Saturday, January 22, 2011


feeling so bleak since its January, and though, yes, almost over, I'm glad to write one small thing from within the tall, damp walls of this uncomfortably chilly month.

It's impossible to catch your breath, to feel warm, to get enough hot liquid down your throat. Sure, I'm no longer an inhabitant of sub-zero Chicagoland, but the clinging wet of coastal winters clings and sops inside and out leaving everything saturated, without the possibility of consolation. To run is one's only hope.

I took a second shift at another school (same director, but for babies) over Christmas break and I knew the extra work meant running was going to shift in my life. It would be in or out. I have been slowly backing off, letting it get pushed to the last place- like vacuuming or reading books on philosophy. When I get time. You know, so I basically quit except for 3/4 times a week, a three mile guilt run. So I chose to make it work, to turn over a new leaf, and on T/Th I attept to run to Greenlake (now a 3.5 mile jaunt as opposed to the twelve minutes from my old neighborhood)with my gear slung over my shoulders, change, work four hours, the change back and run to Fremont for the last five hour stint. I think I've only made it work one day a week so far. And this morning after running one of my worst two-milers yet (no. 4 in a 6 race series) I decided something had to change. First stop was to joy run 6 and a half this evening, and now I'm going to try and look for a coach. I'm 25; I have the best years ahead of me apparently. And a half this march, a full in april and a 50k in August. That is, if it doesn't conflict with my big sister's wedding which obviously, beats the hell out of anything else. There's going to be a feast and dancing (cross your fingers) and so much joy. We're already all full to the brim with it. As they say, Tic Tac Toe.

Work is... triumphant. I sometimes look up and see that two hours has gone by, and reflecting on my old life, know that two hours might have passed much quicker at a register, numbly scooping groceries across a scanner and into bags, pleasantly chatting on the good days, exchanging the niceties every time else. And yet, all that I've been preoccupied with: the passing of time as a gift instead of a countdown is possible here. At school time doesn't pass quickly; it passes _well_. We are taught to move slowly, to excude satisfaction in our work, to savor our sewing projects and hum while we roll yarn into balls. In the yards we take donated Christmas trees and tie them with ropes to wet, gnarled branches to make forts. We scrub the porches, haul logs and feed the animals. I walk in thinking, 'hope this goes quickly today' and then step into a world of rhythms in which I am invited to take part. It is the liturgy of the home and of the classroom and I don't need to leave- what is there to run to?

This is not to say that I am never dying to rush around the corner and get a coffee or that I haven't (from time to time) wanted to lock a child out of the house. But generally I couldn't be happier. My co-workers are dear and there's always something to learn.

Kyrianne is almost seven months old- which means that we are only days away from being out of the six month woods. Have to say, I'm quite relieved to have made it this far.