Silence

More on the health news from the other day. My doctor had decided I should get an x-ray on my chest because of some issues with an ongoing non-cold-related cough and a newish chronic pain on the left back side. The x-ray showed that there is a density there, but it’s hard to see what it is, so I have to get a CT-scan soon. I suspected something wasn’t right, but thought maybe I was worrying myself about something that wasn’t there. I worry now mainly because I used to be a smoker. I quit cold turkey 10 years ago, and never looked back. My new lifestyle is a healthy one, of eating right, running, and staying active in thought, work, and play. Now I simply have a fear that perhaps something may not be good, but I won’t know more until later.

This is where I find comfort in my husband and my family. They have the magical power to go “boom” and make the fears go away, at least temporarily, and confirm to me that I am loved. It is around these people that I find safety and comfort.

Today I also learned that Jimmy Carter’s cancer has advanced to his brain. Jimmy Carter is a person I admire. He was one of the first presidents to really address the energy crisis, and he has done good work since those earlier times we weren’t as aware now as we are of coal, fracking, and other problems. He has been a warrior to combat climate change. He has done charitable work in other countries to help those in need.

He is 90. Ninety!

When I was in college, in the early 1990s, Jimmy Carter came to speak at Purdue. Actually, I can not remember now if he came shortly after I graduated or before. My dad grew up also admiring Carter, and we went together to hear him speak. For one thing, President Carter’s southern voice and hospitality brought us home. His eloquence, care, and love floated across the audience, and we left energized about the world and what we could do to make it better. Seems so odd that since that time my father is now gone, Jimmy Carter is sick, and my own health is kinda temporarily up in the air. Yet it seems like just yesterday. I think memory is the only technology that folds space and time.

We’re never certain of a damn thing in this life, are we?

I sit here this afternoon, silence crowding my head, buffing the normal sounds of the day. Some sort of strange peace is there; maybe talking with my husband, mom, daughter, son, brother, and sister, all in the course of a quick chat in one afternoon, has that effect. I did my running this week, but due to ongoing pain on that left side, I have only managed 3 miles. Ran 1.5 earlier today. I stopped short half of what I usually run at a time, worried that whatever that thing is that makes me hurt right now might be not helped by running? I don’t plan to stop running, by the way. I don’t think fear should be a major thing in anyone’s life. Hope maybe, yes. Dreams, yes.

I read a quote the other day:

Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain.
― Christopher McDougall

McDougall wrote a book about running titled Born to Run (with a lot of subtitle words that I don’t remember). The quote makes me feel good about life. Today when running, even with worries on my mind, I ran on the trails where the blackberries drip and bloom, rejoicing silently for this magnificent self-propulsion.