,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Heaven, Nirvana and a Run up Parrott Drive

Musafir as a Runner

Running through the streets is a good way to become familiar with the neighborhood. There are days when it brings unexpected pleasures.

One day last week I took Randall Road to Clearview, turned left on W. Hillsdale, left on CSM and right on Parrott Drive. Going up Parrott I had no clue where it would end. I wanted to loop back to W. Hillsdale and Clearview. There was a guy on the sidewalk heading in the same direction and I asked where would the road take me. He said "What about heaven". I told him that I didn't want to go that far. Then he said "Nirvana?". Well, nirvana is a state of mind. On most days when I run I'm close to it and that is good enough.

The friendly man stopped and gave me detailed instructions about making a loop which would require getting off the street and running on a half-mile long uphill trail ending at CSM (College of San Mateo) parking lot. From there it would be easy to get back to Clearview bypassing W. Hillsdale Blvd. I told him that I would try it another day.

Yesterday there was a break in the weather. So I ran up Parrott, made a right turn on Bel Aire Road, and a hard right on Tournament Drive which dead ends at the bottom of a slope. It was there that I found the gate to the service road and the trail that went uphill. It was muddy and slippery but I had no difficulty getting to the parking lot and paved roads. Not a long run -- approx. a 3-mile loop from my starting point -- but challenging.

As to heaven, think of those who could be there -- people like G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rev. Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwel and other smarmy champions of moral values. Yuck!
"The introduction to the Mass of the Runner", said the Jesuit seated at the living room window overlooking the the ocean and the dunes, "will be from a passage by Amby Burfoot."

The distance runners of every age strewn on chairs and stairs and floor gave a sigh of assent. They conjured up the figure of the stork-like Burfoot as he won the Boston marathon in 1968.

"I run," the non-running Jesuit read , "because I enjoy it--not always, but most of the time. I run because I've always run--not trained but run."

"What do I get ?" The words of Burfoot, a Connecticut Yankee, came in the Boston accent of the priest. "Joy and pain. Good health and injuries. Exhilaration and despair. A feeling of accomplishment and a feeling of waste. The sunrise and the sunset."

--George Sheehan (Dr. Sheehan on Running)

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