Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Life goes on - it always does

This is a running blog and one of the constraint I set myself is to try to try to stay on subject, even if the link might be a bit tenuous So far it has not been a problem, and I have found things I wanted to say but between Thursday and Sunday this was not the case.

I was not personally affected by the bombings in the sense that I was nowhere near them when they went off and I know nobody who was directly involved. I am not someone who reacts to external events with great emotion and my life is much as it ever was. But, and this is rather a large but, my mental landscape was empty – like a ghost town in an old western, where the only movement is a tumbleweed blowing down the street. I had a constant sense of eerie quietness.

Thursday itself was very strange. I only knew something was wrong when colleagues phoned-in saying that they were having difficulty getting into work because the whole underground network was closed down because of power surges or a security alert. The rest of the day was spent trying to get work done with fewer people whilst constantly checking on the Internet to see more news. There was a horrible obsessiveness about reading the same things again and again to see if there was any more information. I finished about 7pm and ran to Euston (4 miles)to catch my train home. It was a most unpleasant run, where everything felt wrong. I felt wrong and the city was all wrong - theatres, bars and restaurants were closed and even Covent Garden was subdued. But I did not feel the emptiness until I got to the Euston Road. It was closed to all traffic - so still, so quiet.

It was then that I remembered the Potters Bar rail crash. On that day I had been at a meeting in an office block in the concourse of Potters Bar station. Our party was breaking for lunch, just walking down the stairs, when we heard the crump of the crash. We ran to the station and were amongst the first people there - trying in some way to help and not really knowing what to do.

When I think of what happened I don’t really remember what I saw: the broken bodies on the track, looking like puppets whose strings had been cut, or the way the carriage was wedged under the platform roof at a crazy angle. Instead I feel the stillness. Everything was quiet, disconnected and empty – and that is what I still feel inside myself. On thursday it all came back.

After that I did not want to write about running but I did want to run. So on Sunday I went back to my canal and my base run. It was leafy, beautiful and peaceful and, although it was a bit too hot and I suffered more than usual, at the end I was uplifted. My spirits were restored.

Now once again I want to write about running. The whole point of this blog is to try to record those moments when the simple act of putting one foot in front of another for a longish period of time can transform the way you feel. Make you once again feel connected. It is what I am trying to express.


Laura said...

You write so well... whether it's about running or anything else.

Highway Kind said...

Thank you Laura

Evil Pixie said...

yep have to agree with Laura
and I can also associate with the home run feeling
when my grandfather died i went for a run - i cried and walked and ran and felt something and nothing - it was just the right thing to do

Highway Kind said...


Sometimes we just have to take ourselves away like that to a place we feel we own.

In that space we have a better chance of sorting things out.

Sarah said...

I thought maybe it was more appropriate to post on your wesite. Your thoughts offer inspiration to others and show no judgementalism and great honesty yet you expect nothing in return.
You must have been through much in life to show that kind of regard for other human beings whom you don't really know.
I hope life brings to you all that a person with those qualities deserves and I wish you well on that journey. Karma will mean that you wiil receive all that you give.

Highway Kind said...

Those Are very kind comments Sarah.

I don't think of myself like that at all.

I am just someone trying to understand what I can

Nothing special.

Sarah said...

Its the fact that you try to understand that makes you special, we are all special in our own way, maybe that is yours. So many people don't bother to try and understand, they look at what is on the surface and take everything at face value. They don't try to look deeper. They don't look at all angles.
Never do yourself an injustice, accept your good qualities and the compliments you receive from others, for they are well meant.

Highway Kind said...

Thank you

I will

Sarah said...

Because you are special. Especially to those you take the time to read and comment on their thoughts. If I'd had a blog I would have appreciated your comments on it, because you do it with such thought.

b-z said...

here is someone with a self pitying blog who DOES appreciate his comments