“The calm lunatic—now that is something to aspire to.”—Mary Ruefle, “On Fear”
I learned to skip this year. I use a heavy, knotted rope that thwacks the ground and burns my shoulders and whips my bare toes raw when I stumble. In the early days I’d walk around with welts on my forearms, too, but the self-flagellation has waned with practice. I’ve learned to tread water, to let my feet track familiar patterns—forward and back, side to side, in and out, one to the other—freeing my mind up to notice things.
Well, “freeing” might be an overstatement.