarify, it is not that boredom is completely unexpected. Unlike the wind, it is my burden to know the exact moments when boredom might weigh heaviest upon me. It is unpredictable and foreseeable all at once.
LINKS : You are talking about the time gaps, no?
NOGGAMEMNON : I am glad that I am making some headway then. Yes, indeed. Those same gaps. Those time-spans between tactical turns and step-wise leaps, the choice of a swerve or a leap, the opting towards North versus West or the route tracking that leads into a far-flung loop back towards home, the choices that fill spaces from mere seconds to bountiful minutes drifting, wafting, billowing between airy decision-trees and optional avenues, roads oft followed but rarely repeated in exact pacing or plodding. Those gaps are where the compounding effects of boredom push through the focus and wear down the patience and perseverance that would otherwise drive the run towards a kind of glorious eternity.
LINKS : You are suggesting that if it wasn’t for boredom that we… could run forever?
NOGGAMEMNON : Well, perhaps but I could. But… no. I fail to hold out that much hope for the physical demands such an effort would contrive to enact, even on me. You have your own constraints, my friends, and though such topics should be settled on another day I simply reiterate my notion and ideal that running is a balance between we three. And my role in that balance is nearly always put off by the burden that is insurmountable boredom.
LINKS : Thus distraction becomes your chosen remedy?
NOGGAMEMNON : It is not a cure, to be certain. Distraction is but one elixir to ease the symptoms for a brief while. After all, do you not have rubberised soles to shield you from the onslaught of rough pavement and cold snow? Do you not pull taught your laces to avoid the clutch of gravity upon your shoes? I’ve never grieved you of these conveniences, have I?
PLODICUS : I think you just did.
LINKS : No, brother. He is making a point and we will both of us grant him that.
PURITY OF PERCEPTION, dialogues between the voices on distraction and the role of perception, abstraction, experience, imagination and hope.