The book is (thankfully) back. Phew. Excerpt:
I'm often asked what I think about as I run. Usually the people who ask this have never run long distances themselves. I always ponder the question. What exactly do I think about when I'm running? I don't have a clue.Almost Ruskin Bond-esque in its simplicity, but touches several chords.
On cold days I guess I think a little about how cold it is. And about the heat on hot days. When I'm sad I think a little about sadness. When I'm happy I think a little about happiness. As I mentioned before, random memories come to me too. And occasionally, hardly ever, really, I get an idea to use in a novel. But really as I run, I don't think much of anything worth mentioning.
I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way. I run in order to acquire a void. But as you might expect, an occasional thought will slip into this mind. People's minds can't be a complete blank. Human beings' emotions are not strong or consistent enough to sustain a vacuum. What I mean is, the kinds of thoughts and ideas that invade my emotions as I run remain subordinate to that void. Lacking content, they are just random thoughts that gather around that central void.
The thoughts that occur to me while I'm running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky as always. The clouds are mere guests in the sky that pass away and vanish, leaving behind the sky. The sky both exists and doesn't exist. It has substance and at the same time it doesn't. And we merely accept that vast expanse and drink it in.
From the last scene:
So where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jenny, I believe that God made me for a purpose. He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.
All of which is a timely cue to revisit Sex Without Love.