I haven’t been running often at the cabin in the woods. I gave up after a brief suicidal jog along a loopy stretch of road where monstrous pickup trucks Tokyo-drifted around the curves. This afternoon I drove to a path along the Scioto River, where I thought I’d run an easy three or four miles. Although it was only a week since my last run, my body creaked and juddered. Even worse, I was bored out of my skull, checking my watch every two or three minutes and wondering if I should start smoking again.

The body remembers slowly and forgets very quickly. This lesson also applies to my writing. A day or two passes without working on my book, and my brains start panting and wheezing the next time I sit at my desk. Why are you making up stories? Let’s do something else instead. The daily routine isn’t poetic or even interesting but, for me at least, there are no flashes of insight, no white-hot burst of motivation that fuels me until dawn. God knows I’ve waited long enough for these things to show up. From now on, it’s just a steady grind.

Deadbeat – We Like It Slow and Steady

But Then Again | ~Scape, 2004 | Bandcamp
Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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When I flipped on the news around midnight, my concerns about running, writing, teaching, and everything else felt stupid and indulgent.
May 20, 2020


I write and work. I step outside and look at the sky. Sometimes I go for an ugly run. I make phone calls. I tend this journal. Repeat.
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