This is so bloody obvious that it is hardly worth mentioning but something being obvious doesn’t make it any less true and sunshine certainly does makes you feel better. It lifts the spirits makes you want to go outside, stand taller, breath more deeply, and feel more alive, especially if the bright day is an interlude in otherwise grey, wet, and oppressive weather.
The picture is of blue sky poking up from behind a wall, inviting me to break-out, get outside and play. Now I don’t think I actually broke out that far – there was no exploring, just a normal sunday morning run – but it did feel better. Others had the same idea and a park, that a week ago was empty, was full of people strolling and socialising. It was almost as if everybody was nodding to each other and saying ‘nice isn’t it?’
This morning I woke early (about 4 o’clock) and could not go back to sleep. Instead I dozed, with my mind drifting from subject to subject. It was warm under the covers and I felt snug and quite happy, as long as I didn’t worry about not getting enough sleep.
At some point I started to think about the run I intended to do in the morning and the route I should take. I pictured the streets and imagined running them – trying to decide which would be the best and whether I should do a hill at the beginning or the end. I didn’t make a decision but I imaged the roads and was surprised at how much I could remember. Time went quickly and when it was time to get up I felt surprisingly refreshed.
I can understand why visualisation is used so much by sportsmen – it feels good and is calming. But I’m not sure it made any difference to my actually run as I didn’t follow any of the visualised routes – I made a random decision and took a turning I had not tried before.
Sometime I might write a piece in praise of ECM in particular and record labels with a distinct personality in general. But that would be a wide ranging article and therefore a little beyond the scope of this blog. Instead I will write of a very particular time when I find ECM ish music just the thing to wash and refresh a tired brain.
After a run you will sometimes have a gentle, achy feeling of muscle weariness and a mood of hazy satisfaction. it is then good to stretch out and relax and listen to some music. It is a very particular state of mind, where you feel as if hard logic and concentrated thinking would be too much effort but you nevertheless feel alert and receptive. Music is perfect as it can seep into all the cracks tiredness as opened up. Something thoughtful and reflective is best, moments of beauty even better and that is almost a description of most of the ECM catalogue.
Today I have been listening to ‘ The Spaces In Between’ by John Surman
This is a very tiny pleasure.
This morning I went for a run that was scheduled to take 50 minutes. Apart from that I didn’t have a plan and made the route up as I went along; taking this turning or that according to what I thought would be the right distance. When I finished I found I had been running for exactly 50 minutes.
I am never usually so accurate.