Wednesday, 22 June 2011

I heard cathedral bells tripping down the alleyways


I went for a run on Monday night. I turned out of the block of flats, down the main road, through the retail estate, down the single-lane track the leads down the steep sides of the lush hill with a view across miles more of valleys and woods, into town, along the streets crowded with students and runners, across the bridge and up to where the cathedral resides. There I remembered For Emily Whenever I May Find Her, which is a lovesong of heartfelt gratitude, and the line about hearing cathedral bells tripping down the alleyways.

I headed back for the river bank and the languid waters with students floating in rubber tubes and rowers and deep green trees overhead. There I stopped and began to walk, tired and melancholy. I followed the river around and under bridges until I reached the road that leads up into the hill on which the suburb I live in sits.

I reached my block of flats, worn out, my mind calm.

This is why I run, I told myself.

Right now I should go for a run. I skipped on a gym session after realising I'd forgotten my sportsbra, a vital piece of equipment any woman would agree. I've eaten too much today having never felt full, I feel weepy and melancholy. It's dusk and I'm seized with that feeling I used to get dusk when I was a child when I just wanted to get out there and run and run following the path along the rugged coast near where I grew up until I reached Lindisfarne or Scotland or somewhere far away.

But right now it's getting dark and from my window I think can see another rain storm sweeping across the rooftops and treetops towards me.

I can run tomorrow, it's ok.


  1. Dusk is a funny time. If you've had a bad day then it suddenly feels really urgent that you do something before it gets dark, to redeem it somehow.. Sometimes I just go for a walk. Or do yoga at home. But then sometimes I also just pour myself a glass of wine...

    Hope you're feeling better today xx

  2. I'm sorry you're feeling a bit rubbish at the moment - it's a really horrible feeling that the day hasn't gone the way you wanted it to.
    Hope you feel better :-)