Friday, June 29, 2007

New Trails, running and writing

When we first moved to Colorado, we lived for half a year in an apartment on the other side of town. It was very close to the trail system, so there were two sections of trail I ran frequently. That was the one negative of moving to our house--at the time it was no where near the trails (though a few months later they built a new trail that runs almost right beside our house and connects to the other trails).

So yesterday, my son and I went up to the park and petting farm that's beside one of those stretches of trail, and before we visited the animals we went for a run. It was great to revisit this trail I'd been on so often. Because I was starting at a different point, I also was able to continue beyond where I'd always turned around...and that was even better, seeing a stretch of trail I'd never seen before.

I've always loved that kind of thing--I grew up exploring fields and little strips of woodland, following the railroad tracks, the creek (or crick?), the two-track roads that tractors took as they made their way all around. And in college when I worked in the library, I loved being asked to get something from various backrooms and using the key to explore what was down some of the hallways even we library workers didn't get to go to most of the time. (When the first floor of the library building was the history department my first year or two of college, I remember discovering a tunnel that took me all across the open green space in the center of campus and to the science building on the far side, though that was discovered as part of the historical simulations club and not as a library employee.)

What's this have to do with writing? Just that I'm the same way there. I love discovering new things, trying new things, going where I haven't gone before. In both writing and reading. I think that shapes a lot of what I like to read and why I like it. I understand the attraction of revisiting a familiar place, of taking what might be cliche in someone else's hands but treating it in a way that it isn't, of retelling a fairy tale with your own twists and your own words. But it's the new roads, the strange and offbeat that's more likely to snag my interest.

So whatever and wherever you're reading and writing and running today, happy exploring!

No comments: