mundane adventures in running
Glasgow is a beautiful city. The centre is a well scaled, more welcoming, more familiar version of Manhattan, The blunt physicality of heavy stone buildings and their neo classical flourishes and colonial allusions feel american. The architecture is proud, confident an unabashed. the grid like road system ignores inclines so the town planner’s plan trump the creation of god himself. Glasgow feels authentically urban, a modern human place. Prima facie, I feel as protected in Glasgow as in any other city; able to forget that nature, able to forget that dog eat dog, that natural selection, that the frailty of man. Until the weather comes in; storms feel more powerful, rain feels wetter, more soaking, colder than in London. There’s a strand of wildness running through the city. A wildness which fractures the illusion of the being a human world.
Running from Kirsty’s, from her beautifully civilised and not at all rustic 1930s stone house to her local park, i feel the wildness growing in its presence. The further into the suburbs the more signs there are that tell the story of how the city and its authority are fragile things against the power of the actual place where the city resides.
White Cart Water runs through Lin Park. My run takes me along the river. It bubbles and churns, a wide ribbon of black tea frothing over rocks. Resist the urge to forge the river. The river feels out of place, but it’s not. It’s the park, the path, the sound of traffic in the distance that are out of place.
Like the small hills, sharp little challenges; to my legs and lungs and to the dominion of the city. Tripping on tussocks of yellow grass unplanned by town planners; lurching down hills slipping on black mud; I’m haunted by anachronism. Rain water collects in puddles, filtered through peaty soil it is black with potential, with a fecundity to sprout life; trees and vines, gorse and heather to grow over and around and envelope this city.