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by: Bernard Teo

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Copyright © 2003-2012
Bernard Teo
Some Rights Reserved.

Mon 09 Oct 2006

Late for the Sky

Category : Commentary/LateForTheSky.txt

I thought I was going to do my usual evening jog but the haze from the on-going forest fires in Indonesia looked rather bleak and menacing, and so I veered left into the "jungle" to get some respite. I live next to this huge body of water, the MacRitchie Reservoir, and its luxuriant canopy of raintrees acts as a sort of filter, providing somewhat more breathable air for me and my fellow-joggers.

And I was thinking about those Jackson Browne songs :

"Some of them were angry
At the way the earth was abused"
   - Before the Deluge, from the "Late For The Sky" album

"Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down"
   - For a Dancer, from the "Late For The Sky" album

I ran and ran, in defiance of the haze, and was somewhat surprised, when I reached the end of the trail, to have done 10 km. But with that fog, the sky will be dark way before sunset, and who knows what darkness brings in the jungle, and so I doubled back, double-quick. That made it 20 km today and I hardly ever do 4 km, let alone 10.

Whenever I'm wracked by tiredness and wished to stop, I only have to think, "if I stop, my company will die" and that superstition will be enough to push me on again. Morbid? But I've kept going for more than 12 years now. One does need will-power whenever belief goes AWOL. (And I guess that's the Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner as a metaphor for life...)

So, talking about loneliness and fear, belief and self-doubt, this is the music of my lost youth - Jackson Browne and Late For The Sky. It's amazing that this is 30 years old now, but listen to "Fountain of Sorrow" again - it could have formed the perfect music accompaniment to an Apple iPhoto advert. Funny how past and present collide. And all triggered by a run in the fog.

"Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer
I was taken by a photograph of you
There were one or two I know that you would have liked a little more
But they didn't show your spirit quite as true

"You were turning round to see who was behind you
And I took your childish laughter by surprise
And at the moment that my camera happened to find you
There was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes."

If there's a technology or an opportunity that can transport me back to any one day in my life, I would take it.

Posted at 5:56PM UTC | permalink

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