“And I Would Walk 500 Miles, And I Would Walk 500 More”

“Just to be a the man who walked a thousand miles and called down at your door.”

Yeah, that was sort of my life today…sort of.  Another round of Appalachian Trail training.  10 miles.  I’ve been doing 10 miles a day of running/walking for the last 4 days.  Not a whole lot until you take into account that I am not in shape unless you count roundish and flabbyish as a shape.  And then, I am totally in shape.

Today, I hit a trail that circles a lake; circumference is 2.56 miles.  I figured that I could do this.  I could run it three times because the last time I went running (Sunday), I ran over 7 miles.  But well into my third or so mile, I realized that there was no way in the world that I was going to run 7 miles.  I just didn’t have it in me. I knew I needed to stop.  I had to stop.  My body was worn out and exhausted and it was time to quit.

But I couldn’t quit.  I had to finish ten miles because I had been walking/running 10 miles every day for the last…4 days.  I could do it.  I had to do it.

Today, I exorcised my neuroses as I exercised my body.  I wrote mental poetry.  I wrote (mentally) my novel.  I edited my life and recalled memories that made me cuss out loud and then duck my head and swiftly look around as if I had just farted (which I was doing as well) and was hoping no one was around me.  I was safe at those moments.

Today, as I walked, music from my iPod seemed to have its own journey that I was supposed to follow.  I walked through “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, “Love is Blindness” by U2, “Desire” by U2.  I walked through songs from Star Trek (the newest movie with Khan) and The Woman In Gold.  I walked under trees while being regaled by songs from Thomas Tallis.  I was replete with God.  I was separate from myself.

Four times, I walked past a point where a tree had fallen across a creek, a tree my daughter fell off of and should have broken her face but she is convinced that God grabbed her at the last minute and broke her fall enough to keep her body intact.  I walked past that log bridge which has become the most significant part of the setting to my baby, The Pear Tree House.   And I looked down the creek to see how it bent and dreamt up scenes and words to go into the novel.  Because I had to.  I have no choice.  I was completely alone in this world of words and music and birdsong.

As I walked, the path floor was alive with small animals and insects.  Constantly, I caught from the corner of my eye the quick jumps of tiny frogs/toads scurrying out of my path.  I felt gad for disturbing their sanctuary.  But I needed to intrude on this sanctuary to find my own.

This is a summer of reconciliation.  I wish I had been writing last summer so I could see more of why it was so important to me.  Because last summer was huge and significant.  I needed last summer to see the person I was.  I need this summer to reconcile myself to the actions I have taken that I regret.  Because I do have regrets because I am a human being and regret is a natural part of our DNA.

As I was walking through forest paths, through memories, through the layers of music, I walked through a poetry book I think I would like to write.  I am scared to send it off for publication.  Not because I am afraid of rejection.  Please.  I have been rejected and it’s really not the end of the world or that horrible of a feeling.  But I am afraid of releasing these regrets into the folds of paper that has been sewn together and published for the world to see.

Of course, I am in the dreamworld that I would be accepted and there’s no guarantee that this would happen.  But I like to dream.  It’s what gets me writing.

I wrote the first poem today.  I am not going to put it here.  I learned the other day that literary magazines frown on sending out poems that were first published on blogs.


I am still writing poetry.  I really am.  I am keeping my promise to myself.  Because it’s time for me to do that.

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