with equal parts compassion & hilarity

Shall I still try?

I ran into the sky this week. My 5:30 a.m. run brought me closer and closer to sky until I was there; running through it, running through sky. I was running through it even while it subtly changed around me as the daylight began to stretch the sky open.

Eyes trained ahead of me, I ran towards and into the muted cotton candy pink wisps of clouds. The airy puffs shaped like curved swoosh. I ran along the swoosh and stood against a pale light blue sky. The sky—hazy, gentle, soft—seemed to warn of the approaching 80-degree weather. 

I ran down the swoosh and then hopped down to the next. It was as if an artist was practicing a new painting technique; a particular brushstroke. It was as if they liked the way the brushstroke looked, but more than that they liked the way the movement felt to make the brushstroke. The curved lines stacked atop one another, one another, one another, movement familiar and mysterious all at once.

I ran down the next curved stroke then looked both ways before leaping down to another and another. So it was. My arms pumping, my veins pulsing with lactic acid, my heart longing for more sky. My early morning run into the sky and through the sky but never making it out of the sky. 

When I looked back the way I had come, the once defined curve of the brushstroke had become more wispy and the white puff particles drifted apart. The very line I had found grounding on (a rarity while moving through the sky) had transformed into something new, something nearly unfamiliar. Yes, of course it was beautiful still, but I couldn’t go back the same way—the footing wasn’t solid enough. I knew that I’d have to make a new way if I was to return to where I started. Perhaps I wouldn’t return to where I started at all.

Then, I looked forward and found intrigue. The way forward ended in gray haze, the infant sun not yet able to pry open the fog. The path appeared to close in on itself until the distance between the gray fog and the farthest end of the path was no distance at all, but a point. The fog swallowed up the path and that was where I found intrigue. I wondered if it would swallow me too. Something as bodily and concrete as me? Shall I still try?

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Header image courtesy of Unsplash.

2 Responses to “Shall I still try?”

  1. Mayo and Carol Gregerson

    Wow! That is good writing!❤️

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. alexisswenson

    Thanks, Carol! Running and writing go together for me and it was fun to write this short piece. Glad you enjoyed it – thanks for reading.



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