In the darkest nights of winter, Susan and I jog deserted streets. Channeling Jackson Pollock, our swinging hands gripping flashlights scribble vanishing art across the pavement. In the blackness, there’s nothing to see save two beams as they dance and bounce first behind and then before us. We don’t talk. The patterns in our foot-falls and quiet labored breath accompany familiar melodies in my head.
I’m not much for meditation. A woman with a script guides my thoughts:
“Imagine a warm room, leather sofa, a crackling fire…”
“Soften first your neck muscles…”
“Envision a vast ocean…”
Breathe in, breathe out. I wander. Enumerate the things I didn’t do, the things that still need doing. Plan my night, problem solve, I’m wasting time. Susan meditates daily. Fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, she centers herself and moves on with her day. Years ago, I went through a phase; twenty minutes of yoga then Shavasana—on my back, still. Listen for the birds and insects. Be the birds and insects. Unsustainable, at least for me. I let it go.
We run. Twenty-five minutes without distraction. A porch light up the street, a barking dog behind glass, traffic on a distant road, breath, feet. Crazy, lights slashing in and out of vision. I focus, but I don’t. I find peace.