little sarah Big World

Category: Running

I Am Here With You

~December 27th, 2014~

Amed, Bali, Indonesia

View from Warung Ari, Amed, Bali (December 2014)

Wake to this view, alone in a big bed, save for the companionship of my prized possessions, a habit I’ve formed while traveling, one which reminds me of Espy and Julia Wertz. Toothpaste on my chest, for zits, and that reminds me of Melissa, and Whitney.

Cohabitation, with Accessories (Bali 2014)

In the bathroom there’s a cockroach, legs up, rocking gently side to side. A little yogi. I put a glass over him, for lack of a better plan.

*       *       *

A rocky run on the beach, feet slipping on fist-sized stones, as the locals light incense, make their offerings to the gods. Today, in their finest: bright lace-trimmed blouses for the women, crisp white coats and head-wraps for the men. Saris for all. Today is a holiday in Bali.

Amed Beach, Bali, December 2014

Stones give way to rocks and boulders, and I find myself scrambling among them, scaring the natural inhabitants. Brown crabs scurry, suspicious, crawling sideways into dark cracks. Cockroaches I can’t even see make a noise like static electricity as they skitter before my footfalls. Slick, dark salamanders, smaller than my palms, rush like liquid, in droves, out of my way, leaping with delicate plinks into the water.

Then there are the snails, shining tawny half-spheres–part beetle, part barnacle–which literally tumble in my wake, detaching themselves and clattering like marbles to the rocks below.

Everything moves away from me.

Amed Coastline, Bali, Indonesia (December 2014)

I move away, too. Today is Eric’s birthday, turning 30 on the other side of the globe, and all I could offer were words of praise and love from afar. Crawling on the rocks I think of him: the time we went to Lake Powell, became friends, ran on the redrock and talked with ease. He’d like this, here and now.

*       *       *

A photo on Facebook of Sister Natalie and Perry, taken by Espy, out to eat, laughing. Silly. I miss them all, and for a moment I feel the tug, the want, pulling me back home.

But then it releases, a sigh, a breath of air. I do not wish I was there.

I’m happy to be just exactly where I am, happy to be traveling alone. Happy for the friends and family I can return to any time, and in the meantime I carry them with me, remembering, their names and faces cycling like a mantra through my mind, chanted in my heart (Espy, Melissa, Whitney, Eric, Natalie, Perry…)

So I am never really alone

On the Beach, Amed, Bali (December 2014)

Because also there’s that stranded roach, trapped in glass, waiting for me back at my room.

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Simplify

(w/ Chad)

And so we turn towards simplicity. Towards sanity and good health, and that means early morning runs and healthy, home-cooked meals, fewer vices and better sleep.

Our first meal cooked together!

It means long walks and longer talks, checking in every morning, and after work, and before bed. It means facing our problems (for me: job stress and anxiety) head-on, rationally, and knowing the difference between a worthy challenge and a waste of time.

momiji

Most of all, a turn towards simplicity means a turn towards each other, and towards what really matters in life–our well-being, our friends and family, our passions and interests, and our sense of wonder, inspiration, creativity and drive.

And yesterday it meant epic shopping: new wardrobes for new jobs, plus bags of books to feed our hungry minds. It meant a day trip to Tokyo, a shopping field trip, with burgers and fries and iced coffee and frequent pauses to observe/avoid the madness, plus a Sunday stroll through the park, and big plans for the future.

*       *       *

It feels good to follow our own good advice.

Going Nowhere Fast

Monday morning I rode my bike to work, like I do, 6am and black as night. I took a spill in the employee parking lot at work, my first in nearly a year, thrown off by Tom the Roaster in his big van. Knocked my basket loose and everything. Scraped my knee, hurt my wrist, bruised my elbow, but not a big deal. Honestly, I was kind of looking forward to telling the story. I definitely thought it was the worst bike-related incident that would happen to me that day.

I was so wrong, Friends!

Because when I walked back out the kitchen door 6 hours later, my black milk crate basket was on the ground. I thought it had fallen off my bike, but then raised my eyes some centimeters to see that there was no bike. Bike gone. Bike stolen. Bike n’est pas.

Oh, Friends, oh Friends. Just the biggest bummer ever, and I had the same inappropriate response that people sometimes have when grieving–a big, shit-eating grin on my face as I told my coworkers “Somebody stole my bike.” Then I had to carry home my coffee smelling possessions in that little milk crate clutched tight to my chest, like somebody who’s just cleaned out their cubicle.

I felt like maybe there was an actual raincloud above my head.

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The Modern Dancers Will Love This

Sometimes I condense my life down to a single gesture, like a Christian drawing his half moon in the sand, the subtle arch of a foot–now sickle, now bevel– which stands for a whole life and a world of beliefs and fears.

Except that mine tends to be a shrug of the shoulders, or a sigh without relief.

For a while I offered the universe my scrunched face, meaning I wasn’t sure. Meaning I didn’t know, but would try anyways, because Maybe.

Tonight I throw up my hands like goal posts, shoulders lowered, no combat here. I give it up.

And if you want to extend that gesture, the way a balloon released floats until it is a speck, until it bursts against the atmosphere, or the way the sun’s rays stretch through years to reach us gently here on Earth, where we sweat and fret and bemoan the heat, then you can picture my raised arms extending, up and up, my head tilted back, mouth open, where my silver-soft soul escapes my dry rough red lips, screaming silently and with a calm and strong gesture my hands go up, my chest lifts and head back and I crucify myself, pounding through the cemetery in the dead of night, while crowds gather in stadiums and I can hear them and fear them, but I am among the deceased and I am breathing. Steady, ready, hard.

*       *       *

Oh, and Happy Halloween.

Once again I’ve lapsed in my posting. Busy with work, and window displays, just like this time last year.

I’ve also been:

crying (found my tears)

but not throwing up (any more)

not cutting myself (except that once)

hardly eating (silver lining)

doing running-ballet torture-running-biking exercise marathons (“Conquer Thyself”)

*       *       *

Conquer thyself, little sarah, you foolish mother fucker. I love your aching guts.

I ran a race today

I’ve been sick for over a week now–sore throat, swollen glands, achy body, general exhaustion.

I don’t sleep anymore, hardly, averaging 5 hours/night. Even when I try to nap, I can get maybe 10 minutes of actual rest in.

I have a huge raised bruise on my right thigh from slamming into the corner of the bed post at Dad’s house.

I stored my contacts in tap water last night.

But still (still), I ran my favorite 10k this morning.

And kicked so, so much ass.

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Life is Good

~OR~

Lately

I haven’t been sleeping enough. Not even close. I am running on the fumes of excitement, newness, closeness, and friendship.

Which means that I spend a lot, a lot, of time smiling. Blushing, giggling, doubled over with laughter. Riding my bike with the wind rushing past and my head in the clouds.

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By Foot

Despite my best efforts, despite myself, I keep going to bed too late on work nights. Last night it was talking with Nicole on her “luscious back porch,” which meant I didn’t get to bed by 10:30 as planned, but rather 1:30. With a wake-up call of 5:30.

Don’t worry, though, I just slept right through that, waking up 7 minutes after I was supposed to already be at work. Which meant: pants on, glasses on, shoes on, frozen quinoa muffin in the purse and RUN. Literally–1.2 miles at 6:30 am.

Life is strange and unexpected, Friends.

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As I Please

~OR~

How to Go For a Natural High (High! High! High!)

Wednesday I walked to work, rising early and moving fast to get the blood flowing. Made it on time, too, and what a beautiful morning.

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Coming Soon: More of the Same

Which means travel, both recent and reminiscent (San Francisco, New York City, Portland).

It means accomplishments, and dancing, and long bike rides, and sunshine.

I suppose it also means anxiety, loneliness, running, and indecision. But that’s me, Friends. I am those things.

And it means more pictures, of course, but not tonight. Tonight I will tell you a story, and then we will go to sleep, because it is late.

*       *       *

This is the story of a girl who lived in the land of Know, where people made plans, chartered paths, and then walked their lives like a tightrope, straight to the other side.

But this little girl didn’t know, or she thought she knew, but the she changed her mind, broke something, fell apart. And in the land of Know (where both K and W are silent), our little girl was made to feel that it was bad and wrong not to know, to be crippled by indecision, or to chase after darkness, or to go to bed early with no big plans. No, little girl, they said. Not like that.

And she didn’t know. She just didn’t know. But she thought, and she dreamed, and she made little plans, dancing and laughing even sometimes. She found for herself a set of challenges and adventures, and she met them one-by-one, conquering joyously, moving in unrelated patterns from one small victory to the next, alighting just long enough to understand and embrace and ache and cry. Like skipping among the stars, chasing their twinkling light.

Perhaps we can call that knowing.

*       *       *

I ran around Central park, Friends. Not the outside–I ran along paths inside the park, staying as close to the perimeter as possible to cover the most distance, and that was about 2 hours. Mission accomplished, and cross it off my Life list.

A wholesome-looking young man high fived me, about halfway through, in passing. Maybe he knew I was realizing my dream.

Goodnight, Friends.