In Training (Day 34)….Essence


Our favorite day of the week has arrived.  Friday.  That erstwhile day we all get to exhale the week’s worth of stress as it winds down and leads us into the weekend.  Or at least that is kinda, sorta the theory behind it.  I slipped out into the dark of morning for my run with the temperature hovering around zero.  A thick frost was on the cars and rendering the blades of grass motionless and white.  Under the yellow street light the streets glistened like diamonds.

Man, I love running in weather like this.  Stars were peeking out at me and I exaggerated my breath so that it came out in billows of steamy white puffs.  Smiling I greeted the world around me and began my run.  I fell into a rather meditative and contemplative frame of mind today.  One thing I noted is that nothing has ever come easy to me.  Perhaps that is the point.  Perhaps that is why we set challenges for ourselves.  I thought about running, of when I introduced myself to this activity again.

At times the physical pain felt was excruciating.  Yet I didn’t let that stop me.  I accepted that the pain was in some way necessary.  With each level of accomplishment completed I would raise the bar a little higher.  Now I have raised the bar yet again.

I have changed the course of my Friday run a bit.  Now the first third of the run is going up a gradual hill.  I wondered if it is more difficult to go up an incline that is stretched out over several blocks than running up a hill that is steeper, but substantially shorter in distance.  The gradual hill at times feels like it is more challenging.  But in each of the courses there is the point where it levels off.  I don’t have to work so hard now.  The body is warmed up, the pores are open and the breath becomes stable and then the run is just pure bliss.  The hard part has been overcome and now the reward is the freedom I feel in this movement and the place it takes me to.

Last night I met with my writer’s group and had an interesting conversation with a gentleman about religion.  We were discussing our writing projects.  He explained that he was, through his writing project, seeking his essence.  He is of the Islamic faith and when he moved to Canada, a host of things presented themselves causing him to question his place in this world, his existence.

At one point he stated that I had ‘closed the door on religion’ because I related a few incidents in that I found religion to be confining and judgmental.  Now at no time did he ask me what my beliefs were and I did not ask this of him either.  Yet there was this assumption on his part that I was in essence denying a part of myself because I had turned away from religion.  Curious I thought.  I told him that I looked at all religions and noted their similarities rather than their differences.  He liked this statement. The other curious thing in this conversation that stood out was that he referred to God in the masculine the entire time.  I left this alone as well.  In my mind it is irrelevant.

As I was driving home last night it occurred to me as well that he did not ask me if I believed in God or not.  So it was an interesting conversation where subtle assumptions were made.  I enjoy conversations of this nature as I can also reflect on my points.  What I was trying to relay to him was that truth is in fact very subjective.  We do have absolute truths as I have discussed before but if there is one thing I love, it is engaging others opinions regarding this.  It is our humanness that is so unique to each of us that I delight in sharing.

And as I ran through the morning I gazed at the point where the parallel lines of the sidewalk seemed to meet.  It occurred to me that while my eyes tell me they are in fact joined at a certain point, I know this to be untrue.  I know this is just perception and that the lines will in fact never meet.  Yet the eyes see a different reality.

How we interpret information may vary and what we take from it can direct how we live our lives.  At some point though, I think we will all find that absolute truth that we seek, that is our essence.  Perhaps that is the just the simple of joy of being human.  Embracing the journey we have been set upon that will ultimately lead each of us to where it is we need to be.

Happy Friday everyone!

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