the poesis of marathon
Contrary to popular belief, the Marathon isn’t just a race. There are as many approaches and levels of meaning, as there are participants. The opportunities it offers are manifold. But first it needs re-envisioning, taken out of historicity, and put back in its rightful place — the multi-dimensional, eternally inspiring realm of myth.
Myth is the world of imagination. It’s the realm of meaning, depth, beauty, music, dance, poetry, and art. Myth is the Story of Life – the stories we tell about life, the cosmos, and our place in it. In short, Myth Makes Meaning. Sadly, most of us have relinquished our imaginations without question, starved our creative instincts, and consigned our dreams to the dustbin. As a consequence, we’ve fallen out of the story and out of our lives. The resulting inner void is often felt as depression, anxiety, and meaninglessness — a psychic chasm we compulsively attempt to fill with food, sex, alcohol, drugs, television, video games, the Internet, and countless other addictions.
Myth offers a way back. By looking at the world through the eyes of myth, we reignite the imagination, reawaken the soul. Rites of passage and their associated rituals are the re-enactment of myths. When we come of age, graduate, have children, marry, die, each creates an opportunity to season the moment with meaning and place ourselves and our loved ones back in the Story of Life.
The Marathon is a ritual — a re-enactment of a myth. Although there may be cinders of historicity, it’s mostly shrouded in the prevailing, trailing smoke of story. Like all rituals, it provides a powerful, transformational path we can physically follow, a way back, a chance to heal, filling the void so we may begin to feel whole again.
As a wise man once said, if we can find ourselves in the story, we find ourselves...