Second wind a stride at a time

5:30 am/5:29, 75/95. It’s Bloomsday, celebrating James Joyce’s Ulysses. WA reports that the first Bloomsday celebrants got sidetracked at a Pub, and didn’t fulfill their intention to replicate Leopold Bloom’s 1904 Dublin transit. Fitting, even if too stereotypically Irish. What better tribute to a writer of fiction than to enact his characters’ lives in the factual world. Or intend to.

Ulysses is notoriously wordy and dense and difficult, and full of playful and delightful treasures of language and sensibility. Not a few of them were probably composed in or very near a Pub.

“If Socrates leaves his house today he will find the sage seated on his doorstep. If Judas go forth tonight it is to Judas his steps will tend.’ Every life is many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-law. But always meeting ourselves.”  

“Alone, what did Bloom feel?
The cold of interstellar space, thousands of degrees below freezing point or the absolute zero of Fahrenheit, Centigrade or Réaumur: the incipient intimations of proximate dawn.”    

“Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.”

“I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short time of space.”    

“Read your own obituary notice; they say you live longer. Gives you second wind. New lease of life.”    

Second wind, energy, renewal, fresh life… that’s what I get each day when I climb down from my porch and hit the streets and trails of our own Dublin by the Cumberland here. I wake and warm to my work, like the Brainpicker and like my muse James.

And everybody knows what it is to “warm up” to his job. The process of warming up gets particularly striking in the phenomenon known as “second wind”… A third and a fourth “wind” may supervene. Mental activity shows the phenomenon as well as physical… For many years I have mused on the phenomenon of second wind…

 So today’s walking question is simply how to channel and transfer some of that energy more efficiently onto page and screen. How to “hold to the now” long enough to store its energy in the form of language.

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