Into the woods rerun

I returned to the 4000 acres to try again. Rather than get lost, in my head and on the trails, I found my way home. I guess you could say that is fairly symbolic of much that is going on. I was able to run, not lost in a haze but completely present in each and every step. I left the farm for the peace and quiet of my weekend long trail run. I could not bring myself to turn on the TV. There was nothing there of any good for me. It has been a rough week adding the endless awful news coverage would have probably been a bad idea. All I had to do was check my FB this morning and the first thing that popped up was a picture of the teacher who saved her students by hiding them. There I sat, crying with absolutely no notice. Nope, couldn’t do that. I headed for the hills. There in the silence of the woods, I just cleared my mind. On the good days I can run just to run. My mind empties with the very first step off into flight. like someone flipped over my overfull skull and left a pile of crap behind. In the emptiness there is only the breathing. Steady in, hold and out, in, hold and out. For every three or four strides I find the crisp air to fill my lungs. The very steady pattern grounds my cadence and lets me go and go. It was so perfect today, not too cold, or too hot. Just the dappled sunshine cascading thru the bare trees and leaving blinding patterns on the fallen leaves. This was all that existed in my now empty head, breathe, light patterns and the fall of my feet on the frozen ground. Mile after mile, breath after breath. If only I could have run forever. It would be paradise. To finally be able to exist in mindfulness, no racing thoughts, or dark worries. A space of no emotion, good or bad. The only thing speaking was the sensory information being picked up by my feet. Where they are meeting the trail. Whether the spot is clear, or whether I had to correct my stride to accept the presence of a rock or a root sticking out of the ground. No worry, just making the adjustments in balance and speed to assure a proper footfall. Up and down, around the bends and over the bridges. I lost myself in the moment. I wish I could live like that. Somehow halter that ability to tip over and empty my mind of ruminations and emotions. Sadly, I cannot. There is only the running to try to capture the fleeting sense of peace. I try to make it last. I fight to push farther, longer. Trying to hold on to that feeling, or lack there of. I can never make it though. My body gets sore, and starts speaking loudly enough to shorten my stride. I ignore it. set it aside and struggle to find the cadence. Telling myself there are some more miles in those legs. Today was so perfect, and so I fought. It wasn’t my usual distance, I was frustrated. I pushed on a bit, but realized today just wasn’t going to be a 2 1/2 hour run. I guess the week of immobility caused my fitness level to drop off a bit. Made me kind of mad. I had the perfect day to toy with 12+ miles. Ideal temperature, and trail conditions. As much as my mind wanted the time away, I could not get my legs to agree. I gave up. It wasn’t really worth injuring myself for a few more miles. Another day, another run. I was just happy not to have another On Golden Pond moment. no lost time, no vacant hours followed by panic at being in unfamiliar surroundings. I did make a conscious effort to mark my trail, leaving markings on the ground to find my way back. I found my way home, not that I wanted to. All the anxiety and frustration returned as I drove back to the farm. Mad I didn’t run for another hour, or day, hell another lifetime. Why couldn’t I just leave and never look back. I don’t know what is here for me anymore. I was irritable and unhappy. I tried to lose myself in a book while I had a post run soak. Slogging thru the last of Wally Lamb’s The Hour I First Believed. interesting considering Columbine has a very prominent place in the book. I could not settle. I headed up the hill to work the horses. I had put it off for a couple of days. I did enjoy the ride. That same beautiful sun, now low on the horizon. Long shadows painting dark panels across the footing in the arena. I found myself empty again as I just paid attention to the horse beneath me, and the one working beside me (ponying). I usually lead one and ride one, saves my back the wear and tear. It was a quiet again, just the ponies breathing with each stride (horses, unlike people, actually couple their breathing to their stride, often you will hear the steady exhale pattern while working them. It is rhythmic and calming to both them and to me). Today my grey was quite full of herself. The week off did nothing to diminish her fitness. I wasn’t so lucky. We worked for a bit and headed back in. My mind did not remain settled. The running and riding did not translate over, never seems to. It just doesn’t fucking hold, ever. Why can’t my life be peaceful. Instead it has to be filled with overpowering emotions that make me feel powerless to change them. I shared with Beatrice the random thought I had about that tidbit of psych info- the distance between the goal and the ability complete it correlates to unhappiness- greater the distance the more unhappiness. Is this place, and this life beyond my ability? too great a task? My mind telling me I am unable to complete the task/goal therefore my steady pattern of misery. No real break from it. The constant in all this is this place. Only since I have been here. The period spent in school and making a home with Diane was a far cry from this hellish 11 years. There is something wrong here. Very wrong. I could say it is me, and my mind, or I could point fingers at this vast undertaking, or I could blame the stress. I don’t have answers. I just know here isn’t good for me
I guess till I find them I’ll just keep running.

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