Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Painted tree exhibit near Spotts Park in Houston.  It felt appropriate -- if atypical -- to add this beautiful blue scene to this post.

You can read more about this art project here.

So I'm feeling a little unsettled, and when I started to write this post I was going to blame that feeling on these things, in this order: humidity; that stupid fruit cleanse I tried and its plaguing backlash; a friend's move to NYC; and my lack of a normal weekend for what feels like now has been months.  Then I realized that today maybe I don't want to keep this post light.

I don't want to keep it light because, to be honest, the Boston Marathon has had me on edge the last three days, though out of respect to everyone who has actually been affected by that tragedy, I will not pretend to have any sort of right to claim grief by what happened Monday.

I -- like everyone else, like you -- have been nose-to-the-wire around news reports, imagining what it must have been like to be there, feeling so sorry for the runners and spectators.  Oh, hey, you spent the last year training for this?  You dreamt of crossing the finish line with thousands of others cheering you on?  Surprise

I know all acts of violence like this are terrible, I do.  But there's something just especially horrific to me about the idea that an event that makes people so happy -- that makes me so personally happy -- could be so scarred.

I first became familiar with the Boston Marathon when I was living in New York, starting to run.  Every few weeks I'd walk into Jack Rabbit to pick up various bits of running gear, and I'd spend time cautiously eyeing the employees, who were all expert runners, imagining what it would be like to be one of them, to run for speed.  

On the wall of the store, behind the counter, was a large chalkboard devoted to running talk.  Scrawled across the board were sayings making references to running culture, and I remember that someone had written, "I broke down a wall on Heartbreak Hill."  I learned later that this was a reference to the Boston Marathon's most notorious hill, and also to what happens to runners at mile 21.

References to Boston continued to pop up as I made my way deeper into running culture, and I learned that "qualifying for Boston" is for many the goal itself.  At a strict 3 hour and 5 minute qualifying cutoff time, just getting there is a feat that takes years.  People who run Boston are pretty special.

I so utterly revere Boston runners, and more-so today.  And so to echo all the rest, there's nothing to say but that I'm so sad and sorry.  

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