Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Walk at the Battlefield

Being in the style of the peripatetic approach, I too went for a walk. I went to our historic battlefield. Upon programming my nike run application, and upon a 3..2..1.. countdown one foot after began to recollect the times that my body reminded the pace at which I was so familiar. My favorite thing about runs is to be reminded about all the previous times that I had ran before. My body found it's way into it's normalized pace, muscle memory excited and soon patented upon each stride. As usual a squirrel darted ahead and up upon the trees, usually giving me quit the rush of excitement, from sitting inside of a school building all day. Perhaps it was a Pokemon, who knows? Once that sets in, my mind reaches a state of relaxation, one of patterned behavior, my mind soon is able to relax and reflect upon who knows what has been programmed into it's subconscious. Thoughts of philosophy, thoughts of Heraclitus' "no river twice" comes to mind, as a heightened sense of the natural environment becomes much more real. The grass is taller, the wind blowing music through the trees in the same way that a guitarist strums the chords of a guitar. 96 degree heat. My mind focused. This is my personal journey towards the good in itself. A group of deer, domesticated by runners before me, or the constant roar of cars, don't seemed too phased by my appearance. Despite me running at an accelerate pace towards them. Usually deer are timid, these deer were brave. Two fauns, one mother doe were on the left side. My initial thoughts were whether this mother might protect her fauns. She stood still until the last moment and then decided to bolt. A young, two point buck in velvet was on the other side just slightly ahead. Probably following in the group. Soon after, I slowly became winded because of my weekend diet of pizza and beer, and for a moment the "existential dread" as I like to call it kicks in. The realization that I won't meet my targeted pace or time that I would like becomes more fact than fiction. Upon slowing down I am struck with an epiphany. It's not a competition. Depth perception kicks in and my eyes are able to contemplate the distances and my spatial relationship to the surrounding environment. Legs sore, but I trudge on. Upon walking out of the slaughter pen loop, a large sign says, "Dedicated to those..." A list of Lt.s' and other men are listed underneath. I envision the fear these men must have felt, or the bravery that they had. At the road, I see another runner. We make brief eye contact, his patterns regimented, legs moving equidistant, more emphasis placed in his hips than in his calves. The road brings me back to civilization, albeit, the road is simply just an extension of the trail. I run back through the trails in the wooded area and for a moment the open fields remind me of the countryside and fields I witnessed as a child. To me, this is the good in itself. The peaceful calmness in the hustle and bustle. The philosophers must have also felt this same way upon gazing out at the land, the soldiers as well.


  1. I enjoyed reading your post and reflecting on my times of walking at Stone's River among the headstones marked Unknown and wondering about the individuals whose remains lie there, about their life before, their families, and how they were remembered.
    You are absolutely right about your encounter with a mother deer and her fawns, they have been known to be pretty protective - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIGsrDxF6Sk I had a pretty interesting encounter with nature when I left class last Wednesday, as I walked on the sidewalk, I saw a furry creature in the distance coming toward me and at first it looked like a ground hog and when it passed under that light in the distance, I could see that it had a very pale gray coat. As it got closer, I realized that it wasn't a ground hog and I knew I was going to challenge its right to go where ever it wanted to go. Can you guess what it was?

  2. A possum, maybe? I had a close encounter with one of them out on my porch yesterday, before he retreated under the shed nearby. Is it just us, or is Tennessee wildlife growing more assertive? Is an Animal Farm rebellion at hand?

  3. Cody, I'd be interested in more of your reflections on the physiological, emotional, cognitive differences in your experience of walking vs. running, if you're so inclined.

    Have you seen Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running?" A walker's reply might make for an interesting essay.

  4. Definitely! I'd really enjoy making more posts about this topic. I'm going to guess that it either was an opossum or a skunk. Wildlife is definitely becoming more brave. George Orwell would share some very interesting thoughts about this topic.