See part one here.
Part Two: Fall 2018-End 2019
The point of Part Two is that this is the time in which I have known you.
The first day of work in the Fall 2018 semester was Monday, September 10. I remember I did notice you on this day. During my evening shift you were talking to someone. I heard you tell him, “We're all in it together,” and that caught my attention. I thought, Who is this person? That is not a normal thing to say though it is true on some level. You also looked in my eyes and that helped to hold my attention.
On September 13 I had an evening shift again and you were talking to him again. I heard you tell him at some point, “I love you,” and he was laughing uncomfortably, though in a good way like he was blown away by the gesture. I don't want to underplay this: I remember you were insistent about it and said it several times. I thought, What is happening right now? Who is this? This is not a normal person. It is possible this is the kind of person I have idealized.
Introduction to the Void
Now we come to the time I have long been waiting for. At the age of 9 my brother passed away due to a form of cancer which began in his foot. In the time that followed my mother taught me to respect the dead and I took this message to heart. At 13 I became interested in atheism but that somehow was upended at 16 when a recent graduate from my high school was murdered, by an alumnus of my high school cross country team no less. I was very moved by this event even though I had never spoken to her. From time to time, mainly while running, my thoughts would turn to her. I did not think much about metaphysical ideas like whether God existed or what happened to people when they died. The clearest development was that I felt a connection. She had died at the end of September: after two races in October I looked up to the sky and thought of her. I projected the thought, “Thank you.” I remember the last time I did this was after the league championship race. I was the winner and I remember there was light purple near the skyline. I had taken to associating that color with her, partly since purple is the color used to honor domestic violence victims. But it was specifically a light purple like lavender, which is the same color I now use to classify the energy of the original perfection of life. I had gone undefeated in the league and that was by far my strongest cross country season ever. For the sake of connection, Stacey was in that race, too.
By the age of 18 I start to experience some kind of non-physical communication with other beings. I always figured I was communicating with either the spirit/higher self of that being or with my own highest energy and intelligence. I didn't need to know for sure-- the point was that this communication seemed to be a path to truths which normal empirical thinking reached either far more slowly or not at all. Initially I had dialogues with the universe and my higher self, and I was open to asking a question and writing down the answer which came to me while free of any doubt, fear, and ulterior motives. At age 19 I read a series of books called Conversations with God and that reinforced the idea of this kind of communication. That also made me open to use of the term “God” and not only “universal intelligence” nor “the all.” At age 20 I became open to communicating telepathically with animals, plants, and also with deceased people (see Befriending Bugs and Relating to Food). Reading a few books on psychic phenomena helped with that, though I will admit that in the long-term that is basically all those books have done for me: I make no use of techniques nor psychic readings nor anything of the sort. Another former classmate had died during that time and within several days I had a sense that he had joined with several others who had fallen (whom I think were his friends on Earth, too) and that he was alright. This took the form of a brief “conversation” and a feeling of their presence somewhere, not at all as “ghosts” but like they were there talking to me and then perhaps were elsewhere when that was over. Reading the psychic books made me interested in communicating with spirit guides and archangels but I ultimately found it unnerving and dropped it entirely within a few months. At some point I wondered whether psychic practice, along with occult religions (“magick”), was too structured and embellished. I preferred the simplicity of communicating with God, my own higher intelligence, animals, and occasionally the deceased. Additionally, these experiences always went better with proper timing, when I allowed them to come to me, rather than trying to “invoke” anything or be desperate. Moreover, prior to reading those books I never thought about whether I was a “medium” and whether my experiences were “psychic.” They seemed to come naturally to me.
At the age of 21 the communication was quieted somewhat as I focused on being tough and definitely did not speak of spiritual things anymore. All I achieved at that age was a small amount of telepathic communication with a dog, one or two dialogues with the spirit of a deceased person, and another telling me that I should not be worried about my sexuality but that did not stop me. In Summer 2018, after Stacey left, I experienced the greatest abundance of higher-level thought and communication that I ever have in my life. This means that by the time I met you I was open to such things though I still was both clinging to being tough and also feeling at a loss. Indeed, these three elements of other-worldly experience, toughness or belligerence, and feelings of loss and sorrow altogether characterize the relationship I have had to you.
The reason I went on this tangent is that the entire time I have known you I have experienced some kind of telepathic communication with you (or at least with your spirit). It is basically the thing I have avoided talking to you about and now at this point in time, given all circumstances, I believe the most empowering thing to do is to finally tell you about it. I believe that is why I was not meant to speak to you during the last week of work: if I had talked to you about the need to express certainty I might have decided that was good enough and did not need to talk to you about this. Instead in this letter I am addressing both certainty and the void. Of course, if I had been in a state of higher integrity that week I might have gotten the idea to talk about it then. But, I was not.
The first time I had this experience was the night of September 15 2018. I went for a walk and felt sorry about my loss of Stacey. This is hard for me to talk about because it's so weird and also so personal but I want to tell the truth and I know you in your heart of hearts want me to anyway. Before I do this I want to note that I have always avoided writing your name. If you look through all the letters I've written you, you will notice that your name does not appear anywhere. I do this with everyone now: I avoid saying people's names as much as possible. Given how much I value personality that seems inconsistent. I think the truth is that while it takes a certain being to produce a certain message, that message is also ultimately impersonal and belongs to the void-- that is, to all. To get on with it, at some point on my walk the thought came to me, “[Redacted] is coming through the void.” Then I heard you “talking” to me and I went along with it since I took non-physical, remote communication for granted. I had communicated in this manner with living people before but this was quite different from anything else I had experienced. My past experiences seemed more forced and like I was “just” communicating with that person's spirit. Those communications did not match up that well with what the person was like in-person. Meanwhile, the things I have “heard” from you in the last 1.5 years are likewise not the same as things you actually have said but they seem to be in much closer integrity to how you actually are, compared to those other people. Our “conversation” on the 15th basically consisted of you disarming my toughness and resistance to my feelings of love. I did not write any of it down but what I did write down afterward is way different from most of the things I was writing and thinking at that time. I wrote down that I felt heartbroken and wondered whether I was to repeat a moment of transformation forever, like an endless new beginning. I'm reluctant to tell you all my thoughts but I guess all stops are off now. I wrote, “I don't have anyone to hide my body from anyone anymore. Maybe I have lost all reason for embarrassment. Normally this is where I wish I would now turn straight. I guess I don't need myself to anymore.” That was not the end of that internal conflict but, again, it was markedly different from my normal thoughts.
The first time we actually had a conversation was September 17. I know this because I remember I was looking at a map of the Northville-Placid Trail when you spoke to me and that is the only day on which I have notes on the trail, in addition to the following day (I believe we spoke on the 17th). I remember you said to me, “I see you all the time.” I didn't respond to that but I thought, I have been thinking much the same. At some point after that conversation I wrote in quotes, “I'm trying to help you... To remember to have heart.”
I think the first time I wrote down anything at all about you was September 14. When I have “conversations” I usually put the other being's words in quotes and I leave mine plain. I wrote, “It doesn't matter what petty wants I have-- there is just the truth. It doesn't matter how I feel but life demands a proper use of sexuality. I lost at intimate relationships but it doesn't matter what I do about that. In this area of life I utterly failed. But I at least am and know what I need to be. It does not matter now, as long as I do my duty...” After that I wrote in quotes, “You might be cruel without your love,” to which I responded, “Not anymore than I need to be.” Then in quotes again, “I think you do want to be with that girl.” I replied, “So what? … I might be too emotional anyway, there has been such a brutal build-up to it.” After that I wrote, “That woman was real...” I am not 100% certain these quotes represent you but I think they do. The last line is quite telling. If so, you can see how that led into the “conversation” of the next day.
Back to the timeline. I quickly found that whenever I saw you I felt that I wanted to be at my best and be working on whatever was the most important thing I could be doing at that time instead of, say, reading news. On September 18 I wrote a document which I titled, “Ingenuity.” Ingenuity is the moment-to-moment expression of intelligence and it never ends. It is congruent to the void and is the opposite of Human Filth which I will talk about in Part Three. I will talk more about Ingenuity sometime. I also wrote that day, “The void is a quiet voice which lurks beneath the noise of the world.”
On September 25 I stayed at work for a few extra hours because I intended to sing at Open Mic-Night, for what would be the last of five times. I remember I looked at you and had the thought, “I love you.” I was rather unbothered by the “unreasonableness” of how I had met you two weeks ago and had only one conversation with you so far. I go along with these things if they feel like empowering higher truth. After that happened I wrote, “If you go deeper than emotion then what remains, what is important, on what basis do you act, and in what manner do you express yourself? There is your soul. The heart is a good path to the soul, as are certain principles. First you have to utilize eternal consciousness for these to be of any use (such that you have full control of yourself, i.e. inward freedom, in the present/a given situation). The heart makes your touch soft (the sensitivity of genius). Brutality comes from principles. A steely mind and open heart together yield Ingenuity, the expression of genius. A struggle of some kind facilitates this expression. Genius dances with the struggle and the whole situation is thus turned into art.” I also wrote while I was there, “The depth of my Lightning: I will not lose again...”
Speaking of Lightning, I remember there was a day where I looked at you and felt some kind of electricity or electric shock. Based on my notes I think that was September 27. I could tell you were affected by it too. You covered your mouth and said, “Hi...” as if something awful had just happened. I remember I did not lose my composure and maybe that is part of why it happened: instead of deliberating or trying to pull back, hide anything, or cover my ass in any manner I was fully invested in it. That's Lightning. I've always wanted to talk to you about this even though I never wanted it to happen again due to how strange it was so it never did happen again. I wrote down, in quotes, “That was hot. It burned.”
There was a Friday evening where I went to a store. When I was walking in you were walking out and I thought you looked annoyed while I kept my composure. That didn't last, though: by the time I got back to my car I felt paranoid. I cannot find any notes on this event so I think it was either September 28 or October 12. I remember wondering what life demanded of me and the answer I decided on was some kind of continually regenerative ideal, which in my mind was Ingenuity.
During that semester you talking to someone on at least one of the evenings I worked (mainly Mondays, I think) seemed to be fairly routine. I could not hear most of the conversations but I think he would tell you about his life and difficult aspects of it. Given my value of toughness I found his apparent neediness contemptible. On October 4 I wrote down, “Why would you open your heart like that...? Are you just feminine, or do you know something I don't?” I followed that up with three things: 1. “Chase out filth, like fleas!” 2. “Or are you just you?” 3. “Remember it is the pure heart which makes us.” At the end of that day I wrote down, “I wish you would write my name in your notebook. Or are you embarrassed of me?” I didn't put quotes around that so that might have just been me tormenting myself.
On October 6 2018 I ran a 6-hour trail race. I completed 32.3 miles in that time and was the female winner. One of the things I wrote down after the race was, “This woman can see through me, not just intuitively and unconsciously... but consciously, down to the details.” Something about the train of thought I had during the race prompted me to write that. For a few weeks I had the idea that you were able to read my thoughts. I decided that I would leave my soul open for being seen by you, assuming you were capable of that. I dropped the idea by the end of the semester; however, since I have revealed to you more about myself than to anyone else I have always felt seen through by you and also that you could judge me more accurately than others. When I see you I often think that I am falling short of my potential somehow and that you can probably see that.
Around this same time (no notes) I had a dream in which you showed me your office. There was a white hallway to its right and the walls were painted the correct yellow color, though the room was incredibly small. It was, at the very least, located in the back of another room. I had never gone into that room before October 8. I had no idea there was an office in there, nor that you had one. For some reason the lights had not been turned off that evening so I went in to do it. Of course, when I walked in I saw that there was a door in the back of the room. When I saw your name on the sign I knew that my dream had been accurate. I wrote, “Not only does her office exist-- it is exactly where she told me it would be. This woman is for real.”
On October 12 I wrote how I felt ready for some kind of action (i.e. sharing “my journey as it unfolds”) but “my brain is undecided, unclear on what to do” and I listed many reasons why I do not want to do it. At the end I said, “I'm scared. I do not want to fail again.” Next to that in quotes it says, “I came into your life to end this.” That was the feeling I got from you.
October 13. “I must look at the sadness and thorough paranoia this woman prompts in me. ...What do I not want her to see? Or does that not get to the point? I have to solve this.” I thought about telling you the following, but I never did: “IF YOU WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE IT WILL BE CRUCIFIED! The Christians do not understand this even though this happened to their own leader! If Jesus returned they, too, would string him up!” I also wrote in quotes, “I'm a woman, I don't resist God.”
On October 14, after all of these experiences, messages heard, notes taken, and feelings felt like paranoia over being seen through, doom to experience the same failures again and again, loss of love and innocence, some kind of belligerence or aggression, and interest, I finally decided that I would actually talk to you. “I came into your life to end... What? Reluctance? The improper channeling of energies? Alright, Holy shit, I'll find a way to talk to her. Jesus Christ. Now, if I already know the answer, is it not disingenuous to ask? Depends on your energy.” I didn't want to be seen as some kind of moron but I knew I'd have to let that go. Following that in quotes, “Thank you.”
I knew I wanted to ask you about purity of heart, which I did the following day. I was about to start a new notebook so I wrote on the inside cover before I wrote anything else down, “Only the energy of a pure heart, with its love, can overcome this world.” You asked whether I meant transcending the general, fallen consciousness of the world or actually changing the external world. I told you I meant the latter. I think you were hesitant to agree that should be the case but I'm not clear on this. The “paradox” is that a pure heart is not trying to control the external world yet it is the only way to achieve that to an extent which is fundamental (rather than, say, one tyrant wresting control from another, and otherwise things still remain fallen). By the way, I ran my fastest mile in training ever that day on the track, in 5:53.94.
Now I want to address the two large gaps in my talking to you: October 16 2018-April 9 2019 and June 17-November 28 2019.
Gap #1: October 16 2018-April 9 2019
End of 2018
Here we enter six months of apparent silence between us. I continued to experience communication through the void for about another month. That then changed due to my internal conflict and, moreover, scrutiny over you (the void requires purity) and also the necessity of this communication became less frequent.
On October 17th I wrote that I must be vengeful in the sense of, “I will always remember you.” True love is for remembering and not comfortable forgetting. Stacey left because with all my worrying I infringed on innocence. I also wrote, “I think God wants me to attend to you for now,” meaning that, while I felt sorry for my personal losses, I was meant to give attention to and learn from you at that point.
I wrote something relevant to you at least every few days up until December. I want to show you all of it just like I want you to know all of my thoughts, experiences, and feelings. In this letter, though, I want to make sure that I share the most important matters with you.
Around October 20 I had intense pains somewhere in my digestive system. I thought of you and it helped me to feel somewhat better. I wrote, “The right frequency of love washing over the body could heal shot nerves. If you could bottle that, no one would bottle anything else.” Then, “'I am being transformed by this person.” In quotes I wrote, “It's okay to have emotions-- they're trying to tell you something.”
On October 25 I wondered why I felt aggressive around you. It is hard to find the right word as I usually refer to it as “Lightning.” To use a normal word instead of “Lightning,” “Belligerence” might be more accurate than “Aggression.” Earlier I told you that I have always wanted to save the people I love most from being corrupted by the world but I feel helpless to do so. I felt the same way about you. “Inspiration and Aggression... Why such Lightning in response to such a beautiful heart? This may be the desire to protect it.” On November 7 I heard, “You can't see me as a victim,” and, “You need to be patient.” Indeed, it turns out that you are different from the rest of them. You are older and clearer about who you are and what you believe in. Somehow you made it past age 19 without being substantially corrupted. Moreover, it appears that you are able to stay above most fallenness. This became apparent by the end of the Spring 2019 semester. You and a person had a conversation very closeby to me one day. At some point it seemed like he became unsettled (unusual for him) but I don't know why. He said, “You are a very mysterious woman.” And then, “Good luck with that vegan thing.” I took this as a sign that you ultimately are not swayed by people's talk and I was pleased. It is moments like that that make me wonder whether your relative peacefulness is superior to the urge to resist fallenness which I often am captivated by. However, I cannot completely drop the idea that the Goddess of Peace must walk in hand with the God of War. One time I saw that same person when it was snowing hard outside and I was ready to run home. He looked outside and then at me and said, “Ooh,” in a painful way (like “Oof,” perhaps). I got angry at this presumption that Nature is bad and I was about to go suffer because of it. I pushed open the main doors of IT and began running quickly. The snow stopped within 10 minutes of me starting and I kind of laughed with relief. Still, you see how I often deal with fallen ideas: with indignation and a desire to overcome them powerfully. If it's worth mentioning, I clearly remember that I did not have an appointment during your conversation and I felt obligated to sit quietly, barely move, and listen to what you were saying, like some kind of receptor. I have overheard many conversations at work aside from yours but I often have that particular sense in regard to only you when you say something.
Some conflict over whether I should talk to you. October 25: “I can't do it. I'm too jaded, proud, principled, vengeful, hardened, afraid, disheartened. Why do I bother with you, woman? Because you're the opposite of me-- and we're on the same side. Is this really the Edge? I mean... Is there no other way to progress? I can't bring a woman my problems! ...Yeah? And who the fuck else is there?” “I don't want to put pressure on her. I don't want to stress her out. And I don't want to convey desperation. 'Who the fuck else is there' actually might convince me the most. … I believe that if I talk to her I will become more paralyzed. And I will have to face my aloneness.” October 26: “Am I cornered? I've become so grave. I'm intent on talking to this woman but I don't know how the fuck I will do it. It's so serious, I almost feel bad. I'm not looking to be softened.”
24 October. “The thing I am afraid to face, with this woman, is the void.” Now we have finally made it.
On November 13 we had our last major “dialogue” through the void. I stayed late after work on a Tuesday night which became semi-regular for me by the end of the semester. I sat across from the entrance to the theater. At some point you walked by me to go to yoga, which I'm not certain at what point I knew that that's where you went. I wrote, “That was like a ticker. A, 'Hello, I'm here,' into the silence. Not just synchronicity but being in sync with the occurring physical reality. Or, even more than that-- attuned to bretheren. But isn't realization nice? Why such depth of silence? ('There's no reason for despair.') This reminds me of, 'I love you is trite. It's deeper than that.' Every time [this happens] a part of me says, 'Huh? What the Hell?' What, do you only talk to idiots or something? Those poor souls who need to hear words? One needs only to feel the vibrations around him.”
Then I heard “you.” “This is the void. You know what you're doing. ...I'm the same as you.” Regarding realization (e.g. actually saying words) “you” said, “You have to decide to do that. I will only talk to you if I have to.”
I asked, “What constitutes that?”
“I thought you said it had to be decided.”
“What, is that not necessary? … You don't have to get mad at yourself. That never got you anywhere.”
I asked, “What is this connection for?”
“It is the nature of our existence.”
“Why?” I asked.
“God made us this way so that we would never separate from one another, and would always protect in each other our Godly qualities.”
I replied, “It (the void) is like the best day of my life over and over.”
“It's supposed to be like that.” I had a thought to which you replied, “I can answer that question if you want me to, but you have to actually want me to. But, yes, I did it to initially get your attention. Not that I need to anymore-- at least, not so blatantly. Not that there is anything wrong with seeing each other-- and we have to have a life together. And there are always more gifts to give. It must be this way, for our connection is infinite. This all happens at right timing.”
I wrote, “It feels like a heartbeat from the very back of my body, when I see her. When she walks by there is such lightness-- and unmistakable trace.” I meant that sometimes when I see you (especially at that point in time) it is almost like everything else becomes silent. You definitely have a different energy signature than most people, who tend to come off as heavier and louder.
Then “you” continued. “There's nothing to be sorry about.” “I talk to those who need to hear it. I only communicate with those who know how to look for it.”
“What kind of other level is this?” I asked.
“The astral is the plane above the void. The void itself is complete, everlasting silence.”
“Would I lie to you?”
“What is the attraction for?”
“To grab your attention.”
“Is that all?”
“No, not necessarily. You interpret this as love, which is accurate.”
“So what about romantic love-- how do I know when to get into that?”
“For now, have patience” (that basically means to not think nor worry for it).
“The attraction also has the desired effect, AKA polarization (polarization basically refers to the God of War/Goddess of Peace idea).”
“Correct” (I vaguely heard something about electricity and energy but did not articulate it).
“What is this all about?”
“So that you know what is true-- especially true love.”
“How long will it take you to teach me?”
“It never ends.”
“It must, someday.”
“Only the form shifts. Fear no end, but respect finiteness, embrace the present. I've told you all you need to know about the race against time: do not worry for it, for you 'defeat' time by dissolving it [and learning how to use it].”
“This feels like a special connection.”
“It is! There are not many people left who now how to do this. So I'm talking to you. ...Not everyone can do it consciously, but they do it no less. Those are the ones we need to liberate.”
“What can we do for each other?”
“That is unspeakable and self-evident.”
“What is this (some kind of feeling I had)?”
“That's an energy center. Just breathe it up.”
“It goes to my heart. All that 'game' and fantasizing seems silly.”
“It's a phase. You need it to feel confident.”
This dialogue almost makes the end of my last letter seem silly because “you” explained to me why I have had all of these various feelings towards you. I semi-forgot that one of the sources of the ideas (e.g. the purpose of my feelings is to keep me on point) was “you.” If I always knew for sure that the void is real then there would never be a need for any kind of fear, embarrassment, nor wondering why I am the way I am. But, I still get caught up in surface-level appearances and fearing that others' thoughts are mediocre and fallen. I call this predicament, “Material frustration.”
A few more things were said. “On a conversation seeming to change or end: 'You don't have to worry.' To liberate them: 'That is our work on this Earth-- or, just the start of it.'”
“What is our work on this Earth?” I asked.
“To build a life.”
“That sounds like the greatest thing ever.”
“It is. You make it that way. So don't give up on anything you are working on. If you cannot pull on certain triggers until you are ready then that is fine. But, remember what I have told you.”
I remember pushing myself to stay a bit longer the entire time that I was there. When I got home I wrote down that when I packed up my things and headed for the lower exit (at the bottom of the stairs) you walked in just as I was about to walk out. I took that as a sign of the legitimacy of our “conversation.”
I never completely forgot but I insisted on fighting with it. There are other details from this semester I could add but I think that's enough.
December 21 2018
On December 21 2018, a Friday, I fell asleep on the couch at home in the afternoon. I had a rather unpleasant dream about you. When I woke up I had an attitude which more or less said, “That's it. Fuck this. Time to run.” The temperature was somewhere between 55 and 60F. I ended up running 20 miles at an average pace of 8 minutes/mile, which was the fastest I had ever run that distance before. I ran rather aggressively. I had two confrontations with people during that run. In the first minute of the run I had to cross a busy road. A woman on the other side asked me if I was cold. As I sprinted across the road I yelled, “NO!” I was wearing a tanktop and shorts. The second confrontation occurred around 15 miles into the run. About halfway across a 2.5-mile road I passed a man who was running much more slowly than I, in a blue jacket and black pants. He yelled, “No! No fucking way!” I did not look behind me but something made me believe that he started chasing me. I did not question it and immediately increased my pace by at least a minute per mile. I felt tempted to yell something at him like, What is wrong with you? Likewise, when I passed the apartments I thought about running inside to an office. But instead a kind of icy calm from higher consciousness prevailed and I just kept running silently without looking back. This felt like a noteworthy moment of self-realization. I did not stop running until I was across the street from the high school: a police car drove by with its lights on and somehow that prompted me to finally check behind me. No one was there. I really did believe I was being chased, and I thought my exuding an aggressive energy might have prompted this. I had never been chased before in 10 years of running, and I felt proud that I outran my assailant and handled the situation rather masterfully. I think I wrote down afterwards, Do not show weakness to the enemy. However, I cannot absolutely prove that I was chased that day. I wanted to tell you this story because it is the most blatant example of you prompting both action and a kind of belligerence/aggression in me. I don't really want to talk about the dream but basically I was tempted by you and then paid the price for it. I was annoyed when I woke up and then these events followed.
I'm not sure that I need to share much specifically about early 2019 except that this was the height of my running career so far. On February 17 2019 I completed a 100-mile race for the first time, the Beast of Burden, which is the same race I attempted and failed five years earlier. The race started the day before and there is only one line of writing in my notebook from that day: “I believe in my heart.” I intend to tell the story of this race separately someday. For now I want to say that during this race I allowed myself to feel my love for you whereas I normally try to keep it under wraps. Also, my aunt passed away one month prior to this race. For several weeks I had spent a lot of my time in the hospital and with family. I also spent time just laying in bed, thinking about things and allowing myself to feel much more vulnerable than usual. On the third day of work for that semester, January 30 2019, inspirational energy came to me, I think after I saw you that day. “What if I put in 240 miles in the next two weeks? … Why not really go for it? Why not make the race my top priority for the next 17 days? I have been log anticipating this, have I not? Why bemoan it in any way subtle or blatant? What is to keep me from top-notch training but poor planning of time? ...I understand, it all has been rather unforeseen as well as emotional. The funeral was a week ago, the adverse conditions more or less have passed, and I have gained relative command of my heart. ...The sun is shining today and the time is 11:11. I say now is the time to take charge of the ship and ride it for 340 miles over the next 17 days, to the finish line of the Beast of Burden. Run laps in the fieldhouse, run on treadmills, run 2-3 times per day if you must-- do whatever it takes. ...Why not get serious? Why not crush it? I think the time for kidding around- at least regarding this race- is over.”
This was the single best race of my life so far, in a 11.5-year career. I placed fifth out of 25 total finishers (with 44 starters) and was the female winner in an official time of 25 hours 33 minutes 58 seconds. I had hurt both of my knees by falling on ice while training for the race. I was in a lot of pain but my desire to finish could not be overcome, and I was pure enough of heart that I did not get too bogged down in suffering for too long. The morning of the race all I wrote was, “I believe in my heart.” I believe the top two peak experiences of my life were this race and the race I wrote to you about in my previous letter, the Mighty Mosquito in August 2018. Racing is important to me because it asks for my best. The main part components of “my best” include all that I am and believe in. The results of each race help me to evaluate my approach and decide who I am, what I believe in, and how I want to be. Racing also is one of the best ways that I can demonstrate and express what I am.
As I said, the first time I actually wrote to you was April 9 2019. I want to tell you what prompted me to do that and then what prompted me to visit you in your office on June 7 2019.
During the Intersession I had decided that I should basically block you out during the upcoming Spring semester. I figured that I did not need to fall from grace in any way, shape, or form again and I considered that dream on December 21 2018 to be a sign that I was on the wrong track. But I still thought about you and wanted to talk to you. I thought you could somehow help me get back into writing, but I did not want to express any kind of supplication. I was interested in the personal qualities that you have, but I did not think I was allowed to embody them myself.
On April 8 I rather strongly thought about talking to you, but the task seemed insurmountable. This time I “heard” some kind of taunting-- a foreign voice which proclaimed, “I take your lands! I fuck your mother forever.” I thought in response to it, “Fuck you,” but I still felt defeated. I sat outside of our workplace for a while before going home and I decided I would do what I typically do when difficult communication is called for, which is write a letter. I did that the next day over roughly four hours before driving to work-- by hand, with no drafts and very few notes. That letter is now public, as The Worldview of Completeness. That, along with other writings (like my last letter), convinced me that much of my best writing is done by hand. This particular letter has been entirely written on a laptop with the help of many handwritten notes. It has been one of the most difficult pieces of writing I have done and is the longest non-book I have ever written.
First Long Conversation
At some point in May I became intent on talking to you after Infinitus, a 100-mile race in Vermont. Initially I thought I would do so the day after but I felt discouraged from doing so until Friday, June 7. I was sitting out front of my house and the feeling came over me: Time to go. I did spend several hours in our workplace before I talked to you. I made a spreadsheet of the race results to send to ultrarunning.com, since they could not extract the data from the non-standard website where the results were posted. After that I sat out front of our building briefly to work on something else. I saw the last person you were talking to walk outside and I decided to just wait a few more minutes. Then I went inside to talk to you. The timing worked out well enough.
Aside from my opening question I'm inclined to think I did not make as good of use of this conversation as I could have. When I got cut off by a student looking for you I was about to say something unnecessary anyway. I “might” not mind as much if not for the events of the next five months, though I desire perfection in every moment anyway. Not a second is to be misused.
I don't believe I ever answered a question you raised this day. I value competition because it is an honor to run “all-out” against another person in a clean competition. I feel a special connection to that person since we both are intent on doing our best and generally push each other to do better than we otherwise might have (as long as one is not demoralized by the effects of others). We go to the Edge together with some extent of a shared understanding. That is an important aspect of being human.
This conversation, along with all subsequent ones, made you much less of a “mysterious” person to me, though it didn't necessarily nullify the experiences I had in Fall 2018. If I thought so I wouldn't have shared them.
Gap #2: June 18-November 28 2019
I don't know what much I should say about this time period now, except that my health and morale went downhill. I suppose it could have been prevented. I did start writing again before I hurt my knees, but maybe it was too little too late. I posted six articles and then after September I gave up until January 30 2020.
For the sake of connection I will tell you how my life went after I spoke to you in your office. The following day I ran a road 10K and won in the rather modest time of 44:05. I held back due to having just completed a 100-mile race and the main thing bothering me was my left quad and hip. The following week, on June 14, I raced my first marathon on the track of a local school. This race is open only to the school's seniors and alumni, and also members of local running clubs. I joined our local club just so I could run this race. Not only was this my second time winning a co-ed race but I broke the overall course record by 4 minutes 9 seconds (I ran it in 3:19:42, she did in 3:23:51). The previous record-holder was the cross country national champion in my final semester of college and an alumnus of the high school holding the race. Since she attended a rival local college I raced against her many times. This is the only way, shape, or form in which I've ever beaten her-- though she was just in high school when she set that record (much like most of my competitors that day).
The following Monday I stopped in to ask if you would not mind me sharing the letter I wrote to you. This might be a place for me to tell you how difficult it has been for me to talk to you. If I remember correctly I actually got back in my car at one point and then said to myself, You drove here, you need to do it.
While I was already in a lot of pain due to a series of runs I did in May (omitted for now), things got much darker in late June. When you offered me oranges several months ago I was writing about this time period, with a focus on the race where I injured my knees. I never shared that writing and would rather do so in the correct form.
I did complete the longest race of my life, Notchview Ultra, before things got “too bad,” on July 6 2019. It was 129.2 miles on grass and modest woods in Western MA. It took me 47 hours 11 minutes and 1 second to complete. This is the last time that I reached the 100-mile mark in a single sitting. The furthest I have run in a single sitting since then is 75 miles, at the Beast of burden on February 8-9 2020. On August 3-4 2019 I ran 74.5 miles at the Mighty Mosquito (I did not get as far as 2018, i.e. 82.5 miles).
I did go into our workplace a few times during the Summer, mainly to print out the directions for driving to races. I did see you several times but did not feel I should talk to you. Sometimes I went into the library instead.
I did wonder about the letter you said you were writing me, but I decided that I shouldn't be distracted by it. I figured it was best to avoid that situation so that is what I did. I cannot want it. I told myself that, “Love is just the force that shapes you for your destiny,” and it was best that I express my feelings through self-realization, by completing all of these races alone. I had the correct basic idea but I was too stubborn and closed of heart in implementing it.
I think I can safely omit the rest of this time period. I'll just clarify that I worked in retail for the holiday season in November and December. Also, I am on a 15-month streak of racing at least once per month so those races are all life events which I have omitted from this account. I have not returned to my previous level of performance and typically am in some kind of pain now, since I got injured first in May and then on July 27 2019. My last race was the Heart Run 30K on March 7 2020 and I was only one minute slower than last year so that is basically a good sign. Given how I have otherwise changed I should be faster than I was a year ago but the left knee, hip, and quad hold me back to an extent. At least I am still faster than I was for most of my years as a runner so far (not that that's even the highest point anyway but it does matter).
Go to Part Three.