by Patrick Reed
Today, I sit with my back to the mountain; I can, if I try, see its reflection in my monitor’s screen. Yes, it is as if the computer screen is a mirror – and it shows me what today I eschew: the running that I cannot do; the dreams I would not envision; the words I won’t put down onto the paper. For, facing my dreams; staring at the course across the lake while injury besets; and writing down the words… All this is to face sqaurely the pain of today. The pain that another sunny afternoon calls, with its windy refrain and laughing trees — and, injured, I can only bid it: “Soon. Soon. Though I don’t know when…”
Sound dramatic? Yeah, sorry. That happens often when I plink out my ideas on the keyboard in daring quips and specious musings. In a real sense, sitting down to write is stepping forward and facing what I would not face. And so the words turn artful and occasionally full of artifice — and I breathe easier with each passing word written, for like the run which at present I cannot do, I step by step work out my thoughts and resolutions, the answer to today’s problem – and bit by bit the opportunity which had been hidden in my fear rights itself. Writes itself.
And so today, my writing is my running. And I am nearly there today, just about a mile more to go. I have a joyful rhythm now, and my heart-rate has subsided like my breathing to a melodic evenness. Rounding this turn of phrase, I recognize the camber of this evening avenue. And though I only dream of setting one foot beside and then in front of the other, and from aft to fore for the opposite leg — and again and again and again repeating this running chorus… I am in the zone all the same. The writer’s high…
Yes, I can see my mountain in the monitor’s objective gaze right now, if I tilt the screen just right and squint through the cluttered thumbnails, smiling images and bright icons on my desktop. And there it is – green and brown in this post-summer weather, lined with trails traversing its monolithic face. My trails, once upon a time. And maybe again tomorrow.