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I was running along, overlooking White Rock Canyon, the Rio Grande sparkling at its vertiginous nadir, when a few words coming through my iPod stole my attention. Fiona Apple was singing in her beautiful, gloomy way about how we all want something similar to what we already have, even if we hate it. Amy Mann sings about this, too – “condemning the future to death so we can match the past.”
This happened at about mile eight in my loop. I’m training for a half-marathon to be held in Albuquerque next month – my longest race, by far – and these long runs burn my feet, strain my lungs, and leave me lots of time to spend in my own head. I occasionally gaze out over the canyon and experience the pure joy of living, but mostly, I listen to music and think about anything but my weird pains.
So I latched right on to the pop song. I also worked out most of a sestina, composed a letter and visualized a whole lineup of different bridesmaids’ dresses.
The lyrics have stayed with me, even after the post-workout waffles and a trip to Santa Fe to order wedding rings. It’s not that Apple or Mann are particularly deep – but their ideas make great examples of things we know but don’t act like we do.
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