Dooodle Therapy in a Marathon’s Wake


The explosions at the Boston Marathon–I just don’t know how to integrate this tragic event into the harmonious micro-continuum I occupy. When thinking about them I did the above and the below images/wordages, and they seem oblique indeed. But Dooodle Therapy always helps me cope with life’s rugpullings, and reminiscing about my first Marathon, San Francisco in 1984, is a comfort, and I hope no slight to the maimed and dead. This is a wake in the wake of the tragedy, and instinct has me acting like a Who in Whoville after the Grinch has stolen all the Christmas presents. (Continued respect and affection for Dr. Seuss, reprises the “Loose as a Seuss” blog post.)

Here are the twenty-one words to the double acrostic (add “Dooodle Therapy” and you get twenty-three):

Distinct though distant
Ovoids oscillate enough
Over surfaces serene
Out interaction’s door
Dance against impedimenta
Letting lethargy sleep
Enjoining sites silkily

The words are almost as doodly as the dooodle. They therefore don’t have to make sense–but dooodles image and word somehow create their own sense.

Following is a page whose most prominent word is Joy. It is part of the riff on Beethoven: “O’d to Joy.” A more formal way to Ooh and Aah is to O. I also riffed on Coleridge, with a deviant variant of the first two lines of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which are “It is an ancient Mariner/And he stoppeth one of three.” I also quote the classic 80s song “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” written by Neil Finn and performed by him with his band Crowded House. Again, behaving like a Who from Whoville is indicated for those who oppose those who come “to build a wall between us.”

The image is from my memory of August 19, 1984. At seventeen and a quarter miles I stopped to urinate, and as I was standing still both of my calves seized up in cramps. With about nine miles to go I hobbled them a little bit loose, but they kept locking up and I never regained a smooth running gait. During my struggle a young man who seemed to be two thirds long legs power-walked past me; we passed each other a few times before he left me in his dust for good. I finally made it across the finish line in 4:08:27.7 or so. Note that the finish line time at Boston 2013 registered 4:09 and change when the first explosion occurred.

I hope to honor the fallen of Boston 2013 by finishing another marathon before I die and dedicating it to them. Odds seem slight, given the degeneration of my biomechanics over the last 28 years. But it is worth a strive.


  1. So there are the rhymes of the ancient runner?

    Rhymes or rimes? Both seem correct, somehow.

    After years of idleness, I am aiming for a half marathon by the end of the year. Or perhaps next year. Or anyway, the aiming is the important thing.

    Michel Lamontagne

    • “The aiming is the important thing,” indeed. “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you still end up in the stars.” Hope you cross that half-marathon finish line, my friend!

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