Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dennis McFarland – Nothing to Ask For

I’m being honest when I say that a week doesn’t pass where this project isn’t in my head. I think about this project at its height – posting a thought about a story almost daily. I think about the comments I’ve received on certain posts. I think about the connections I’ve made the authors I’ve come to love and I believe most importantly, the explorations into my mind the stories have generated.

There was a bit of fear opening this page and writing again. But, I think I am ready.
You see, it’s been 1 year 8 months and 3 days or 610 days since I started the BASS 1990. This has to be- by far the longest it has taken me to get though a volume and I’ve only read half the stories.
I sat here before I started writing this thinking about these last 610 days wondering what within these days has kept me away from the book(s).

So much has happened. My life out of the house – at work, specifically at the paper (or should I call it the “media company” now?) has been tough psychologically. Work at the university has been fine – actually it’s only been difficult physically – testing my ability to function without sleep. Work at the paper has just been tough because of all the transformations we are moving through and wondering if I will survive them. I have – and my position there seems secure – but we’ve taken so many hits and so many people have left and so many people have encouraged me to leave…I can only feel that it could be a matter of time before my number comes up.

Opposing these feelings/situations, life on the home front has been wonderful- if not filled with its own set of distractions. 610 days ago the boy and I were on a pretty regular running schedule with me hitting 10K runs at least 3 times a week and moving into 2014, almost a year ago- on May 31-June 8 I ran a 10K each day with my best time at 49:42 – averaging 8:00/mile.

In late 2013 we went on a trip back to Romania. It was great. And then later in 2013 we decided to have another child…and well, that worked!

The months of the pregnancy before the second son arrived were filled with all the psychic baggage you could expect – and then in the summer of 2014 #2 arrived.

I had no problem downshifting my life to be a father/dad. It’s what I’m supposed to do. Work remained the stress that it had been all along – (now with added work and responsibilities!) and running was completely out of the picture. So from the middle of the summer 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014, I ran once…on the 31st. In 2015, I’ve made it out the door 27 times. A coooold winter kept me indoors at 0600 when it was below freezing and I just couldn’t drag my carcass out the door.  
I’ve made it out 7 days in May with 3 of those back-to-back.

I have also accepted the fact that I’m not recovering as fast as I did back in my 30s. Joints and muscles are sore for a bit longer.

There is a huge distraction coming down the line in June and it’s anyone’s guess to how long that will pull me away.

As I reflected back to those days of reading and writing I realized that I had something in my life that held me firm. I had my runs and these books.

I need that again. I need to join my life now – everything that I have in it…with these steadying elements.

So – as I’ve written so many times before – Let’s try this again.

Dennis McFarland – Nothing to Ask For 

 A difficult story for me to write about as I try to get back into this project. I cannot relate to the subject matter – but I can relate to the love, devotion and friendship the main character expresses towards his friend. 
I’ve been spared the burden of taking care of someone with a terminal disease.
I had a very brief, mild view as to what that might feel like during one of the last visits my father made to our house. 

I had to monitor everything he did. Monitor his meal times; monitor his bathroom breaks, his showering. I had to sleep in the same room as him to prevent him from getting up during the night and injuring himself. 

And the whole time – he too had Nothing to Ask For. 

The years ahead of me are going to require an incredible amount of patience love and understanding. Not just as my boys grow and learn about the world…but as I grow old, M grows old and my mother and father grow old. 

It’s going to be difficult. 

And I just need to remember to love.