The last few days have had me in a reflective mindset. I think it relates to spending more time out walking and hiking at a local park. It is a time to breath, to get away from the demands of the world - just me and my thoughts, nothing more, nothing less.
Of course, the clarity gained while wandering the trails leads to a natural flow of thoughts and plenty of ideas for writing. It is amazing how much good rhubarb can be found out on the trail.
Episode 65 of the Rhubarb Report dives into running, responses to recent national tragedies, and, who else, Rush - and not the Limbaugh variety either.
1. This month, I completed my 12th consecutive Capitol 10K here in Austin - along with over 17,000 of my closest friends. Much has changed during that time. I remember when runners were considerate of other runners by seeding themselves appropriately: faster runners to the front, and slower runners and walkers to the back. However, this year set a new standard for "disheartening". Of 17,000 participants, 10,000 must have been running with headphones blasting, making them oblivious to the world around them. That's fine and good, unless, of course, it prevents you from being aware of other people trying to move around you. Or how about the packs of walkers that started towards the front? Why do they do so? Well, the only answer I have been able to conjure up thus far is "because they want to" - as if that is a good enough reason.
I just don't get it.
2. Many thoughts go out to those affected by the tragedies in Boston and West. As saddened as I am about these events, I find myself more and more perplexed and disturbed, not by the craziness that takes place in the world but the disconcerting social responses that become prevalent afterwards.
Tragedy brings us together and temporarily puts aside our otherwise divisive (and hyper-politicized) behaviors. But not long after we proclaim a need to find solutions for the causes of the tragedy, we promptly and progressively resume the divisive and polarizing behaviors that existed prior to the tragedy. Along the way, anger and hostility drive us to find ways to rationalize throwing out the Constitution, the foundation upon which our lives are built in the first place. The anger slips away, and sanity prevails, but solutions are once again lost in the diatribe - until the next tragedy pulls the nation together again.
I am proud to say that we have a tremendous capacity to come together as a nation - when we feel compelled to do so. But are we learning what we need to learn - and acting upon it - in the meantime?
3. One newsworthy item that I do fully understand and comprehend took place last week. After 41 years of rock and roll, Canadian rock band Rush was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was far too long a wait. Mix incredible musicianship with thought-provoking lyrics and you get the otherworldly combination that is Rush. Congratulations to Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson, and Geddy Lee for your induction, your musical longevity, and your ability to crank up a stadium of music aficionados. It was a proud moment for Canadian music fans around the world.
Photo credits: Wikipedia