Monthly Archives: August 2015

Hope for the Flowers

By Trina Paulus

This allegory follows two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, on their quest for “more.” Stripe first attempts to find “more” the same way all the other caterpillars seek more: by climbing to the top of the caterpillar pillar. After losing track of time in the continuous struggle to the top, Stripe meets Yellow, and they both agree that maybe the caterpillar pillar isn’t the best way to get more out of life. Quietly and discretely, they return to the ground and while away happy days munching grass. Until they again feel the pull for “more.” Stripe heads back to the caterpillar pillar, but Yellow believes that there must be some alternative. While Stripe valiantly strives up the pillar with renewed vigor, Yellow finds a caterpillar doing something entirely different. This new caterpillar is making a cocoon with the determined faith that giving up what is known will lead to the possibility of realizing a more satisfying life. Nervous and afraid, Yellow decides to take the same leap of faith and discovers that hidden within the caterpillar lies a beautiful butterfly. Yellow then goes to rescue Stripe from the caterpillar pillar, gently guides Stripe to creating a cocoon, and the two of them go on their blissful way in a life full of “more.”

“Hope for the Flowers” by Trina Paulus is a tale for all ages. The pages are not crowded with words, chapters are short and quick to read, and the illustrations bring the story to life through art on every page. Under the surface of the caterpillar adventures lies the allegory about seeking “more” from life, whether by getting high or defying dominant paradigms on the accepted role and aspirations of a caterpillar. This book offers a moderately subversive yet whimsical narrative on living the life that is waiting for you.

I’m not sure I was in the right frame of mind for reading and appreciating this book. I had heard rave reviews about it, but found myself not quite as inspired (and filled with hope) as others seemed to be after reading it. I tend to prefer books that evoke inspiration through reflection, and I didn’t feel very strongly compelled to reflect on the story while reading it. I enjoyed it on the surface – the illustrations complemented the storyline, I finished the book in one sitting, it promotes revolution – but that was it. Read it if you have a chance (because it is so quick to get through), and maybe you’ll find something more to this book than I did.

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Whoa, We’re Halfway There!

Wait, what??! As I tracked my mileage this week, I decided to compare the training I’ve actually done to the training plan I laid out so long ago I think there were dinosaurs around. (True! I’m pretty sure it was around the time I saw Jurassic World). Lessons learned from this comparison are: A) I’m mostly on track according to my official training plan (a minor miracle itself), and B) I’m halfway through the training season. Hold up. Surely that can’t be right?! A couple thoughts raced through my mind at that realization, mostly about relativity and seemingly shortened timelines, but after double checking the numbers (a couple times), it is undeniably true. I have completed 8 out of 16 weeks of marathon training.

keep calm halfwayWow. On one hand, that’s amazing. Aside from regular discussions of training and every tangentially related topic (I can turn almost any conversation into a discussion of running. It’s a skill), it doesn’t quite feel like I’ve been in full-swing training mode for the past 8 weeks. I’ve made it all the way to the halfway point without even registering the fact that I’ve done so. From here, it’s just maintenance. A few incrementally longer runs and a couple weeks of insanely early mornings left, and that’s it. That’s not asking much more than what I’ve already done. This is certainly achievable.

The other hand is trembling with mild panic. panic and freak outWhereas I don’t feel like I’m irrationally focused on training, I’m somewhat concerned by the absence of that feeling. This is going to sound kinda…I don’t know what the best adjective is, but it’s going to sound some kind of way. Marathoning is a lifestyle. It requires an incredible amount of intentionality and  planning, which is probably why I love it so much. Marathon training should earn a large chunk of my energy and attention, and rightfully so. If it feels like that hasn’t quite been the case these past few weeks, then worry starts to creep in that, for one reason or another, I’m not ready yet. With those thoughts in mind, October 25th is coming up much, much too quickly.

keep calm run on

 

Well, whichever mentality wins, the truth remains. I’m halfway there. In mere weeks I will be running my third marathon. In the meantime, I’ve got more training to log.

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