So, so, so can’t wait to see this. And hear what other people are saying, too.
Things said by people lying on the floor at the Guggenheim on Sunday beneath James Turrell’s Aten Reign.
Me: I feel like we’re at the beginning of time.
Autumn (my stepdaughter): Or at the bottom of the sea.
Me: It’s sooo gray.
Autumn: Yeah. Except where it isn’t!
Guy, taking photo, to female companion: What is the point of this, exactly? I mean, you can’t exactly own it.
Woman, repeatedly snapping selfies: I don’t think this is my best angle.
Young woman to male companion: This is the color I like, because my pants get so pink.
Little girl: La la la la light bulb!
Father: Sometimes at the ridges — you know what I mean by ridges? — you can see different-colored lines. [Loooong pause.] You’ve gotta stare for a long time at it, right at the edge.
Little girl: Dad, I’m a wolf!
Father: Now it’s purple!
Guy, to girlfriend, responding to very intense pink: Look at that, it looks fake!
Guy, as light turns violet: This is so bright, right? This is the light where you see everyone’s imperfections.
Guy, as light shifts again: Do me a favor. Open your eyes as big as you can!
Girlfriend: [ignores him]
Guy: Open your eyes as big as you can!
Guy: You look so cute!
Guy, as pink returns: I don’t like this one. It’s not elegant.
30-something man, to 30-something woman he’s embracing: I gotta admit, I’ve never been on the floor of the Guggenheim with a girl like this. Thanks for the amazing experience.
Woman: I can’t wait to be on the floor in a less public space.
Photo by Maximus Clarke.
One year ago today, I ran the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Mile race, and raised $5,160 for First Descents, a non-profit that provides free outdoor adventure programs for young adults with cancer.
This November, I’ll be running the NYC Marathon and, again, raising money for First Descents. [You can make a tax-deductible donation here.]
I’ll write more about that soon but in the meantime, this was last year’s recap:
Good news: I finished the race in 14 hours and 27 minutes. Great news: We raised $5,160 for First Descents.
About the race: Going into it with an injury, I didn’t ever feel really great but I also never felt really terrible. At the beginning, I picked a pace—a very slow one, resembling more of a shuffle than a run—that I thought I could handle for a very long time. My calves held up, and somewhere around mile 13, I felt totally confident I could run this way all day. There were times when my head and/or legs felt disconnected from the rest of my body, and I enjoyed those times. Eventually, I became acutely aware of where and how all the parts of my body are attached. It was all I could do to not sing “the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone…” over and over again. Instead I ended up with Neil Young’s Harvest Moon in my head, on repeat.
When I reached Katie at mile 30 (3.8 miles farther than I had ever run before), I was more excited than tired. She came running up to me, gave me a big hug and after a short break to check out my feet (they became the most tired and sore part of my body; I ended up with a couple blisters) we tackled a ridiculous hill—1700 feet over about 2 miles, in terrain that resembled sand. The whole course included 9,000 feet of elevation gain but thankfully, I felt strongest going up. The longest, hardest stretch was miles 43-48. I was tempted to curl up on the side of the trail and take a nap. But, by mile 47 or 48, I could hear people cheering other finishers and it was enough to get me into something that resembled a sprint (or at least something considerably faster than how I had been running) for the last couple of miles. As I was handed my finisher’s medal, the volunteer told me, “it’s ok, you can stop running now, you’re done.”
In addition to all of you and the most excellent company I was lucky to keep—Morley for most of the beginning of the race, and Katie for the second half of the race—the things that kept me going were the views, our “crew,” the race staff and volunteers, and the other runners.
The area around Lake Tahoe is insanely gorgeous. I’m not even going to try and write about it. Our “crew” included my sister, Morley, and her pacer, a college friend named Alden, and another couple, Christy and Ted, who are far more experienced ultra runners and were able to dispense enormous encouragement, comfort and inspiration. Among the good words from them: take a salt tablet at every aid station (I think this saved me in the heat), and keep going, you can run farther than you think you can. To top it all off, Christy finished the race 4+ hours faster than I did, placing third, and as Morley said, showed us what was possible (lots of room for improvement). The volunteers at aid stations were relentlessly kind and caring, doling out PB+Js, chicken broth and boiled potatoes dipped in salt. Delicious. But more so, I was blown away by the warm and fuzzies from other runners. Even those who were covering 100 miles that day (and lapping me, they had to run the same course twice), were generously coaxing along those of us who were running half as far. Christopher McDougall’s words in Born to Run, “The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other… but to be with each other,” never rang more true.
So with that, thank you all you for your support along the way. I’m so happy that so many of you have chosen to support First Descents and that some of you have started running, or running more (I’m officially a running geek).
Much love, Sara
from OUT OF SHEER RAGE by Geoff Dyer, aka a book I am obsessed with at the moment. (via readandbreathe)
Double Handball by Melanie Schiff
I saw this photo a few months ago at Paris Photo LA. Lately, it’s been appearing in dreams: floating and ephemeral, a court for sport doubled over on itself with a small sleight of hand, a transparent vice. Really though, it’s just three planes intersecting to form just one corner. It’s open to every other direction.
Related: I’ve been sifting through an old Yahoo account and in efforts to save some of the half conversations still there, I found and forwarded, I sent this to myself:
From: email@example.comI might have been smarter then. Make a good place, stay there.
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2004 11:39 AM
Subject: Re: love from mexico
so good to hear from you as always, but this time your words could not have been better timed. you are definitely a product of your environment, at least to some extent, but it is also so important to remember that you are also the creator of your environment…
sadly, i will not be leaving for thailand next month…i am in a good place…so, for now, i will stay put.
Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby
I love this idea, that the world as it is is not inevitable, but shaped, in a very real, physical way, by the limits of our imaginations. The stories we tell each other define the contours of what is possible.
Ideas → words/drawings → blueprints → mass → ideas.(via massandtext)
Bas Jan Ader, In Search of the Miraculous (One Night in Los Angeles) (detail), 1973
The piece is expressly about freedom, about the will, about the ability to make a choice that has a corresponding nonchoice. Determinism lurks, but it is of a different kind, not something malicious like gravity or potentially random like God. Instead it is freedom itself that controls the situation; it is this quality that doomed Ader.— Dumbadze on Ader’s Broken Fall (Organic) from 1971, in Bas Jan Ader: Death Is Elsewhere, page 33.