Cadence

 We have a beautiful paved running path near our house that is my constant refuge.  Above me the tree branches, most still green from summer, arch across the running path,  creating a tunnel of leaves. Most of the time by forcing my body to move forward, my brain lock gets jostled enough so that the log jam in the river of thoughts that is my brain breaks loose and my thinking runs free and clear.  The thrill of new, clear thoughts is its own high.  The thoughts start small and tentative, not quite clear of the logjam yet : the pain in my problem knee, a song lyric, the black eyes of squirrel frozen on the path in front of me; my instinctive leap over it; the joy of being airborne for even a moment.    And then gradually my mind is moving freely, fluidly.  Forward, sideways, backwards.  I look down at my thighs, still tan from summer, one black running shoe landing on the scattered yellow and red leaves, and then the other.    The cadence of my arms and feet matching  the music coming through my headphones.  Da. Da. Da. Da. Even and strong.    I am moving forward, but the irony is that at the end I will be at the beginning again, and that is right here.  At THE END.   Up until a few weeks ago, I thought that my life had set its course, that it would go round and round and I would never be able to get off the damn spinning ride that I had somehow backstopped my way on to when I wasn’t paying attention.

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At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only dance.

~T.S.Eliot