Why do people run? They run towards things, away from things and sometimes just to stay in the same place.
The world seems to grow bigger every day. Burdens pile upon us from regulations, taxes, families, expectations and disappointments.
Both literally and psychologically we are a nation of runners. The few people who actually move in the slow lanes are considered impediments to progress. We run to escape the realities of this demanding world and to keep up with them. For those fortunate enough to be able to physically run, often the result is to slow the spin down. They reach a point where the colors of the land change from the harsh reds and yellows of everyday life to the soft pastels that bring them to a quieter place. This is called the runner’s high, and for those who have been there, you understand why people are out there rain or shine, putting in the miles.
As I have aged I have reached a point where I can no longer run. The world continues to speed by, however. I miss the escape.
I wrote The Runner (Riding in Boxcars, 2006) when I was about thirty-two. Running helped me through a tough period. I suspect many in our society can relate to it.
Glenn K. Currie
He ran. Fled really. Out
narrow side streets. Into the country,
past fields, fallow, and farms falling
into themselves. Away from crying
babies, needing him
in jobs with no future. Away
from nightmare nights and days
where rooms grow small.
He ran for the pain. Torturing
his body. Leaving everything
behind. Running until he could taste
the colors of the country.
Pastel greens and blues floating
with him. Distilled spirits drunk
with each breath.
Finally losing the zone.
Flashing reds and yellows
Bringing him slowly home.
He ran. To escape the lost dreams.
Lives never lived. Life being lived.
He ran keeping his times.
Marking the minutes and seconds.
Hoping to travel,
the same road faster.