We’re all sick.
The baby started it.
I don’t even feel well enough to write about it. Like every other man when he gets a cold: I am dying.
While I’m whining over here on the couch, knocking on death’s door, I recommend you read my wife’s thoroughly satisfying account of this sickness from her point of view. Click here to read: “It’s Not Like I’m Dying or Anything”. Women really are much better at handling colds. My woman sure is.
Remembering the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre:
Frédéric Boisseau, Franck Brinsolaro, Jean Cabut, Elsa Cayat, Stéphane Charbonnier, Philippe Honoré, Bernard Maris, Ahmed Merabet, Mustapha Ourrad, Michel Renaud, Bernard Verlhac (Tignous), Georges Wolinski.
Criticizing a religion is not racist.
Criticizing religious zealots and terrorists is not racist.
Islam itself is not a problem.
People who want to silence others are the problem.
People who want to kill others in the name of a religion are the problem, be that religion Islam or Christianity or Judaism or vegetarianism.
(The above drawing is my response to an attack at an exhibit featuring cartoons of Muhammed. More information can be found at this Wikipedia page.)
It was a crazy day with storms rolling through one after another. They started mid-morning. I had thrown up my hands by then and said, “There go my running plans! They’re calling for storms all day and night now!” It rained HARD at that point. Streams of muddy water were rushing down the shoulders of our road. My plans were washed away.
However, the sun came out a few hours later. It was warm and windy, enough to dry the roads and sidewalks. I looked at the sky and thought, Maybe I can get a 30 minute run in before the next storm. There was no hope of going off to the trails for a few hours. Running in rain is fine. But getting caught out in a thunderstorm isn’t cool. So I drove over to a nearby park. There’s a lake with a paved walkway that’s 1.2 miles long. There’s shelter there if needed. I would be satisfied with three laps around that lake.
While out there I thought, There’s got to be a metaphor for life in this attempt to run between storms. It’s kind of like “make hay while the sun shines.” Or “God only gives us what we’re strong enough to handle.” Well, maybe not that one. Storms happen regardless of whether we’re strong enough or even prepared to survive them. A storm can be devastatingly destructive. But do we make the best of the times between the storms, the lulls, the calms? Do we get our miles in while the sun shines? Sometimes storms come fast and furious. There may not be much time to even catch our breath in between.
Here are some things to do in between the storms of life:
- Learn from the storms. What did we learn about our strengths and weaknesses during a storm? What did we learn about those around us? What did we learn about life itself?
- Prepare for the next storm. We might not know what the next storm will be or when it will arrive. But we can be prepared. We can listen for the sound of distant thunder. We can seek shelter: we can pray, we can think, we can be proactive. We can have stores of provisions in waiting to sustain us through the next storm.
- Avoid the next storm. Sometimes we come to realize that we put ourselves in harm’s way too often. As we get wiser we can avoid some storms by simply making better choices, living a more honest life, being kinder to others, or being more aware of the harm others intend us. It’s foolish to go out into the woods for a run when we hear the thunder coming. We can avoid that storm.
- Put in your miles while you can! It’s hard to make progress when the urgency of a storm is occupying all our resources. Get stuff done in between storms! Use your strengths! Be creative! Be constructive! Gain ground while the ground is dry! Make the gosh dang hay while the sun shines!
- Enjoy the calm. Be at peace. Get some rest. Think. Meditate. Contemplate. Have some fun. Feel good. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
At some point early on Sunday morning while I was running my Tammany Loops (See my post: “Early Morning Tammany Loops”.), during my second loop to be exact, some knucklehead spray painted the above endearment along the red dot trail. Some time between 7:15 and 8:30 AM the deed was done.
I remember what it was like being young and crazy about a girl, “in love,” as they say. I remember writing a girl’s name all over my desk in 6th grade. Come to think of it, I wrote a different girl’s name all over a desk a few years later.
Then I remember an act of vandalism I inflicted upon the unused factory across the street from our house when I was 15. I spray painted letters on one of the doors. They were letters of true love. They were not for a girl. They were for a band.
My old neighbor, Mr. Bennett, thought for sure it was someone with the initials “LED” in love with someone else with the initials “ZEP.” He was about 500 years-old, drove a big old station wagon, had a wife who was OCD about washing her hands constantly, and he had a plot of land a few miles down Route 31 where he grew an abundance of vegetables. He was kind enough to give our family plenty of tomatoes and zucchini. I’ll never forget the day he pointed over toward the factory and said to me, “Look at that, Sammy. Must be somebody in love.” I thought, You moron, it’s a band! The best band in the world! Thinking about it now, he probably wasn’t as senile as I took him to be and probably saw me painting the damn door the day before, like a knucklehead.
My family had a Ford Torino in those days. When my stepfather was at work and my mom was occupied with my baby sister, I would take the keys and drive that car, a pukey tan colored boat, up our gravel driveway onto the street, down the Bennett’s driveway and around their house, over and over like it was the Indy 500. Mr. Bennett got a kick out of it. He also seemed to think I was as innocent as a Boy Scout. He never knew that I cut a corner too close and took a chunk of cement off his house with that Torino. (My stepfather took a chunk out of my hide that day though!) Mr. Bennett also did not know how I and my best friend, who turned me on to “LED ZEP” in the first place, used to throw the rocks from the gravel driveway to bust out the windows of that old factory. Sometimes we used our Wrist Rocket slingshots.
But I digress in telling you about what a moron I was as a teenager. All I intended to do with this post was say that there is really no excuse for graffiti in the woods. What is the point?? Or is “MB 03 05 A…(What is that? A backward D?)” a new band I don’t know about? Either way, you got the first letter right: M. For moron. Because if you think the hikers and runners will pause to appreciate your sign of deep and true love, you, my friend, are a moron.