Eve of the Ides

Or things that jogged through my mind while I was out jogging:

1.  The shallow breathing, counting 1-2-3 in, and 1-2-3-4 out, the sore hips and shins and feet.  Settling in.

2.  A creek runs along this trail.  I pass behind a Japanese man standing along the edge of the slow-flowing water.  His head is bowed.  The water level is too low.  Lack of rain.

3.  Tsunami.  The still photos in the NYT.

4.  This photo, the warning of the Slippery Slope.  I keep thinking about what it means, or doesn’t mean, or officially means, or means to me when I feel myself sliding down what very well may be one hell of a hill.

5.  The red sketch of the tight-rope walker, a stick figure, on the jacket of LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN.

6.  Our Book Club discussion of LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN.  This may well be the book we’ve disliked (overall) the most.  I finished it, and then wished I hadn’t bothered.  I’m not even proud of myself for finishing it.

7.  Just off the trail, a young mother has stopped with her double-wide stroller of twin toddlers and a fat black lab.  She disconnects his leash and tosses a big stick.  Lab sloshes through the shallow water, nabs the stick, and bounds back.  Joy.  One twin claps her hands and bounces in her seat.  Her sister sleeps through it all.

8.  I slow down to a stroll, catch my breath, hands on hips.  Is this cheating?

9.  It is the season of Writing Contests.  I keep getting e-mails saying Time is running out! I got one this morning from Creative Nonfiction2 Days Left to Submit on ANGER AND REVENGE. I kid you not.

10.  Time is running out.  I pick up the pace.  Sore hips and all.

11.  I was reading a Tom Perrotta interview yesterday in the December issue of The Writer’s Chronicle (great interview).  He talks about the film adaptation of his book LITTLE CHILDREN and how it came out too dreamlike, not at all like the dark suburban malaise he painted in his book.  The reality of boredom.  How dark.  His main character reading MADAME BOVARY and thinking, “This is not me.  Or is it?”

12.  A recent CNN article asked:  Are Whites Racially Oppressed? There’s a photo of a white man holding the flag and saluting.  Are they fucking kidding?  See the sign above.

13.  I slow down, coming to the end, what was also the beginning.  There’s the Japanese man, still there by the creek, but now he’s flanked on both sides by about a dozen geese rushing to the water, beating their wings, setting sail.

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9 thoughts on “Eve of the Ides

  1. Les

    Good for you for hitting the pavement, aches an all. I’m right behind you.

    That CNN article makes me want to learn French.

  2. amyg

    are whites racially oppressed? are they talking about laundry? because that happens to be so in my house since i absolutely HATE folding the whites most of all. it’s mostly non-foldables, socks, men’s undies, men’s t-shirts that are too thin to get a nice neat fold out of…

    oh wait, they’re serious? ugh. enough with trying to grab more clicks with ridiculous headlines.

    look at you playing tennis and jogging up a storm. i saw your comment at betsy’s…you’re neither!

  3. Lyra

    1. The last marathon I ran, I made it to the half for a PB, then pain shot down my leg (over two years later I find out it’s a disc issue, and I thought I was just being melodramatic). The point is that what got me through to the end (and many long runs when the pain hurt, and when I used to call myself a runner), was chanting “Men-tal For-ti-tude”, the first two syllables half notes, the latter three quarter notes. So bizarre, but I ran could run through anything chanting that.

    7. Playing leapfrog during the same marathon with a woman pushing a double stroller and stopping twice (?!) to breast feed. She still beat me.

    8. Just a new twist on a Fartlek.

    11. Before I saw the movie, my hairdresser (Mr. Haiti) said I had to see it because that is the way he pictured me at a book club. He recommended I stay away.
    Once I saw the movie, I was freaked out to be thought of in it. And yet, he made a great point.

  4. Deb

    Great post, Teri. I’ll be thinking about it for a while. Those pictures make my heart ache.

    The sun just came out and I’m going for a walk. A while back a virus damaged my heart and I could barely stand. When it healed I spent many a walk chanting how strong and healthy I was. I finally believe it. Carpediem, aches and all.

  5. Downith

    Teri, one of the big lessons for me last term in a writing class was how authors plant little seeds for the reader throughout a piece for the reader that echo back and forth – you nailed that in this one. Great post.

    1. Downith

      Okay, Teri, in case you missed my point, the authors plant those little seeds FOR THE READER. Damn I hate when I can’t fix things in comments!

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