On freedom and love



I had to come home after church and let the dogs out (for whatever good it did — every incendiary device in the state of Oklahoma is apparently being detonated in Red Fork this evening, so instead of taking care of business, Songdog has taken to cowering under the deck while Scout and Jason stand outside the back door, crying to be let back in), so I didn’t get downtown to watch the fireworks display this evening until it was nearly over.

I did, however, celebrate freedom of another kind today, albeit in a rather unorthodox way.

When I got home from my 5K this morning (a demonstration of freedom in and of itself: Five years ago, I couldn’t have imagined having enough physical stamina to run that distance), Ron informed me that he wanted to finish painting the chimney today, so this afternoon, he held the ladder and handed me tools while I climbed up onto the roof and scraped, caulked, and painted the chimney.

There was a time when I couldn’t have done that. There was a time when I was so profoundly terrified of heights that I couldn’t stand on the third rung of a stepladder, much less spend an entire afternoon working on the roof. But I’ve spent the past few years working to overcome the suggestion that any material circumstance (height, surroundings, darkness, bugs, malice, lack, or anything else I’ve ever been afraid of) could harm me, so I willingly — joyfully, even — took on the challenge of painting the chimney, and when I felt myself losing my nerve this afternoon, I stopped and reminded myself of the line from the 91st Psalm that assures us that “he gives his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” If angels — ideas proceeding from divine Mind — were in charge of keeping me in all my ways, then obviously I would find a way to finish my work without falling off the roof and killing myself.

Reasoning from that perspective, I kept my composure and did the work without any problems, grateful for the way my deepest fears have fallen away, one by one, as I’ve grown spiritually.


Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it.
— Mary Baker Eddy


In addition to celebrating my recently discovered freedom from fear, I learned something about my marriage today.

I knew Ron loved me, but I never realized how much until this afternoon, when I was sitting on the roof, stretching to paint the top of the chimney with a weenie roller. Watching me from the ground, Ron thanked me for doing it and said something to the effect that he was glad I was comfortable working at that height, because he really wasn’t.

Ron is afraid of heights — and evidently always has been — but he never let on. More than once, he saw me reduced to tears out of sheer terror, and instead of subjecting me to that again, he just sucked it up and volunteered for all the jobs that required working up a ladder or on a roof so I wouldn’t have to do them.

That’s love.

I love you, Ron.


3.1 miles

“Good things come slow — especially in distance running.”
— Bill Dellinger

I did the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5K this morning. It was very well organized, and the course was great, but my performance? Not so much.

I started off with good intentions about Gallowaying the run on a 5-to-1 ratio (run five minutes, walk one), but I felt so good that I wound up running the first 20 minutes with relatively little effort. Unfortunately, by the time I forced myself to take a walk break, I was getting a little too hot, and when it was time to start running again, I was in the middle of an uphill climb. I’m not usually scared of hills, but some fears about the humidity (83 percent), heat, dehydration, and inadequate training got the better of me, and I wound up doing a lot of walking in that last kilometer or so.

Still, when the dust settled and the times were posted, I didn’t really do that horribly — my chiptime was 31:41, which is slow, but still five seconds faster than my time in Clinton a couple of weeks ago, and only four seconds slower than my time in last year’s Firecracker run.

I try not to run for time, but it’s hard to ignore it when you’ve got someone calling splits every kilometer, and I wouldn’t mind posting a PR this season. I think that’s not entirely out of reach if I’d just knuckle down and do some speedwork and some hill training. Maybe I’ll make Song run wind sprints up the Hill from Hell with me a couple of times a week. That ought to give me better 5K times and a less obnoxious collie. 🙂

Ron and I are also discussing the prospect of buying a treadmill. I’m not sure where we’ll put it (I’m trying to figure out a way to rearrange my office so I can put it in here, but I’ve got an ugly feeling it’s going to wind up in the middle of our living room instead, which will look classy), but I can’t see blowing $40 a month to run on somebody else’s treadmill — and drive halfway across town to get there, with gas at $3 a gallon — when I can get my own for what I’d spend on a one-year gym membership. The idea of walking into my living room, popping a Route 66 documentary into the DVD player, jogging for two hours, and then walking 20 feet to the refrigerator to refuel with a glass of decaf sweet tea and a plate of leftover pasta with browned butter and mizithra cheese sounds very appealing.

Box score:
Miles run today: 3.1
Miles with Song: 0
Song’s total miles: 1
My total miles: 7.1

Next scheduled run: 1 mile with Song tomorrow, possibly up the nastiest hill in Red Fork.

Hope you’re having a good Fourth of July, wherever you are. If I get a chance to photograph some fireworks this evening, I’ll post them.