A week ago, I found out that the DC office of the National AIDS Marathon Training Program was closing. As people who have known me for a long time know, signing up for AIDS Marathon in 2001 literally changed my life. It got me exercising, I met a whole new group of friends, it helped me lose a lot of weight, it taught me just what I could accomplish if I put my mind to it. I believe in the program enough that I not only ran in it for six years in a row, but this past year I worked on Saturday mornings for the program to be one of the run site assistants.
Needless to say, AIDS Marathon going away in the DC area is not at all what I’d call a happy event, and there was a whole range of mad/upset/sad/unbelieving emotions that quickly ran through my head over the course of a couple of hours. (An abbreviated version of the grieving process, such as it was.)
What interestingly enough stopped the process for me, though, was a sudden thought that brought everything into a different sort of perspective. I’m not going to stop running, I told myself. A part of my life is going away, but at the same time it’s almost more of it merely changing into something else. And suddenly, like that, a whole new world of possibilities opened up in front of me once I realized that I wasn’t saying goodbye to everything in one fell swoop.
And it was right then that I saw that line from Six Feet Under that I mentioned a week ago. It was Lauren Ambrose who delivered the line (from the episode “Nobody Sleeps”) and part of it was just her body language and her tone of voice that sold it, but even stripped down to just print it still really hits home for some reason:
“I’m not even sure what happened, but I just had this glimpse of what might be possible, and for whatever reason the world just seemed really open and interesting, and not totally screwed up, and I don’t know, I don’t know, I just felt really happy.”
It’s taken me about a week to get fully back to that point, but I think I’m actually there. My iPod just pulled up Jennifer Kimball’s “The Revelations” and I’d forgotten how much I love this song. There’s this wonderful optimism bound up in it, this amazing forward-thinking.
Even through a wood you know by heart
It’s hard to go the same way twice.
Any bird, a stone can be a new path
Any love may turn to ice.
I’ve got all these opportunities in front of me right now. Things are going to be very different for running in 2007. And don’t get me wrong, leaving a great love of mine behind is distressing, and it’s sad to have to do so. But there are so many ideas I have, so many options, so many forks in the road waiting to be chosen. I can’t wait to make them.
There is no vision here but what is seen,
A stillness deeper than the night sky.
There’s time enough for both of us,
I am yours, and you are mine.
This is the way I’ve heard
It’s supposed to be, you and me.
A bridge over open sea
A single span, the infinite plan.
You and I are here to stay
You and I are here to stay.