Thursday, July 22, 2010


The great undoing hasn't started yet. I'm passing my time with a little cross training and reading. I just polished off The Catcher In The Rye a few nights ago and, having lived large portions of that novel, I was again mesmerized. I'm not sure if it's a novel for boys, for misfits, or those so attuned to their own suffering as well as the suffering of others but whatever the case, it is timeless and as brilliant today as it was when I read it in high school. Next in the queue is Call Of The Wild and White Fang by Jack London. Only 30 odd pages in and I can already tell that this will have a huge influence on my training. The concept of "devolving" from the polished and pretty to the animals that we inherently are is fascinating. Whether it's a spoiled dog dragged into the Yukon to discover its' ancestors, the dudes in Fight Club discovering the transformative powers of a punch in the face, or running enormous miles through the woods with nothing more than shoes, shorts, shirt, and water bottle, the end result is a huge extended middle finger to the endless stream of tv shows/advertisements/commercials that attempt to lure us into being pretty little lap dogs rather than the absolute fucking beasts we always were.

I'm as much at fault as anyone. I work an easy job where I suck up the hospitals air conditioning when things get to hot, and siphon off their heat when it gets a little chilly outside. There are nights that I get home from work, unwilling to think anymore, and I will sit in front of the TV for hours to keep the inner and outer chatter at bay. There are days when I crave the comfort of another human being so badly that I will compromise any ethics, standards, or beliefs to achieve that goal. In AA they talk quite a bit about 'keeping your side of the street clean' and there are days when my side of the street looks like the remnants of a bomb blast. At the end of the day my only hope is that the good pile is stacked higher than the bad pile. Sometimes it's just that simple.

I'm glad that I've finally gotten this site back on course. It was never meant to be a training log. It was meant to explore my life's fractures and my attempts to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. What's so complicated though is that the things that make me whole (running, playing music, practicing medicine), that make me better than what I have been, are so far beyond the confines of language that trying to describe them just cheapens them. In a more skilled writers hands the immeasurable can be captured by our paltry vocabulary, but in these hands I can only fall short.

"And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again. The domesticated generations fell from him. In vague ways he remembered back to the youth of the breed, to the time when wild dogs ranged in packs through the primeval forest and killed their meat as they ran it down. It was no task for him to learn to fight with cut and slash and the quick wolf snap. In this manner had fought forgotten ancestors. They quickened the old life within him, and the old tricks which they had stamped into the heredity of the breed were his tricks. They came to him without effort or discovery, as though they had been his always. And when, on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at a star and howled long and wolf-like, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him. And his cadences were their cadences, the cadences which voiced their woe and what to them was the meaning of the stillness, and the cold, and the dark." Jack London

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