I keep walking down the streets of the city and randomly feeling the urge to throw my bags on the ground and take off. Maybe this is the superhero unconscious in me, but in my head, I imagine leaving everything that weighs me down right there in the streets and beginning to run. I would dash around corners, through crowds, turning at red lights and letting the beautiful serendipity of Time direct my path. In my head I always end up in a field. Or a bridge. I quietly collapse into a puddle of exhaustion, legs giving out and curling underneath me, head falling delicately into my hands then into my lap or straight onto a pillow of flowers and wheat.
I call this type of running “Running with Freud.” It’s when you let the id totally take over and become purely physical. Haruki Murakami talks about this is his book “What I talk about When I Talk about Running.” He relates the experience of being asked what he thinks about when he runs and tells us that honestly, he really doesn’t think about anything. He puts on his music, lets one foot follow the other, and succumbs to the physical drive to move forward, onward. I have this same sort of feeling when I run, like there are no decisions and the only thing you have to consider is when to stop.
Freud related so many of his unconscious studies to sexual behavior, but a part of me wishes he had spent more time just studying the physicality of the body in other experiences. Considered that sex, while physical, is still largely a mental act for men and especially women, it is only when the body is under duress that you lose the ability to keep thinking about things and have to focus all your energy on just getting through. Maybe this is why torture is effective in the sense that you lose your ability to reason (although that’s probably an argument for its ineffectiveness as well). But sex shouldn’t be torture and when you do lose yourself in it, it usually only lasts a few minutes at best (during orgasm).
The only other time I feel this sense of abandonment is when I am out dancing. Lost in a crowd, with the inability to communicate verbally, one can essentially isolate his or her self from society and totally let go of inhibitions. In Israel, they have events called Nature Parties, which mainly involves a bunch of kids doing a lot of drugs, but also emphasizes the act of letting go, listening to music and letting your body do what it wants, free from the mind. In America, we expend so much effort everyday cultivating this personality, this way of being, and in the effort required to maintain, we end up with little or no time to explore who we are in a natural state.
So I try to explore this state everyday by putting on shoes and pounding the pavement, free of thoughts or inhibitions, with the only thought in mind that at some point i will stop. But maybe one day i won’t. I will give into the id and keep going letting my body take over. If it ever happens, I think Freud would be proud.