That's the only word I can think of for the way I'm feeling at the moment.
Present. Excruciatingly so. And I use the word "excruciating" in a good way.
A deeper way of feeling. Sharper.
I've had these episodes before. And I welcome them.
Even though I can cry a lot.
Like the beauty of the world overwhelms me. And of people. And their joy and casual kindnesses.
It was a brutal Tely 10 yesterday. At the best of times I don't "do" heat. Never have and possibly never will. And it was one of the hottest races I've ever been in. And I wanted to quit so many times as the sweat poured off me and everything started to hurt. One good soul, among many, high-fived me at an off-kilter angle along the route and my poor arm felt like it was going to fall off with the unexpected lingering pain.
And then I started to laugh. To myself. As this new pain was distracting me from the sweat and the sore feet (note to self: break in new shoes a month before any race).
And Mile 8 was the roughest. I wanted to lie down and cry on the road and let the paramedics take me off to a sanitarium (do they have such places anymore?) for at least a month. And pamper and spa me and treat my feet, hell my entire body, to peppermint oil and my mind to attar of roses in bowls on my side table.
So that kept me going for a while: thoughts of 1000 thread cotton sheets, white, and attendants massaging the throbbing and aching all-over that I had become.
Mile 9, I was kinda sorta limping when Daughter appeared to help me in on the final 1/4 mile, which was very blurry as my mind had gone on vacation and my recognition software had crashed.
There had been many friends along the route with ice, with words, with water, with lemon. I still cry when I think about them all.
How astonishing it is to me to have picked up my life and moved so very far away to the edge of the Atlantic not so many years ago and feel so part of the fabric here now, to have accumulated so many friends, so much sustenance and support and love.
And to realize, with such renewed clarity, that my only struggles ever are with myself.
To be in the now and in the present for it is all I have.
To be the best me, not in beating anyone else, but in the journey, with its trials and pain. To look outward and accept those shouts of support, the water, the "you can do its", the distracting high-fives, the companionship.
And the destination?
Well, that morphs and changes, for is there any such thing really?
All I can say is that for me yesterday and carrying on in to today:
The destination is to remain open to love.
Self-inflicted and all the variants in between.