On the edge of my periphery a figure approaches.
I feel close to death, sitting on the grass, wondering how my race could go so wrong.
I am too tired to look around to see who is walking toward me. There is plenty of room behind me to pass, nothing to worry about.
An hour ago I was puking on the side of a path, unsure I would survive the final mile of the marathon.
The stranger is uncomfortably close. Do they not see me?
Today started with such promise, a year of training brought me to the starting line primed for the best run of my life.
The stranger bumps me, not hard, but I expect an apology. Nothing?
I still don’t look up, I am too consumed by questions about why I run, wondering if it’s worth this pain.
The person bumps me again and I feel a tiny hand, scan me. “Hi,” I said as I finally realize this is my introduction to a blind girl.
A crack forms on my heart and my reality movie flips channels. Suddenly the 26 miles of agony don’t seem so hard. I realize how blessed I am to be able to bound down a mountain then complain about aches and pains in my body.
A mother appears and explains to her blind daughter that we aren’t part of their group. And then they were gone.
Strange the moments that stand out from race day. Last year it was a man in sandals. This year it’s ten seconds with a child who can’t see. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her this week.
I keep saying the more you look, the more you see. It might seem like a cruel slogan when talking about a blind girl, but vision is an optional requirement for embracing my philosophy.
Truth lingers in the periphery. The facts in front of our eyes seem like reality, but it is but a glimpse, a distortion, a slice of understanding twisted around our ego. If we are lucky the truth might knock into us, force us to confront our flawed understanding. But mostly we run through life unaware of anything beyond our aches and pains and the holes in our running shoes. Be like tiny fingers stretched out, scanning for truth, probing for faces of friends, hoping to make sense of the pictures flashing before our eyes.
Thanks for reading. Stay creative.