I'm reading Christopher McDougall's new book Running With Sherman, his story of adopting an abused donkey and training it for ultra-running. It turns out there's a thing called burro racing in which person and animal run together over longer than marathon distances.
That's just the sort of thing I encourage all of us to do. Maybe not running with a burro, but being weird. The world needs more weird and it needs it now.
Consider what's normal: Carrying a plastic and glass block, carrying on with it instead of with other people, and writing short messages on it all day and into the night to people you either know or don't know. Normal now is following the news twenty-four hours a day and thinking sports worthy of that same coverage. Normal is that orange turd bespoiling the White House.
When these things pass for normal, weird seems the only sensible choice. And being weird doesn't require that much.
Some ways that I'm weird:
- writing with fountain pens and manual typewriters
- playing records on a turntable
- staying married and in love for over two decades
- buying a house and living in it for eighteen years
- running barefoot (on purpose on pavement)
- writing a blog for no money
- deleting Facebook and Twitter
I could go on.
Two of my friends don't drink, one is a vegan, and another runs or rides a bike to work because he doesn't like driving. My older daughter has never once eaten fast food and her sister won't usestyrofoam or plastic cups. Weirdos.
The weird things I do make me happy and help me feel I'm going the right way. How? Because normal is a road to ruin. That much is clear. And even if weird won't save us (though it saves me), it's a hell of a lot more fun.