Watch. Listen. Feel.
Art is hard.
Art is good.
Watch. Listen. Feel.
Art is hard.
Art is good.
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of running the Horsetooth Half Marathon in Fort Collins, Colorado. This race was appealing for multiple reasons.
I had the joy of running this race with Zack.
Zack is one of those people who is extremely gifted in bringing excitement and energy out of people. I remember one instance when we worked together at a summer camp, he rallied 40 4th-6th grade kids and essentially turned them into crazy brainwashed children chanting and yelling like they all had rabies. I think there might have even been foam dripping from their mouths. The kids were so passionate and believed so strongly about this certain cause that they were ripping grass out of the ground and shaking trees while shouting and cheering , all the while Zack stood on a picnic table with his hands lifted high like an angry warlord simply yelling “LOUDER!” after each chant. It was an incredible adrenaline rush and an unforgettable moment.
Needless to say, Zack is great person to run a marathon with because it didn’t matter who we passed, he managed to get every spectator on their feet and cheering for us like it was the finish line.
You can hear Zack inspiring the crowd to cheer at :34 in this video,
Most marathons have spectators throughout the whole race, but there were a couple things that made Horsetooth unique compared to other marathons I have run.
Therefore, Zack’s ability to get people rallied and cheering for us was absolutely the encouragement I needed to finish. It also made the race highly enjoyable.
This was also one of those races that required a sense of humor. Not only were we at 5000+ feet, but the inclines were insane. To help take our minds off of the pain and insanity, we did video blogs throughout the race via my iPhone. Most of the other runners thought it was funny and we got a lot of people laughing, but some were not so nice. Notice the angry lady at :15,
Not only were we running through the mountains, but we also had a breathtaking view of the Horsetooth reservoir which Zack is pointing out in this video. Some awesome hippy drummers come along towards the end of the video.
You can see here a picture of the elevation changes by following this link:
Needless to say, it was beautiful yet exhausting race. Highly recommended! Here are some more photos:
I am very aware I have not been prolific this month as a blogger. Ultimately, blogging is a creative outlet for me, and not an emotional one. April has been a particularly straining month and life has hit quite hard and suddenly. Some people blog when life hits; I prefer to live when life hits, then blog later.
This is not a great excuse, and I want to let you know I’m sure I’ll get back to the swing of things soon.
In the meantime, here are two of my favorite things: Lighthouses, and Star Wars.
Art is still hard.
O living will that shall endure
When all that seems shall suffer shock,
Rise in the spiritual rock,
Flow thro’ our deeds and make them pure,
That we may lift from out of dust
A voice as unto him that hears,
A cry above the conquer’d years
To one that with us works, and trust,
With faith that comes of self-control,
The truths that never can be proved
Until we close with all we loved,
And all we flow from, soul to soul.
-From Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”
Those who know me well, know that faith has not come easy to me.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
Even so, I have not recovered from the reality that God is for me.
The stilly murmur of the distant sea, tells us of silence.
I’m finding that I get addicted to productivity. This is not a bad thing entirely, although sometimes I think it has some negative side effects.
Let me explain.
I have a hard time doing one thing at a time.
I can’t simply read a book, unless I’m waiting for my laundry to finish.
I can’t clean the kitchen without listening to an audiobook or podcast sermon.
I can’t watch Sportscenter without eating cereal.
I can’t wait at a stoplight without checking my twitter feed.
I can’t simply spend time on the throne of waste without reading blogs from my Ipad.
It’s probably a result of our culture, but I have a hard time accomplishing only one thing at a time. It’s unhealthy, in some respects.
I was reading book two of the Hunger Games series (I finally understand all the rage), while simultaneously waiting for my laundry to dry, and I started to notice the world around me was off. Something was not right.
Some sort of sixth sense came over me but I couldn’t put a finger on exactly what was going on. I took my headphones off (I was listening to the electronic post-rock band, Mountains) and tried pushing aside my disdain for Effie Trinket and the rest of the Capitol’s goobers, and tried focusing my mind on reality. I rubbed my eyes and tried to figure out why my senses drew me away from my book so suddenly. Then it hit me.
People were staring in my direction. For a moment I stood up and tried to figure out what was wrong with me. A hanging booger, a stain on my shirt, was I drooling? Then out of the corner of my eye I notice a young couple behind me.
I turned around and saw a young couple kissing. Kissing is an understatement, more like licking. It was a bit disturbing; especially considering the kid was wearing one of those hats with ears on it. It was the strangest thing.
I sat back down and tried to forget this was happening three feet behind me, but since my head phones were off, I could literally hear the sounds of them kissing.
People ask me all the time why I don’t write more Laundromat Diaries, and my answer is that contrary to common belief, the Laundromat is exciting probably 10% of the time. Most of the time funny stuff doesn’t happen. But when you write about a certain culture that is not inherently exciting, sometimes you have to do something out of character to push the action.
I walked over and asked them politely, “Could you please not do this here. I’m trying to read the Hunger Games.”
They were very taken aback. The young girl, probably 15, look a bit embarrassed, while the kid with the ears looked at me and said, “It’s a free country.”
The “it’s a free country” card is a difficult one to deal with, because there’s not a whole lot of debate. I’m not very witty on the spot, so I took an awkwardly long time to respond with a comeback.
“You’re right.” I respond.
I decided that I’m not quick witted enough to convince them to make out somewhere else, so I decided to try a different approach. I sit right next to them, awkwardly close, and start reading my book out loud.
I’m not sure what possessed me to do this, and as I was doing this I could feel the burning stares from around the room. I started regretting my decision to push the action and started sweating. The tension was so intense you could literally feel it.
But to my advantage, the young couple was also feeling this same tension. The kid with the ears gave me a dirty look and scoffed, muttered some profanities, and they went to the opposite side of the Laundromat.
Victory was mine.
I had a difficult time reading after the little episode, so I put the book away and started pacing while listening to some tunes. I made sure to avoid the awkward young couple in the corner, and focused my gaze at the laundry spinning in circles with perfect soap bubbles.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11
The space between the human mind and eternity leaves us with a longing.
It is one that I often find myself attempting to fill with pleasure, and the weariness that comes from pleasure is that of the worst kind.
In the midst of this constant exchange I find it easy to drift away from seeing the bigger picture.
But God is faithful, even when I am not.
I am grateful the rain has stopped.
Most of the time, we just need a change of perspective.
If you can’t change your circumstance, change your heart.
This begins by getting away from the mirror and daily throwing yourself at the foot of the cross.
Happy Thursday, even though it is STILL raining in Wichita.
There is one thing that gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner. -Chesterton
The distance to the light brings more joy than it’s touch.