F 1 D 0 - 2003 07 25 at 0850

Followed me home.

As you might know, I like to run on Thursdays.

The route begins at Fresh Air Experience, on the south end of town. We usually have a good group together, perhaps 40. We were half that yesterday, because of a running event elsewhere. So we ran. I run with the group which rests about quarter of the time. When we started, we'd run for five minutes, rest for one minute. This changed recently when someone joined us who needed a lighter duty cycle. At run 5 walk 1, I can go for about half an hour, and then I really seem to need the rests VERY BADLY. I experience them in a funny way. I know the rests are timed, but they go by far too fast. It feels like as soon as we begin walking, it's time to run again! With run 3 walk 1, I'm feeling something entirely different. I feel like I could go on FOREVER this way. Does that make sense? It seems wonderful. I have not put it to the test, but want to see if I can go 10km and still feel the same "I can run forever" feeling. The run takes us along the water's edge for a while. It is a new marina park. When we get to the end, there are large garages which seem to belong to the boating people. This is something I'm probably going to get wrong, but I'll do my best with it. They are not canoes. They aren't dragon boats. They're not the kind used by universities, with a team trying to scull together. Ok, what are they then? I forget, and I'm using internet web searches to help me out here. So who knows? They get four people into each one, and the paddle along the river. I think this river is the Kaministiquia (say Kam, or ca mi NIS ti Qua). So we always see the boat people, and each time they ask Tracy when she's going to come back out each week. "I dunno!", she shouts. "Someday!" Then she explains it costs a lot. She tells us that each of these boats are so very different. That if you use a Kayak paddle, you will probably be classed with kayaks in an event. How the seats are sometimes very close, and you can whack someone in the head if you aren't paddling together. Or if the person ahead of you decides to take an unannounced rest. We approach an abandoned grain elevator. They are so tall, so strong. The one we pass appears to be 12 storeys high. We make a right turn in front of it, to run across the level crossing. Perhaps six tracks. There is a sign: Caution! Remote Controlled Locomotives in use here. My train engineer friend tells me they're thinking about replacing all of the train guys with a camera and a remote control. That sounds safe. Each time we run, there is a single engine car there, with its motor running. So now I look at it, wondering if I'll see the ghost train move around. So far not. So far it just sits at the ready. We take a left at Syndicate Ave for about a block. There we approach a very complicated intersection. Vickers crosses diagonally, and would go across the tracks by bridge. But the bridge has been closed to vehicles. On another diagonal, we have Walsh. The main street is Syndicate. This light was very important to help trucks on and off the bridge when it was in regular use. Now? In addition to having minimal utility, it also makes us wait for about 35 seconds, red in all directions. They've turned the signals visible from the bridge so they cannot be seen, and disconnected their power sources. But the signal box still provides time for the trucks. We just run onto the bridge. This kind of bridge has to be rather like a hill. We are going over train tracks, and underneath us is a couple of tracks too. People call this The Jackknife Bridge. While climbing, nearly at the signal, all of a sudden this very loud horn beeps twice a second. "Okay," I tell our running group, "I have a spare pair of shorts just for such emergencies." Gawd it was loud. And for the first time, I was going to see the bridge open up. I'm imagining something like an elevator. The boat wants to cross underneath, so he presses a signal. This fires up the bridge right? Wrong. But I still thought it would be cute. Not until I saw what happens. The horns sound while the red striped barrier comes across the road. The X signal and lights are dinging now, like a train crossing. Now the road ahead of us is slowly lifting up. It is at this time I wonder, "What if I was on that bridge at the time?" Another runner was imagining being on a bicycle, or in a car. Splash! No more! But I was thinking a pedestrian would simply hold on. It happens quite slowly, and would feel safe enough. Ah, what deception! Slow, yes, but it doesn't stop until it is open to 70 or 80 degrees! At some point, the now panicky pedestrian should lie face down on the hill, and hang on for dear life. If he should locate a post of the protective fence, this would now be a stable foothold, and would change the experience from tragic to exciting! So our run was delayed by easily 5 or 10 minutes. We turned at the 5k marker and came back. When the bridge was in sight again, I was tripped by this kitten. At the time it was covered in sticky sap, or tar. Hard to tell. It was purring a lot, and when I made a gesture, it jumped into my arms. It was not shy. It did have a lot of mess on its fur, and its ribs were showing. I talked to it for some time, letting the other two runners get ahead of me. When I got to the bridge, I put it back down into the grass, and left it behind. It resisted, but after four tries, I was able to get away. I couldn't get this thing out of my mind. I also didn't want to be late for Yoga, which started at 800pm. There was construction, and the bend at Simpson Street was off limits. We just had to go around the corner. Here I was, looking at the Pacific Avenue Bridge. This doesn't cross any water, but goes quite high over top of the train switching yard. This light is another complicated 5-way arrangement, and it seems like forever before you get your teensie 25 second green light. I went straight through. Lucky me. I had a Dept of Something truck ahead of me, full of equipment, with a top speed of 30k. There was just enough traffic coming toward me that passing was not an option. At some point, it turned right, and I continued to the very end. 110th Avenue? Island Road? I'm not sure what the street's name was. I made a right turn. It is a new bridge, and has some new artwork on it. I talk with Ann about art sometimes. How people who use wood and paint rarely use computers. This art is how a person used a computer, and converted it to metal without really thinking about it. The art is reasonable, actually. Fishes. Bent into a wavy S pattern. So what's my problem with it? It's invisible. Until you drive along the bridge, you cannot even see that it is there. If you are in a boat along the river you can see the fishes I suppose. And if you are walking, you can take in the intricate fine lacelike designs in each of these fishes. Nobody walks along this bridge. Happily, people bike along it. These fish sculpture would have been improved if they were turned so people who drive or bike past could see them as they approached. If turned, you could see them from a mile or two away. I'm told this particular artist has connections with the city in unfair ways, so that whenever something comes up like this, he's got all of the papers filled out and wins the approval process each time around, and the other local artists wonder why they didn't even hear about this until afterwards. It's a lovely roadway. Woods on my right, bushes with train engines on my left. It seems quite long, but there is plenty of room. I can travel easily at 70k on this 60k roadway. It takes me so long, but eventually I see the "Stop Ahead" icon, and when I turn right, I get close to the bridge again. At first I leave the engine running, and then wonder if it is a good idea to. There aren't many people here, but the ones who are can be poor, and use another truck. So I shut off the engine, and leave the hazards blinking. I look in the tall grasses, and see nothing. I decide now to call it. I've not given it a name, so I just called it "Meow." "Meoow? Oh, Meoow?" I couldn't see it at first. But it had a big voice, and I could hear it right away. A very very loud Maaaaaooow! I followed my ears with my eyes, and found it on the other side of the scrap yard there, perhaps half a mile away. I kept meowing, it kept meowing back. And running. It wasn't like a movie. Film makers slow the running down for some reason. This little one ran like nothing I've ever seen before. I lost sight of it for the last hundred feet or so, because of brush and piles of scrap. But it kept calling out to me, and I kept answering. And Pounce. There it was. In front of me, between and around my legs, and pounce, and it is climbing on my arms, pressing its face everywhere it can. I was in a big hurry. I didn't want to miss another Thursday Yoga class, so I carried this kitten into the truck, expecting the worst. I've seen how they can become hyper, panicky and dangerous to themselves and the driver. I opened the door, it ran inside. Just like that. I closed the door, and it was a little hyper. It would climb onto my shoulders or chest. Look out the driver's side window. Then turn around, and look out the other window. But it wasn't concerned when I started the truck. I turned us around, and started rushing back. I always note the amber "deer" signs when I see them. I don't expect much. This one was followed by a speed reduction, to 50k (that's 30mph). We cross a level train crossing, and both the cat and I see a pair of deer. They bounded across the street. Just like that. The deer looked like animated deer I'd seen in movies. They didn't walk, they didn't run. They did this light aerobic jump, from one place to the next. Is "grace" the right word for this? I continued slowly and watched for a moment. There was an amber sign ahead of me, on my left which read "Don't feed the deer." I can see that would be a problem. I'd feed the deer just to keep them around there. I would. It was cool. I rushed toward yoga class. The trip was along the 110th/Island road to Central. I crossed at Central Bridge and made a right along Water Street. So far so good. Traffic was moving at highway speeds. When I got to Pearl Street, I decided that the best thing to do was NOT to leave this kitten in the truck. Lots of reasons why. One is the neighbourhood. People in this part of downtown can be wonderful, or dangerous and rude. More on that soon. I took it into Ann's Studio. I was concerned because the kitten could have freaked out, and made quite a mess. I took the chance that it could cope on its own for 90 minutes.

I left the truck in the driveway, and rushed the few feet to class.

It had started, but Marjut was still talking. She was introducing a reading by Krishamurti. He wrote about the benefits of perceiving. Not looking at something for its benefits. And not looking at something because it might happen to be beautiful. To instead just perceive this thing, like the first time we see something. This was the joy of meditation: To achieve innocency. I liked being able to achieve an instant trancelike condition. I was able to do this years ago in Lauren Goldhamer's classes too. If you trust the leader, and know she's not going to ask you to something awful, you can relax and follow the instructions in a dreamlike sleepy state, without letting yourself wonder about things. You can tune out the past, the future, and perhaps even the present, and live in this moment. She will provide a littany. "Feel yourself get heavy. Yield. Yield to the floor, and let it hold your weight. ... Be aware of your breathing. Don't try to adjust it right now. Just watch it. Are you breathing shallow? Are you breathing deeply? Is the air going into your belly? Into your chest? ... Turn your concentration to your neck now. Can you sense some tension there? Behind your ears, or in your jaw? Just let it go. Don't force it, but just let it relax and yield to the floor. Your shoulders: can you sense some holding back there? See if you can stop holding, and let the weight go into the floor. ..." Yesterday was different. I was thinking about a new kitten wreaking havoc alone in Ann's Studio. And during the serene times in the class, there was some very angry violent shouting going on outside around the building. I'm sure someone got hurt. When we were done, and outside, I saw three police cars pulling away. But perhaps it was all under control. None of them had anyone in storage. And there weren't any ambulances in sight. I rushed back to the studio. The kitten was asleep there, and woke when I came in. All was well. I picked her up, and took her home. I called Ann. I wasn't sure what kind of reception I'd get bringing home a kitten. She wasn't happy sounding about it. But eventually, I picked her up from work, and she got to meet the kitten personally. The kitten had plenty to say about this. And seemed to prefer Ann's company over mine. There's more to say, but it will wait.