On a pitch dark morning at 4am this past Tuesday, I saw a white dog across the street. Even though it was dark, the dog, approximately the size of a collie, seemed to glow with an eerie iridescence. I had opened the door to retrieve the morning newspaper. The white dog, and it was white from stem to stern without blemish, stopped and stared at me. The dog watched me walk to the end of my sidewalk adjacent to the street where the newspaper lay at my feet. He trotted a few steps down the street, almost prancing, but suddenly stopped and turned completely around to look at me again. I stared back, mesmerized by the glowing brilliance of this dog's coat, a dog I had never seen in my neighborhood. I turned after a few seconds, believing I had won the stare down contest and walked half way up my walk. I stopped there and looked again. The dog, almost as if being cued by a movie director, stopped and turned completely around again to stare at me. Then with a quick about face the white dog began moving away. Down the street it went, disappearing from sight around a corner.
This of course means nothing to you. It was a signal for me. I have much work to do in the near term, work that sends me in new directions. Enough said about spooky/divine signals. Take your pick of the choices of divine or spooky, or define it as you see fit, after all you are all writers.
I have been trying to establish a better pattern of writing consistently here. I have been unsuccessful due to a tight training and work schedule that leaves me little time to visit your blogs, let alone write effectively. I'm off to Maine at the end of this week for a National Championship track meet and then I will be in Italy for 3 weeks of September to compete in the World Championship. I am going to be missing from this blog address indefinitely.
I do want to leave you with one important thought. I want to reinforce the thought with one of my most cherished photographs.
This is a meaningless photograph for you, so let me explain why I cherish it and maybe you will understand.
The scene is the end of a 200 meter race at last year's National Championships in Charlotte NC. It is the period immediately after the race. The period where sprinters are recovering their breathing and allowing the finality of the results to infiltrate their consciousness.
The man on the left is Bill Collins, the winner of the race. He is also my friend, teammate and coach. He owns more World Records than I can keep up with, well past 20 at my last knowing. The reason he excels is due not only to talent, but an enormous work ethic and the strong will to drive himself in exhausting workouts. His success is the mark of true effort combined with enormous talent.
The man on the right is me. I finished second and at that moment was struggling to believe I had actually done so on this important stage. The conversation taking place I want to keep private.
It is the conversation of two friends. Two warriors that pursued a purpose which demanded training, pain, confidence and hope. We had pursued it to a profitable conclusion on an unbearably hot summer day in August of 2006. Bill had set yet another World Record in this race and meet.
I cherish the photo because it locks me into the understanding that our individual achievements can only be measured by our collective success. We can find the meaning of our achievement only when we find meaning in our love for one another and the successes of one another. Without each of the components we remain incomplete.
Alone we are simply alone, running in a race of one. United in love for one another we find a reason to run, and even exist in the first place. This photograph holds that meaning for me. Maybe you find that meaning in the photographs of your children and other loved ones. Maybe you find it in a memory of love and shared achievements. I know you understand what I am saying. It's a truth we all know, but too often forget.
I'll be gone, most likely for a long while. I have seen the white dog.
You have my email in the meantime, and I open it regularly just like any other O-C disorder computer jockey.
Now I Get It.....maybe
God's Peace to Each of You.