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Running/WritingJune 17, 2004

Cari always says things that make me think. She writes short sentences that mean a hell of a lot. I admire that. I’m more of a rambling writer, and good ideas can be hidden in all the other stuff. Cari’s clear, and to the point. She’s the one who made me realize when I started running that it could be meditation that would directly profit the writing. She’s been right already. When I just can’t go another step, I think about my work and it gets me a little farther around the lake. The characters run along with me. Well, that sounds creepy. But it's true. And I have to admit that running to train for a marathon, and running as meditation are both great reasons to run. If I were running for increased cardiovascular health, I would do it as often as I wash my car (about once a year and grudgingly).

Yesterday, she gave me another truth. Sometimes the run (like the one on Tuesday) just sucks. Just like sometimes the writing just feels awful, like I’m composing nothing but canned phrases from a dictionary of cliches. But she wrote that in looking back, it’s how many cumulative miles you’ve done, how many pages you've written that ultimately matter. And looking back, it’s hard to tell which were the good days and which were the bad. You just did it, that’s all that matters.

Of course, she said it in, like, two lovely short sentences. But they’re just what I needed.

I’m hungry now, and I’m mentally reviewing the contents of my kitchen. Tomorrow’s payday, so I’ve been putting off shopping. I think I may possibly be out of coffee, which might make me cry. Thank god for green tea. And I believe my toast today will be the two heels of the loaf. I hate that. I’m completely out of honey, so I’ll use jam with my peanut-butter. I realized last week that during my work week, I’m at work for such long hours that the only food I eat at home is the toast I make when I wake up. That’s it. All other meals during those four days are eaten at work at my terminal. I feel kinda silly toting in bags of food on my Mondays, as if I’m bringing all my groceries to work with me, but that’s the way we have to work it. Odd, that. I like eating at home. I like my new table!

*later -- just enough for one shot of coffee. I'm all right.


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I just finished reading Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett tonight. One of the things I loved about the book is that it is about writing as much as anything else. Patchett talks about creating characters while washing dishes and dusting when she was a waitress at TGIFridays.

You should read the book if you have a chance.

I'd be panicking if I ran out of black tea, so I know the feeling. While I have opportunity to eat at home, I find that when I'm the only one here I forget to eat or I end up eating convenience food, like cereal. A good homecooked meal once in a while does me a world of good.

I wish I could find some sort of meditative approach to exercise. My yoga practice has suffered since I can't afford to go to the studio and I just hate to practice alone. Perhaps, just perhaps I'll take a page out of your book and try thinking of it differently.


How interesting that we both wrote about running-as-meditation on the same day, but in such different ways: running helps you focus on your work, while it helps me let go of mine.

I like the way you said it better.

(Und now I kees you. MWAH!)

Cari is brilliant! And the heels are my favorite.

No coffee?? Aiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That Cari, she calls 'em like she sees 'em!

I like that motivation for running. And I like that you admitted that if it was just for your health, it probably wouldn't happen as often. I'm like that too. I wish I could figure out a way to exercise and knit at the same time.....

You don't like the heels? Well, then at least we wouldn't fight over them. Oh, toasted bread heels, slightly burned at the edges, slathered in real butter...mmmmmmmmmmmm.

I am SO with you on the coffee thing. Not only am I not civil till I've had my coffee, I'm barely human :) Coffee RuLeZ! Heh...

My characters knit my sweaters sometimes. They take my walks too. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, they do the vaccuuming. But they never, ever run. You're lucky.

Remember the part in the Carloyn See book about knowing who your creepy characters are? That's who would have to be CHASING me to get me to run. It's fun to watch you, though! Me waving, as you gazelle around that Lake.....I'm the one knitting, walking with the poodle....taking breaks to write/draw/paint in my notebook. Look Sandy, there she goes again, wheeeeeeeee!

As I was running alone last night (hubby went to Paris w/o me but has promised me to bring home some Phildar yarn), I was trying to reach a zen spot. Running is definitely more about the mind than the body. It gives me a clarity I don't achieve even when I'm actually meditating during yoga. BTW, I used to do yoga and it really helped with the running (the physical side). My breathing was better, my body was less sore (probably due to the stretching), my mind was more focused. The only sucky thing about yoga is that it takes so long! I'd rather be knitting!

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