“Right now I am trying to get them and their shadow lined up. There is a nice shadow that they are casting, and I am trying to get the runner and their shadow following them. I am trying to get each runner before the angle of the light changes, and it won’t work any more. It is changing quick. “
“In the morning, the runners are different you know. They are really open. They tend to really have unguarded expressions. They have honest looks on their faces. It is definitely the best time.”
For many years Jowan has been coming to the race at all hours of the day and night. His photography reflects the ironic world of the race in which so many things are changing rapidly and yet constantly remaining the same. Close by you can hear his camera shooting off hundreds of pictures and its clatter mixes interestingly with the whir of traffic below us on the Grand Central.
He is patient, focused, and trying to see a glimpse of something about the race that he has not already seen in the 100’s of previous visits he has made here over the years to the race. A single photograph is just a frozen moment of reality captured in some digital realm that we can examine, admire, and identify with. The race is always about movement. Nothing stops, nothing slows, in some ways as each day advances towards the goal there is almost a sense of time subtly speeding up. His pictures just help us hit the pause button on the incredible world that is unfolding here.
When you look at Jowan’s pictures you feel like he has captured a brief glimpse of heaven. These are not just slow runners ambling around the block. There is a inner divinity here that he is somehow able to reveal in ways that our eyes cannot. He is showing us pilgrims on an ageless quest. With beauty, with pain, but with a timeless urgency to move on and demonstrate, that self transcendence truly does exists for a world thirsting for transformation. He also somehow captures the spirit of the founder of the race, Sri Chinmoy, like I cannot do.
There are shots that he has taken, in which I feel, that just out of view, is Sri Chinmoy’s little red car, just about to speed into the frame and make perfection itself even more transcendent.
The regular emails help but there is nothing quite as inspiring as an old fashioned hand made card from home. Pushkar got this the other day from friends back in Switzerland and it has really inspired him. He ran a superb 65 miles yesterday. The support from home also helps in very real and practical ways. There are some runners here who are financially just barely making ends meet.
Start Day 20
Yesterday Surasa crossed into the 1000 mile club. She is running with consistency and with joy. Every time you see her running here you just know that she is exactlly where she is supposed to be. The possibility of completing the entire 3100 before the cut off now seems remote at best, yet there is a harmony in her efforts, and her steps and movements are still light and enthusiastic.
“I am so happy that I am happy. I have no pressure of the miles so I can enjoy peace of mind, without always looking at the miles. This makes the race easier.”
On the second day when she was hobbled by shin splints she could see that this setback was going to place the goal of making the distance beyond her reach. “But I didn’t mind. I enjoyed that I didn’t have the pressure.”
Her goal she says now simply is to stay in the race as long as possible. “For me it is always difficult to set goals. I am a little bit afraid of setting goals. I know it is not the right thing. But I am trying my best.” She also mentions that 3 times a day she has to work on the blisters on her feet for 40 minutes.
“If you can stay a long time in this race than I think it is also something. It is great to have the goal of running 3100 but if not, then I think it is also something to stay in the race for 52 days, and just try your best.” She feels that just being here is an unique opportunity to make progress.”
“I live right across and every year I am watching them.” I have seen Harold playing tennis by himself against the wall in the playground quite often. Most mornings he focuses on his exercising but today I find him sitting on top of a trash can just starring at the runners.
“The first year I did several rounds with them for a week. Just now I was thinking why not do the same thing starting tomorrow. Just go and build up because I need the exercise. It is very inspiring for me.”
He is all too familiar with the runners routines and knows how they keep to a strict schedule. He says that sometimes at night he stays out and watches them until they finish for the day.
He says that 4 years ago he was doing up to 10 laps of the course himself. There have been times when he was more serious about training. “I know exactly how many steps it is to go one round, 972.”
To think of God is good
To pray to God is better
To surrender to God’s will is by far the best
Poem of the Day by Sri Chinmoy
“If you think about God this is already quite good. And if you can pray to God more constantly than it is better. And if you can surrender to God’s will, and you if don’t think it has to be done a new way. That it can be done in God’s way than it is by far the best.
It is becoming one with God, with your inner source, with your soul. If you do that, that is actually why I am here. I am here to get a better connection to my inner voice. I believe to become more happy, because I do what I am supposed to do, and that point it is to surrender to God’s will. Is for me very important. And it looks like I am not alone in the world.”
Dream always dream
Do not forget that God used his dream
To create the world
and he still continues.
Song Composed by Sri Chinmoy
Performed by Enthusiasm Awakeners.
I AM HAPPY BECAUSE
You want to know
Here is my answer:
I am happy
Because my mind is above doubt.
I am happy
Because my heart is above fear.
I am happy
Because my soul is above bondage.
I am happy
Because my God is above ignorance.
Excerpt from Europe-Blossoms by Sri Chinmoy