Sunday, March 15, 2009
Running, Camus and Musil
Sometimes the running I do seems like a Sisyphean task. The run out and back begins to feel like the movement up a hill and back down (although Chicago has few real 'hills'). But this morning as I surveyed the hazy dawn and the moon low in the Western sky I had an epiphany of sorts. My running, even when it seems like a repeated effort, the same as last time and the time before, is not that at all.
It is part of my continuing change and growth, and in that change it expands the possibilities of the next day and the next task before me. This is what I might call a 'Musil' moment in the sense that Robert Musil, in his magnificent novel, The Man Without Qualities, discusses the possibilities of life. The main character, Ulrich, is searching for the possibilities of life in the sense that there are many paths we may choose. He talks of the subjunctive case, the what if of possibility.
My moment let me realize the change that occurs from what we do, and what we do not do. Camus' Sisyphus may be facing an uphill task, but he does not have to be caught in a loop repeating the same task over and over. Each day is new. Each run is a new run by a different person, changed by his actions from the moment before. This is a just a part of running and being.