Wednesday, 28 February 2018

That feel

I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises.

Indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire, why, it appeareth no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.

Actually I take that back. I know exactly wherefore. Here I am, half a century in, single, susceptible to injury, overworked, having my pension stolen by the cynical manoeuvres of a morally corrupt employers’ union, and single … and so I’m not running much, and not so much enjoying it when I do.

There’s a song by Tom Waits, a duet with Keith Richards, in which he sings:
Well there's one thing you can't lose
It's that feel
Your pants, your shirt, your shoes
But not that feel
It’s not true. I had that feel and I lost it. I still have my shoes, but I have of late, wherefore I know not …

And today the augurs are ill. I have to give my inaugural lecture tomorrow, about which I’m fretting, I’ve stuff to do, important stuff like ironing and writing the lecture. And The Beast from the East has blown in. It’s thick with snow outside, and blowing. But bright and I’ve had enough and need to clear my head. So I go for a run, before the sun sets.

And about half way through the run I’m on Walthamstow marshes, the sun has gone, the sky a thick and hazy grey, the snow is swirling around me, my left leg is stiff, possibly because I’m running awkwardly for fear of slipping on the ice, the temperature is dropping, my hands are wet, and my chest is cold even though I put on an extra warm shirt at the last moment, and the snowflakes are sticking to my eyelashes so I can’t see. And that’s the point at which I start laughing aloud. Because this is the best fun I’ve had in ages.

It just takes an interesting form of obstacle, impediment, opposition.

You know what. I was wrong: you can’t lose that feel, even if you have to wait for it to come back in its own time.

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