“It was written that I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice”
The nightmare of my choice . . . Life Love and . . . the Pursuit of Happiness? Writing? Epicurus, Hemingway, Grey, Hillman, Campbell and more. Words? Communication. So much more. Soul. Spirit. Nature. Humanity. . . Life I guess, encapsulates it all. But what in the concept of life triggers “the nightmare of my choice”
Even with my current disability I continue to live and revere life. It’s everything. I can sit feeling sorry for myself as I try and rise after sitting on the toilet and what comes to me is, Let Go And Let God. God is a verb. Take action Dickie. No great white bearded creature sitting on the cloud of my childhood aka childish “all things bright and . . . ” religion is going to do for me that which I can do for myself. Asking for help is taking action. Muy Emily grasps my bum and on the count of three I am launched upright to wobble as I grasp the rail or the hand basin. There wasn’t so hard was it :-) Yeah Right! Some days I cannot rise. Some days I am perfectly fine in the emotional realm.
- ps, today I received a toilet aid with arms that help me with lift off. YEEHA!
Sunday. Wet. 4:00 PM
2013 International World Athletic Championships. Moscow.
As a child running was my escape. Providing sanity. I ran. With friends. By myself. Freedom. Solitude. I ran on hills, on the flat, cross country as well. I competed as did my three brothers. John, Maurice, Christopher and Me. We did good. On reflection on reading the official records from those times we did pretty damned good. All this considering we never received one iota of parental encouragement beyond our mothers making of our uniforms. Dad was a no show. In the 1950′s and 1960′s New Zealand produced many great athletes. Snell, Halberg, Bailey, Magee et al. I ran from age 13 to 21 before leaving New Zealand. Seven years of fun. The more difficult the conditions the better I ran. Competed at the National level but found myself out of my mental and emotional depth. I have run ever since :-) until recently. I dreamed of the marathon, ran my first at age 18 but pulled out at mile 18. 1995 aged 52 I ran the LA Marathon supported by friends. I finished. 26 miles 385 yard. 10km was my distance. It took many years, many races, to realize and accept that fact. I ran 10km road races in LA and loved it. 2010 my running came to its end. Today muy Emily and Me accept that my first symptoms of Motor Neuron Disease appeared around that time as I tried running, training. My legs began challenging me. My calves cramped and felt as though I had pulled muscles. It was very hard to accept. We completed the magnificent Tongariro Crossing, my last major physical exertion. As a child the English marathoner Jim Peters was my running hero. His book ‘In the Long Run’ I read over and over. Then Abebe Bikila the great Ethiopian appeared on the scene instantly becoming my new hero. The courage to run a Marathon barefoot impressed me. Winning back to back Olympic Marathons, breaking the world record. Inspiring for me. Dreams are made of this. Nightmares also.
Training with friends provided an escape from the insanity I sensed as a teenager. It gave me a sense of self. A reason for being alive even. “Don’t be so selfish” my Mothers mantra. I am rid of that today.
Tonight we are watching the World Athletic Championships. Mo Farrah won the 10km. He will now try for the double by competing in the 5km. I love watching, becoming emotionally overwhelmed. The human spirit rising to its potential. It touches me profoundly and I do not try and hold back from allowing my emotions to spill out. It’s humanity at its best :-) and most fragile.
Worlds again, replays. The PGA is also taking place but as Tiger is languishing I am focussed on the track. Great performances disappointing crowd. Usain Bolt, Justin Gatling. Men’s 100 sprint Final. I already know the outcome but it’s nothing like seeing the great runners pushing the envelope. The emotion. The personalities. It’s show business after all. Bolt of Lightning!
I have run in many countries, many cities. Wellington, Sydney, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Vancouver, Chicago and even the Island of Santorini. Clearing negative energy. Outdoors in nature. Along the Hudson River. Under the Eiffel Tower. Along the Santa Monica Bike Path.
Running has been a huge part of my philosophical life. Outdoors in nature. My mind my own. In tune with my surroundings. Life would come to me. I found myself smiling to my self, a secret being revealed which I guess it was. The mystery of life was opening it’s door to me. My life would repeat itself as I ran. My frustrations my anger my secret internal world. What did it all mean? What does it mean today? The mystery continues. I can but guess that to run was to live which is rather ironic today to be imprisoned in a body that will not react to my desires. The mind continues. My spirit continues. My soul guides me.
I spoke to my friend David the painter Eddington last night. It was great to catch up and hear of his latest journey to New Orleans to Grimsby to the Venice Biennial. Humbling to hear that my writing influences his painting. I look forward to seeing my thoughts on canvas :-) David inspires me has pushed me further as have other American friends. David Wilzig. Dan Mountain. David Eddington. Dan Hyslop. John Marsh. Bruce Coughran et al.
Without these friends I wouldn’t have survived. Special men with unique gifts. Gifts of humanity. Men who explore themselves. And then there were clients who encouraged inspired and pushed me further. Creative Directors, Art Directors, Film Directors, Producers. It’s funny to acknowledge that in Australia I entered and won so many accolades for my work but in America never ever entered one award show as Film Editor. Just doing the work, expressing my creativity was enough. I guess it was like my running, doing what I loved was reward enough. My own secret success, show, don’t tell as I learned in writing classes. Do what you love, the money will follow :-) and did.
So what was “the nightmare of my choice”? Solitude! Running in solitude. Film Editing in solitude. Writing, film making, photographing and exploring in solitude. My body of work has come from my loyalty to my self. Fascinating :-) and Gratitude.