I think of myself as a runner, despite not running all that much recently. In fact, "recently" stretches back a year or more. You would not look at my daily activities and guess that the time spent running is something I consider integral to my life balance and both mental and physical health. And yet, here I am. Imagining running when I see others run. Thinking of the myriad different ways a run can feel. Considering long runs versus short ones. Recalling the meditative aspects of long runs, while at the same time wondering if I am in enough of running shape to even be able to get there right now.
I have been on a wonderful, serendiptious reading expedition in quiet moments of the last few days. It started with the article Fast software, the best software. We discussed it in the latest episode of Kodsnack, and after I put together the show notes it was but the tap of a link to find out a bit more about just who this Craid Mod fellow was.
The answer turned out to include a whole lot of highly enjoyable writing, and as I began to read through the archives of Craig's newsletter Roden I encountered thoughts on writing, meditation, vivid images of someone else's life, and of course a lot of great photos. His writings around meditation and silent retreats in particular made me think of long runs, especially the four times I ran ultra marathon distances. Somewhere along the way, along trails and streets, I feel I have picked up or at least caught glimpses of the mindset Craig writes about. Enough to feel connected, enough to provoke more thoughts, and definitely enough to be eager to discover more.
Today, it gave me another little treasure: Craig linked to the site of one James Somers where I was carried away by the post "You're probably using the wrong dictionary". I was indeed, but I have now corrected this deficit thanks to James' instructions. I look forward to looking up a lot more words going forward. The joy of language, of words, is not too hard to spark in me, but it is not common enough that a text turns the spark into such a hot, happy flame even for a brief moment.
I should read more good writing.
Okay, just one random example of a good dictionary definition. Look how much imagery, how much joy, is squeezed into this definition of Serenade: "(a) Music sung or performed in the open air at nights; -- usually applied to musical entertainments given in the open air at night, especially by gentlemen, in a spirit of gallantry, under the windows of ladies."
One sentence, not one wasted word, and it just builds as it goes. As far as I can recall, dictionaries rarely bring a smile to my face. Hang your heads in shame, average dictionaries, then go home and improve.
(I also wonder what the best Swedish dictionary might be. I have a hunch that they are on average a bit better than English ones, but also that they could be even more if they tried enough. Research for another day.)