It was one of those nights: the same bad dream over and over again. Each time it varied slightly, but I awoke with the same black hollow feeling. I’d go back to sleep, and the dream and its variation would come again. After the third or fourth time, I told myself, I give up. Time to wake up. The black hollow feeling: it’s something you have to pay attention to, I told myself, even if you don’t know what it is.
I can’t even see the outline of its form, or even how dark its black is. But it’s there.
So I get up, make coffee, grab the newspapers, scan the front pages of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Contra Costa Times and wonder briefly why the prospective fall of Muammar el-Qaddafi’s 42-year rule doesn’t get more prominent play. I mean, the guy has been a thorn in the side of the United States and the rest of the world for 40 years. Oh, well, nothing I can do about the newspapers’ editorial choices. Just like there’s nothing I can do immediately about those dreams and that black hollow feeling.
I go running. It’s a great morning to run. Cool, foggy, and quiet, save for the occasional whoosh of a car and SUV rushing by on Tice Valley Road, carrying their drivers to work. I’m listening to something classical on my iPod Shuffle, something by Schubert. It’s slow, sad, and subtle. Variations on themes.
I pass by the creek and notice there is still a healthy amount of water gurgling by.
Tomorrow, school starts for my son, and I’m sad summer is over for him, for us. I’m going to miss him.
I feel relaxed as I run. I have a nice pace. I’m not running from the black hollow feeling. It’s there, but I can’t do anything about it. I breath and feel strong. I look down at the road in front of me, the white ribbon of line marking the shoulder. The white ribbon seems to go on forever.
I lift my gaze up, to the canopy of a tree above me, the dark silhouette of leaves and branches, and above it the gray sky. The music I’m listening to is gentle, delicate, beautiful, and the branches against the sky are beautiful.
I think, I could die now, in this moment and it would be OK.
I get back home, make myself do some push-ups, and think, I hate doing push-ups. I can barely do five, but if I keep doing them each day, maybe in time, I’ll be able to do 10.
The black hollow feeling hovers somewhere above me and around me but I still know there’s nothing I can do about it.
6 thoughts on “Sometimes you’re this close”
Surrounded by little children and a new baby I have little time for introspection ( a boon) As for Gaddafi, I have had to go to the British media for some decent coverage.
Nothing like little kids to pull you out of introspection, and push into appreciating the wonderful things about each moment. To them, each moment brings some amazing new discovery.
I was thinking the same thing yesterday. Wishing I had little kids again, to make me forget about the world around me and to see only through their eyes. Mine are now 26 and 21. Perhaps I will get a chance soon with some grandchildren.
Your post is spot on as to how I have been feeling these days as well. Exercise really helps clean the cob webs out of the brain though, doesn't it?!
Ok Soccer Mom –
Time to shake the cobwebs loose and publish via Kindle – perhaps in two ways – as a blog subscription (which would work for your style of journalism) and on social commentary, focused perhaps on getting a Kindle Singles book out there…
The cobwebs are shaking loose. Slowly. Thanks for the suggestion.
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