It's 11pm and I want to go to sleep. I've had a difficult time with that lately. My mind and body have been a swirl of hormones and worry. I followed a regimen today to set myself up for a restful night: a run, fresh air, some work, good food, no caffeine after noon, no late screen time...calm...
I feel tired, and not wired. I turned the lights out and got into bed. I have a really cozy bed and I'm grateful for it every night. I was lying there thinking about tomorrow. I was thinking about the week. I was thinking about running. I was thinking about writing. They were easy thoughts, and I was warm and relaxed and feeling like sleep was going to come easily, and then this thought:
Sometimes I feel Holy.
Oh, shoot... I don't know what it means, but I do know that it means I have to get up and write. But I'm sooo comfortable. Maybe I can put a note on my phone? Sometimes I feel Holy. Or I can text or email it to myself? Sometimes I feel holy. Crap, shoot, damn, shit, I have to get up. Not exactly holy language, but I have learned over and over when I'm given a thought or an idea or even one line, I need to follow it right then. It's like capturing the soul of something as it comes through. If I wait, it can lose its' dimensions. It's like running--if I get up in the morning, drink a cup of coffee, and go get my run in right away, things will fall in line, and they often come unraveled if I don't.
Never before in my life have I had the thought Sometimes I feel Holy. But here is what led me there:
I noticed how warm the light in my room was and how cool the air felt. I felt so grateful for the water I put on my nightstand and that I can have as much clean water as I want. I got into bed and felt how happy and grateful I am for my pillows and blankets and the warmth and softness. I turned the light out and thought about tomorrw--what needs to get done and what I want to get done. I thought about my workout and run--where they will take place and what time of day. I thought about the plan I had for school and a career, and how that all fell apart last week. And then I thought about how it all fell apart because I pulled the plug on the plan, and that I pulled the plug because something deep inside me said pull the plug. And I listened. I thought about how I didn't look back once I made the decision. And then I thought about how I don't know what's next. And how I do know that next month I'll be 55. I thought about how, in spite of both of those things, I feel relieved. And light. And happy. I thought about how much clarity I have. Can you have clarity when you don't know where you're headed? Yes, you can. I didn't know that before this week, but I know it now. I know what to do tomorrow, and that's something. I can see a few other things this coming year, as well. I know I'm supposed to write. I know I'm supposed to run. I felt that rare, emptied out feeling, like the rare state of flow I had during the ultra when I was floating through the miles and the hours, around and around on the trail, loop after loop in the sun and the heat, and then in the dark and the rain. Just running and empty. These were the thoughts I had, and then: Sometimes I feel Holy.
Sometimes I feel Holy. What does it mean? What does it mean to feel holy? I think it's just a state of grace, like being in flow. I can say that I felt separate from my usual state of being. I was released from worry and planning. I felt forgiven, but from what I can't tell you, and I felt a sense of belonging. I felt clean, like everything around me was cleaned out and free from clutter--not physically but mentally, psychically. And I felt a sense of innocence, like a giant reset or a new start line. I don't believe I earned this feeling, it's more like I found myself there...maybe through surrender? But what did I surrender?
I woke up this morning after six plus hours of uninterrupted sleep, a new record as of late. I sat up and saw the computer on the floor. "Oh, do I still feel holy?" Yeah, I kind of do. It's not as intense or as pure as I felt it last night, but I'm wondering if it's also not as fleeting as flow. Wouldn't that be cool?
I walked by my running shoes on the way to the kitchen to get my coffee, and I gave them a hello, as if they were a napping puppy. "Those are holy," I thought. I got my coffee and sat down in the quiet. I looked back at my shoes again, waiting and ready. I thought about how running has led me to this place, from a place of despair, if I'm being honest, to feeling holy. I thought about how well running has treated me and how I haven't often reciprocated. I thought about how much I've fought it, but also how I expected it to deliver something I thought would prove something, like that I work hard or I'm worth being seen. I thought about how it knew better. I want it to give me a fast 5K, it wanted to give me Holy. And then I thought about how weird it is that I write about running as if it's living being! But I don't care. Thank you, Running.
Sometimes I feel holy.