Elbow’s “Grounds for Divorce” reminds me of a dark parking lot. Splashing through puddles to whip my car into a spot, threading my car key onto my shoelace with my foot on the bumper. Downtown was hushed except for a bird or two. Maybe some crickets. I don’t remember the sounds much, just the smell of wet asphalt and freshly cut grass.
It felt furtive, sneaking away from the house before dawn, parking at my office but walking away from the building. I pressed a button on my stopwatch, forced myself to trudge out 5 minutes of walking.
I hate walking. It’s so slow and boring. It’s almost as bad as stretching.
When my 5 minutes were finally up, I let myself pick up the pace.
Past the dry cleaner with the lovely neon sign, around the curve where you have to pay attention (LOOK LEFT says the sidewalk), around again, under the bridge over the bridge past the graveyard and all I can think about is my breath, my feet, a muscle working here and there and I am focusing on breath control and I am here in a way that I am not usually here. Here. Present.
Meditation in motion. If I can find the right rhythm, when get to the right spot, the movement cradles me and that drill sergeant who yells in my head starts to get happy.
My head clears as much as it ever has, more than I’ve been able to clear it in meditation or exhaustion or with drugs or alcohol.
The clearest thought I can remember having is, “You deserve better.”
One of these days I might go get it.