11.05.2010

NEW YORK CITY MARATHON


Preparations for the New York City Marathon are intense right now. Banners have been hung to mark the route, and seating and barriers put in place. For days now runners from around the world have been training in the park, and their friends and families are milling about too, with maps, needing direction and orientation. I could have stayed out in the Park all day and just given people advice about what exhibits they had to see.

As I was crossing Central Park early this morning I came upon a marathoner working on his wheels. There was just something about him, his focus, to say nothing of the sculptural beauty of his upper body, that stopped me in my tracks. I asked if he would mind my taking pictures, and he gave me a dazzling smile. I wished him good luck, asked him where he was from--Australia. Which leads me to believe that I stumbled upon the legendary Kurt Fearnley. But correct me if I am wrong.

I get very choked up every time I watch a race. I don't know what it is, but marathons touch me deeply. I feel connected to something ancient and powerful in the human spirit, watching the intensity of competition, the determination, the splendor of strong bodies in motion. I imagine what it must have been like to live in ancient Greece, and I think about how my beloved friend Caroline has run the New York Marathon--I doubt that women did this in ancient times. I am in awe of her prowess. Whoever this paralympian is, may he fly with the wind.


I went over to the Asia Society to see the Yoshitomo Nara show, Nobody's Fool--I am charmed by his punky, beguiling paintings and sculptures, and this is the first major exhibition of Nara's work in New York. In the lobby, artist Joe Mangrum has created a gorgeous rangoli of colored sand to celebrate Diwali, India's festival of lights. Rangolis are traditionally made with different spices, and during Diwali they are created outside of the home with the hope that they will attract good fortune. Let this rangoli be a fervent wish for great luck to everyone running on Sunday. 

12 comments:

One Woman's Journey said...

I have two granddaughter's that live in New York. One at Manhattan School of Music and one works at Marsh. Never been to N.Y.
I have been a part of the woods so long that I do not think I could take all the "excitement".

Karena said...

Dominique, how truly wonderful, the marathon is so special. I will be watching the Breeders Cup today!! The art in honor of Diwali is amazing.

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

david terry said...

Dear Ms. Browning,

Thanks for the lovely posting.

Just last week, I ordered and watched "Chariots of Fire" (which I hadn't seen since I was 20 or so, when it first came out). In contrast to a lot of movies which enraptured me when I was young ("Grease" probably takes the prize in "What was I THINKING at age 16?" category), "Chariots of Fire" affected me this past week just as it did 25 and more years ago.

In any case, I read this posting of yours and thought "Oh...I know how she feels".

Oh....a magnificent (if terse) line from "chariots of Fire" (which struck me when I first saw the movie) is probably appropriate to the tone of your blog...

Having lost an important qualifying race, Abrams (as you'll recall, the Jewish runner who was dating an actress) throws a distinctly male sort of pouty-fit in the bleachers afterwards. His girlfriend tries to tell him he was "wonderful", and he responds by spitting out "Why should I run if I can't WIN????"

....and she calmly looks at him and wisely says "Well, you can't 'win' if you don't RUN."
(That actress DID have some great lines.....the other came when, at the end of that turning-point scene, he whines "What can I DO????"...

....and she stands up in the bleachers, adjusts her hem, tips her parasol over head (this is 1920-something), and flatly declares "Try GROWING UP."

Admiringly (thanks for your work),

David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

Dominique said...

Thank you as ever David Terry--your comments always enhance this site immeasurably. I'm adding Chariots to my Netflix list.

Anonymous said...

What a man. The marathon chokes me up too. It is beyond words what a human can acomplish if they set their mind to it with grace. Hugs, Joyce

L.A. PLAYLIST said...

I LOVE NYC!! :)

check out our blog at:

http://thelaplaylist.blogspot.com

alilstrange said...

Thank you for sharing the picture from the Yoshitomo show, the colours totally tripped me out. So Beautiful!

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