Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Joy of Running Together- Partie Deux

A couple of weeks ago, I made a post about a beautiful sculpture called The Joy of Running Together which I had seen while traveling to Spokane, Washington in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing. At the time of seeing this gorgeous sculpture, I was struggling with the intersection of various aspects of my life. You see, I like to compartmentalize. As a doctoral candidate doing research on some really heavy stuff, I have used running to help cope with some of the difficult topics that I study (including prejudice, discrimination, terrorism, Islamophobia, and hate studies). As someone born and raised in New England... Boston is near and dear to my heart.

The Boston Marathon bombing wound up being this weird intersection of the various aspects of my life... I struggled with how to process everything that was happening. I struggled with what this bombing would mean for my research (particularly as I entered into the proposal stage for my dissertation), I felt derailed. I felt scared. I felt sad. And I felt angry. Really, really angry.

And so, on that trip to Spokane Washington (where I was on a panel presenting about the social aspects of why terrorism works, and how terrorists successfully recruit and indoctrinate), when I saw this gorgeous sculpture by David Govedare, I was able to have a real moment. At this sculpture, I was afforded the opportunity to grieve and mourn, in ways I hadn't been able to prior.

And of course, when I got home, I wrote. Over the years, I've had a succession of blogs... but for a lot of my friends, this is the first time they have had access to my writings. They frequently tell me that I write too much, that I am long-winded, or that what I write is just boring. But I don't write for them. I write for myself. 

I write hoping that I will create a record to remind me of things when my own memory is fading. I write in hopes that people might know who I am should I not wake up tomorrow morning. I write in hopes that I will be my own inspiration. I sometimes write hoping I can be an inspiration to others. And a lot of the time, I write to provide healing and closure.

And sometimes, when I have written about specific people and the impact they have had on me, I will put my heart on my sleeve and send them a message to let them know that they inspired me in some way.

Which was what happened when I wrote the blog post about Mr. Govedare's Joy of Running Together.

But then something crazy happened. He emailed me back. And he wanted me to call him.

And what was crazier, was that I did.

It was an awkward conversation at first. He told me a little about the way that this sculpture was made, he talked about the meaning behind it. Then he told me that he was a spiritual man and that (as weird as it sounds) he had a feeling that someone from the Boston area would see this sculpture in the aftermath of the bombing and be moved by it. He asked a little about me.

And I don't know why, but I started rambling about my research, about why I was in Spokane to have seen his sculpture, about what running means to me, and then about my friend Thomas Mills who is working hard to get the funding together to take the Superman Walks Project to Boston to work with the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Then he asked if he could send some prints of his Joy of Running Together. He wanted to send me one, but he wanted to send a stack out specifically for Tom to take with him on his Boston trip. Perhaps Tom would want to give them to the victims of the bombing. Perhaps he would just want to put them up on the street. Whatever Tom felt that he wanted to do with these prints was up to him...

It certainly is a neat idea... that maybe this sculpture that impacted me so deeply may be able to impact others who haven't had the opportunity to visit Spokane, Washington.

The prints arrived the other day. They are spectacular. Each and every one of them is signed.  Now I just have to get them to Tom!

But to be honest, I am just really excited to see what happens next.


  1. That is pretty neat Amy! I am interested to find out what happens when Tom takes them in Boston! Keep us posted!

    1. I sure will! I am so excited to see what direction this takes!

  2. Imagine being able to affect people with your work years, decades, and--who knows--maybe even centuries later. I can only hope that one day I will have done something so consequential.

    And don't let anyone tell you that you "write too much." Whatever that means. No one's making them read it. Just like Mr. Grovedare's work, you are sharing a very personal part of yourself, and it just as therapeutic for those who read it as it is for the writer.

    1. thank you so much for your support.

      And I do quite like the idea of doing things to have an impact on not only those in the here and now, but those who are coming along in the generations to come.