Monday, August 11, 2014

home in Pennsylvania

I told some guests I was sitting with at a party yesterday that I had run from Franklin Township to Nesquehoning and back (about a 30 mile round trip). Get a kick out of the incredulous looks, and answering the inevitable follow up questions like "how?", "why?", "are you nuts?"

Back home running last week in Pennsylvania. Running with ghosts from my past. Old courses I (we) ran during high school cross country and track practices. Or along routes I did when I lived back home after college and got back into running a lot. At times I can feel them loping along side of me. I can hear whispering lilting melodies that ride the gentle breezes. Its like time can condense and fold back in on itself creating a quasi duality where the present and the past are fused as one.

Got to the end of Born to Run again last night where the protagonist known as Caballo Blanco tells a spellbound audience just who exactly he is and perhaps why he does what he does. I got it, and get it today. All the running. But I cant really explain it or synthesize it into words. Suffice it to say this is where we need to be.

It was Emerson I think who said he "never trusted a sedentary thought."

Ukes run last Tuesday night with Paul. He was talking at the time so I had to cut him off and ask for a moment of silence as we passed Kathy Jo's old house. I tear up just thinking about. I'm not sure why. But its times like that I hope we truly can communicate with the deceased on some medium. Its dark til we get done. Saturday we do a similar run with his 12 year old son Alex. He guts out a 6 mile run admirably. Big hills. I make shadow puppets behind his head as we run.

Found trails the one morning that snake up and around the Blue Mountain. Single track, steep, rocky in places. I have to really pay attention to the red trail markings on trees and rocks on the upper trail as to not get lost. I think about ducks in Dharma Bums...Gary Snyder explaining to Jack Kerouac how fellow climbers use them to mark the easiest paths to take over rocks. I'm pretty thirsty on the way down as I open it up and fly like an animal on parts of the trails. Stop and drink with cupped hands out of a spring in the woods.

I come upon clearings in the trees and am blessed with 20,30+ mile views northward back beyond Jim Thorpe and into the Poconos, and southward down and across the Lehigh Valley. I think about all the times I looked at this mountain as a kid (could even see from the living room window of my old house) and how now I was almost on top of it. Running. For a moment I wished I had a camera... but perhaps views like this are only to be seen by climbing on up oneself. Purity.

Capped it Sunday with another run on the towpath to complete my first ever 100 mile week.