Thursday, November 27, 2008

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Exhibit A

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.

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.
Almost Ruskin Bond-esque in its simplicity, but touches several chords.

Exhibit B

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.

Exhibit C

All of which is a timely cue to revisit Sex Without Love.

12 comments:

Orcaella brevirostris said...

does this mean you're running the mumbai half?

i might start training.

watch out for flying bags of sandy material.

Ludwig said...

[oracella] of course i'm running the mumbai half. if Lt. John McLane hands the city back to the BMPD or whatever, i.e. i'm even running the Hyd half day after tomorrow. the one that you ran in 2006. wait...

you latch onto kenny. she's terrifyingly fast. between the two of you, there will be enough sand for a nice-ish desert.

mmm. dessert.

kbpm said...

i ignore your comment section for one half day and you start slinging mud. or sand. with friends like this...

John McLane. Good one. I was also thinking about him in his banian the whole time. I mean when I could think.

orcaella. yeah. will message.

kbpm said...

i am the reading this book finally. spied it in a corner at the bleddy local CW and pinched it (i mean i paid and all).

aandthirtyeights said...

Nothing to do with this post, but I know no other method of contacting you, therefore:

Today, in a moment of surprise, I exclaimed, "Hare Ramachandra, Raghukulesha!" Haha.

Ludwig said...

[kennybunkbunk] hah. serves you right to not lurk around my blog. how liking book? it's very Ruskin Bond-esque. there, i've said it once, if i've said it again.

[mami] (i.e. the mami that is not kenny) heh. it's very effective and soothing. sooth only. you can email me at choultry AT gmail DOT com . also my lastname AT gmail DOT com .

yeda yeda hi dharmasya...

Anonymous said...

Is running the new refuge of jholawalas? ;)

-yours anonymously

Anonymous said...

make that "the new refuge of atheistic jholawalas"

- yours so lovingly anonymously

Ludwig said...

[anonymous] a hint as to who you might be will be deeply appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings

Why, Ludwig, is truth still absolute?

- Yours lovingly and yet anonymously

Ludwig said...

[anonymous] vaarni, nuvvaa? should've guessed based on yedava prasanlu!

"i am the doubter and the doubt" it seems. doubt ledu le. even if it sounds like templatized mumbo jumbo.

"i am the noun/verber and the noun/verb"

"i am the dancer and the dance."
"i am the jumper and the jump."
"i am the fucker and the fuck."

one could go on.

Anonymous said...

Ludwig - may your cleverness turn into gold, as the grandma types say. It took all of a signature query for you to spot me. But, tell me, Clarice, are you the runner and the run too?

- Yours lovingly, and not so anonymously