In his book, What I talk about when I talk about running, Haruki Murakami writes that “most runners run not because they want to live longer, but they want to live life to the fullest.” He goes on lyrically to tell us of setting goals and exerting ourselves to the fullest of our individual limits. “That’s the essence of life” he says, “and a (great) metaphor for life.”
I like that. I like the sound of that. The feel of that. The pain and hurt implied in the physical exertion of that. The satisfaction of a great run. The flaling motion of a bird’s discarded feather gently dropping to the groundhttp in front of you seven kilometers into a run. A moment, just that, scattered in the memory of a hundred other runs.
When, in her quest to read the world in a year, Ann Morgan set out to sail the world “literarily” she set for herself the goal of reading one book (in English) from every country in the world, because, well basically it is a great big world out there. One thing she noticed about her reading habits was the dominance of British and North American authors across her shelves. Missing were the voices of other cultures; the spice and music, the taste and texture the very soul of human nature.
Don’t mind if I do. Bit of literary jambalaya to fill my own want of worldliness. Fill my bookshelves up with the song and dance of novelists and poets from the far reaches of our spinning rock. I know, more or less, my limitations and shortcomings and manage time to time to push beyond them. So here goes this year’s (2016) double challenge:
To run 1,000 kilometers with a good mix of road and mountain trail.
To read 100 hundred books from 100 countries, preferably in English but if French is the original language of publication I will go with that.
Happy 2016! Be fit! Go run after a book!