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QUINTESSENCE

Cathedral of Green

one does a whole painting for one peach and people think just the opposite - that that particular peach is but a detail.
-Pablo Picasso

In the last essay I touched on the idea of finding the midpoint between the deep high and low points in the sine wave of life - that personal place where we rest in stillness and collected self, gathering and absorbing the moments of living.

I entered deep into one of my personal balance points this morning, and the experience seemed to highlight the meaning of vitality to me. I headed out for my usual morning run, only marginally aware of the turquoise sky streaked with high strata of white cloud, the May flowers like Matisse cut-outs, opening to the sun in mosaics of color beside the road. I was preoccupied thinking about my work and upcoming events, deadlines and dilemmas as yet to resolve themselves. Yet inevitably, the effort of running settles my soul. It takes the body machine and gives it a good drive - opening the internal spark plugs and cleaning out the lines.

But more than that, running, like many athletic endeavors, rewards sustained push. The focus and discipline required distract the noisy mind, and a shift occurs from mental analytics and fretting to release - abiding in soft awareness, a listening within. At some point on a run (and it may take a hellacious frustrating effort to get to that point) I abruptly unmoor from my usual boomerang thinking and hear this perfect symphony that is heart beat, breath, blood and muscle burn. The body clicks in, harmonizes in that perfect place that is the center of the point of ease. The place where effort is equaled by performance, and the sense of sailing - of moving freely through one's own power - replaces struggle. Every run is for this: the exercise, to paraphrase Picasso, is mere detail.

This morning my run took me down an avenue of grand old maples in line along parallel boulevards. New tender leaves, the size of stepping stones or stars, have opened up above me and I am moving, no, flowing in this sun-filtered river of green light. I run, suspended in a cathedral of green, floating in harmony with all that I am and all that is the world.

That's enough.

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