The Right Shoes

Sometimes, things go better.

I had the notion to create a Facebook page for the Estate of Georg Vihos. I built it last Wednesday, April 23 and the page has received 203 likes in one week and a day. Because of the exposure provided by the page, I have also sold two small works of art and generated several inquiries. This is not bad, considering that up until a week ago, I hadn’t sold much more than that in eighteen months of agony. I will be very curious to see how all this unfolds. I am still a long way off from the funds needed to pay several creditors and settle the estate. But, who knows? Everything may work out swimmingly. I can make the best possible efforts and choices in the given situation, but I am not ultimately in control of all the moving parts. Things will do what they do. I will respond. More things will happen. Life goes on.

I have taken up the activity of running again, after a very long hiatus from this brand of exercise. I’ve been inspired by my sweetheart who runs half marathons regularly. His health is good, he is strong and lean, and his typical mood is one of positive good cheer. I want to be more like that. Step one:  buy good running shoes. I had an old pair of Asics that I loved, but they were literally falling apart. Had I not heard of shoe stores?  My runner took me to a good shoe store in Chicago and encouraged me to take the plunge. I bought new Asics. I love them even more than the old ones. I actually wake up in the morning and think, “I will go running now.” This is big. Health, strength, and good cheer. All this can be mine.

This morning when I was running up the final hill before my finishing line, Georg popped into my head. What reminded me of him just then? Was it the chirp of the morning birds or the rushing sound of waves rolling along the shore of the lake? Was it my pounding heart or the smell of cut grass? Something. Something reminded me of when my dad and I used to go for bike rides after dinner. This was the summer I was twelve. Two or three nights a week, after dinner, we would hop on our bikes and head out to the country roads northwest of our little suburb, Birmingham, Michigan. My memory is that we would usually go about eight or ten miles. I think we had one fifteen mile ride that we did once every couple weeks. All along these tarred gravel roads, Queen Anne’s lace grew and I can still see it. The air smelled like cut hay. Bugs were constantly flying into our mouths, so we had to keep them closed. We didn’t talk a lot. We just road our bikes. Afterwards, we would get ice cream.

Maybe I was reminded of Georg because I was going up the hill and part of me was tired and wanted to stop. That’s when he appeared in my head. He said, “Don’t stop!” Throughout his life, my dad had a lot of determination and he stayed his course, continuing to do things his way, toward his goals, even when the going got rather tough. I know he had much more he wanted to do, but he arrived at his finishing line and that was that.

There are many things I want to do yet: poems and novels to be written, friends and family to nurture, places to explore. I have the will and the way. I have friends and my health. I have shoes. Georg says, “Don’t stop!”

Georg Vihos, “Captain Art and Lady Muse Flew Into the Rose Garden, Touching a Feather, ” c. 1998


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