August 06, 2013  •  1 Comment

Two miles into a long run, there is quiet. Demons of doubt give up their dance. It somehow happens without announcement; for many minutes they draw attention to this muscle ache and that new twinge. They sap strength, they syncopate every breathe, they offer panic as a viable option. Everything feels wrong — it's a square-peg-in-a-round-hole feeling. And then suddenly those demons are gone. Muscles remember their job, breathing finds its rhythm, aches subside, and for a while I get lost in just being. I rejoice in life and good health, and I feel ready to embrace the inevitable next challenge. That process is a complete mystery to me. 

Because I've just finished a couple months of physical therapy, my pace is slow. That means for 20-25 minutes I face those demons. Fortunately, I've completed one half marathon, so I know what to expect on training runs. My experience gives me hope; l should be able to maintain a training schedule to run my next half marathon in October, so I'm willing to face that dance each time out.

After Saturday's run, I was motivated to see if the principle applied to my camera work. My neighbor graciously opened her garden to my experiment. I started out all awkward-feeling, like usual. I couldn't find any good angles, the flower didn't fit the frame, the light was good, no, bad. ISO, too high, no, too low. Too much depth of field, no, not enough... And then, my neighbor startled me. "That is patience." She'd been puttering and watching while I pondered for what must have been a while — maybe 20-25 minutes? I'm sure she thought me crazy for spending so much time on a few flowers; she wasn't privy to my mental struggle. But then, I realized I had entered the "quiet."

I was lost in cat's whisker tendrils gently escaping their captive pods, zinnia petals forming gentle pink waves, and rose petals gracefully protecting their seeds, offering a bumblebee temporary haven. Somehow the quiet unbinds, and unblinds. I have a lot of work to do to conquer my demons and to fully appreciate and efficiently use the quiet, but the effort is well worth it. 


Kevin D. Washburn(non-registered)
Beautifully thought and written!
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