11.2.11

Inventory:

2 leaves caught; one right hand, one left

5.64 miles run

1 pair gloves not worn; 10 frozen fingers ensued

Between 8 and 17 cold water drops directly to lower lip, absorbed

Today I ran in the rain.

Generally speaking, the more I run, the more I want to run.  But the winter can sure be a dark frigid bitch.  Rhythms all off with the changes, lack of light.  Days feel longer and equally short.  Sunrise remains an accomplishment, yes, but more akin to a lesser goal, a revised and easier standard.  A softening and a settling.  The winter weight gain will begin soon enough, a slow thickening of limbs and accumulation of padding around the middle.  But that, too, is cyclical, and in time there will be another paring, another round of tightening.  As it is, I am hovering between comfort and concern; the paring season has taken its toll this year, leaving me to wonder whether I should worry that I rather enjoy what it has carved.  Weight, after all, is a heavy issue.

The rain froze my hands; I should have worn gloves.  But stubbornness nearly always wins out; turning around and acknowledging my poor judgment in leaving them behind would have been to admit defeat, and I do not give up so easily.  I like to feel tough, able, solid, if only to defy the surface fragility that others sometimes perceive.  I am (much?) stronger (and, perhaps, somewhat regrettably, (much?) older) than I look, thankyouverymuch.  I am not a breakable girl; I am not made of glass, but instead, I think, of grit and bone and nettles; things that crunch and pierce and sting should you try too hard to reduce them.  But yet I am solid, I am smooth, and full of marrow; when pricked, I too will bleed.

Running has given me a quiet, humming confidence; a trusting of sinew, a knowing of tissue that does not tear so easily or melt when wet.  A sense of self-reliance so important to this occasionally squeamish girl who shudders touching the clean packaged mousetraps on the shelves as the rodents have moved in just as the safety net has been let go from most corners.  In August 2010 I learned that I can handle a lot more than sometimes I think I can handle, but also that pushing the limits takes its toll.  Running I can handle.  Helping my grandfather off the floor and cleaning the cut on his head I can handle, shakily.  I avoided my greatest greatest fear that August; my mother lived it instead this past May.  Had it been me, I know I would have heard him fall; somehow, though, she slept.  That whole week the fear kept me awake, prickling my skin minute by minute through the long dark nights, longer than the nights in Madison, longer than the nights in Newton.  The longest darkest summer nights, spent rigid with alertness and terror of the known unknown.  It was no secret that his body was giving out, that each transfusion was more painful than the last, that each day ended slightly more spent.  There were no more dancing muscles; instead of a little dog, an oxygen tank rested faithfully by his side those last weeks, maybe month.  There was no more anger.  Just a fairly tacit acceptance of what was to come, soft quiet dirt avoiding loud rocks on echoing wood.

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