Dream Big

I resolve to run.  I will not be forming an exploratory committee, because when I say, “run,” I mean speeding along, catch me if you can, as I leap a crack that might break my mother’s back, in my New Balancers that skim pavement and dirt.

My son suggested we participate in a 10K, maybe, in April or May.  “What if my time’s better than yours?” I asked.  He rolled his eyes, incredulous.

I’ve been training, charging hills, searching out steeper paths, and I found one, an alley off a main road, this morning. Susceptible to mental detours, I was mind meandering and missed it but circled back.  Visions of marathons are forming, too.  Dream big.

Truth is that running is therapy.  It’s a time to reflect on issues and to think not just about my life but, also, the lives of others, and, finally, about what I should do with what remains of my time here.

Today, while out there, my gloved fingers ached from the cold. And as I entered the warmth of my apartment, instead of saying “be here, be here,” words I’ve whispered so many times when I’ve turned the key in the lock, syllables to my husband who died in 2008, thoughts spoken in painful disbelief that he’s gone (I typed disbelife and corrected), I considered, instead, how fortunate I am.  I’m lucky to have a warm place, a door to open into rooms that provide comfort and sanctuary.  At a time when more and more people have lost their refuge, jobs, healthcare, their security.

I’m grateful for having been married to someone who suited me perfectly and was an exceptional father, a man of huge compassion, accepting of his illness and deterioration.  Chas never complained and told me many times that he’d had a wonderful life.  After his death, I said to our children, “In every situation, I’m going to ask what he would do and act accordingly.”  He was calm, always the mediator.  They laughed.  They know their mother—reactive and without a filter.

What would Charles do?  What would Charles say?  He’d tell me to choose life, a significant and/or insignificant other (I have), and to get out there, work for peace and justice, and be a revolutionary.

Earlier this week, I accessed Global Issues to view poverty statistics.  The numbers are chilling:

“Almost half the world—over 3 billion people—live on less than $2.50 a day.”

“The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.”

“Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.”

“Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.”

And the staggering number of children who live in poverty is now at one billion (1 in 2 children in the world). Six hundred and forty million have inadequate shelter, 400 million don’t have access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services, and 10.6 million died in 2003 before reaching the age of 5  (about 29,000 per day).

Meanwhile, the men and women who steer the multinational corporations are profiting at record figures through their manipulation of politicians and practices that result in growing poverty of and vulnerability for more and more people throughout the world.

So, let us resolve to support Occupy Wall Street.  Though most OWS sites have been cleared, the idea hasn’t.  Nor has the determination.  Calls are being made among those who are strategizing the next phase in the demand for economic equality and for accountability for the criminal bankers and corporate parasites who plotted, worshipping at the altar of greed, to enrich themselves while delivering despair to the majority.

I resolve to run.  I resolve to run for my own peace of mind.  I resolve to run and finish behind my son, so he won’t feel like a wimp, and I resolve to run, embracing OWS, the only hope we have to stop the gangster cartel that controls our political system, maintains war and US imperialism, and delivers suffering and devastation to most of humanity and to this planet.  And I resolve to run away from a system that cycles sameness, an evil indistinguishable except for a couple of wedge issues which the politicos exploit.

I am running for my life and for yours.  I am dreaming big.

Missy Beattie is running.  Probably, now.  Email:  missybeat@gmail.com







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Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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