The summary of Peter Bradshaw’s review of Brokeback Mountain contains the sentence:
'Further than this, Brokeback Mountain is the story of how most of our lives, gay and straight, are defined by one moment in which things go gloriously and naturally right, when everything falls into place, but which is then infected by the bacilli of wrongness.'
For me that this insight is not exclusive to relationships; it applies to everything. I don’t know whether it is just me or whether it is the same for everyone, but with almost every activity I take seriously there is a moment of insight where I can see how things should be followed by a long struggle to try to make it so. Usually that struggle ends with failure and things never live up to the initial promise. Things once clear and simple become over complicated.
When I was younger I got terribly upset at this failure realise ideas. Now I understand that success or failure is not point - it is the process that is important. This understanding is the reason I like running - it is a constant reminder that the only thing that matters is to keep on keeping on. I have goals - if I make them, for a short time I feel good, if I fail, for a short time, I feel bad - they are like bubbles on a river. The continued satisfaction comes from the regularity of activity.
But for me to take running seriously there had to be a moment of insight when things seemed so ‘gloriously and naturally right’. That happened when I realised that I could run long. Until then I had a mental barrier - I couldn’t relate to the way other people could just keep going. Then one day I found a comfortable pace and my mind stopped thinking about what it was doing. I just carried on moving and instead of the world closing in with messages of ‘how much longer’ it opened up with a sense of wonder and the question ‘is this really me doing this?’
Since then there have been frustrations and difficulties - injuries and not being as fast as I want, or expect to be. My expectations shift and I am never quite satisfied. But somehow that initial sense of wonder keeps me going.