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Allison Nance and Kathy Doran

Nance

Allison Nance
Created using Kathy Doran’s story (below) as inspiration

Around the World in Sixty Minutes
By Kathy Doran

I’ve been a runner for 20 years and try to run wherever my husband and I travel. I’ve run in places like Arizona, Oregon, California, New England, Canada, Italy, France, and Costa Rica, just to name a few. I did not, however, run in India because of stray dogs and unrelenting traffic. Perhaps the most interesting and culturally diverse run takes place right in my own neighborhood. I live on Miami Beach in a condo and run right out my front door, south a few blocks where I cut through a parking lot, and run on the beach. My first thought when I begin my beach run is to look out to sea and imagine Africa on the other side of the world.

My run takes me past a kaleidoscope of ethnicity, even at 6:30 in the morning.  After a brief run on the sand, my trek takes me onto a wooden boardwalk that parallels the ocean. My turnaround point is right smack in the middle of South Beach.  Every time I run, I see people of different nationalities and strange sights unique to this part of the world.  My voyage takes me out of my body and makes me feel like I’m watching an in-flight, foreign film.

On a typical summer morning I run down behind the Fountainebleau Hotel and Resort made famous during the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin era. It’s come along way since then having had a recent renovation that according to their website copy, “…blurs the line between the glamour of the past, the luxury of the present and a new vision for tomorrow.”  I watch as the sun peaks out from behind lavender clouds and gives the sky a pink tone.  I run past a group of Midwestern conventioneers (exemplifying “…a new vision for tomorrow?”)  wearing white hotel robes and slippers pouring out onto the boardwalk.  They sleepily slurp their coffee and shuffle up the wooden walkway, their faces lit by the tangerine sunrise, or maybe it’s an inner, java-induced glow.  They smile and toast me with their coffee cups.

I approach German tourists wearing their trademark white socks and brown sandals, innocently sleeping propped against their oversize metal-framed backpacks. As a local, I feel somewhat responsible based on past murders of German tourists who exited at the wrong place because they didn’t have the exact change for the toll booth (Ironically, they didn’t need exact change.) I vow to check on them on my way back. Right now though, I run on my tiptoes so as not to disturb their jetlagged slumber.

Up ahead, a group of Cuban laborers fills the air with chatter and I remember the time I saw three rafts that had washed ashore marked with green, official looking government lettering. One raft was simply Styrofoam supported by soggy two-by-fours, a crude wooden mast and a sail made of upholstery material. The frailty of these modes of transportation are a testimony to the bravery of the Balseros making the dangerous trip across 90-miles of shark infested waters.

Part of my run takes me directly onto the sand where I spot several colors of beach glass, bending down to pick them up for my collection.  I love the fact that nature renders man’s pollution into something as beautiful as green, turquoise and frosty white beach glass.

Next, I pass Orthodox Jews looking austere and slightly Amish. Spit-curls hang down like sideburns and Yarmulkes are attached to the few remaining hairs on the men’s heads. Several women in ill-fitting wigs chat stoically, blocking my way as I nearly lose my balance trying to run around them.

I reach my turnaround point at South Beach just in time to see a model photo-shoot for the Italian version of Vogue magazine.  A stick-like waif in a gauzy yellow baby doll blouse yawns and poses like she’s bored, or more likely, hungover from a night of clubbing.  A makeup artist flits around the spindly creature, dusting wildly to make sure nothing is shining but the sun.

Huff huff, my legs are getting tired now…Good! More distractions are up ahead as I make my way back.

I pass two nuns from Central America wearing pastel habits, squinting and looking very overheated.  I spot a group of Haitians, their faces twisting with laughter as they watch two Japanese tourists pose together for photo taken by a very small camera deftly placed at precisely the right height on the wooden beam of the boardwalk. As I head toward home, I notice that the backpacking Germans are gone. Whew, I’m glad they’re OK.  I end where I began, and do cool-down stretches.

I am reminded every day how lucky I am to run in a place filled with such unique beauty and infinite cosmopolitan charm.  I start my day feeling like I’ve taken a trip around the world and feel united with all of humanity.

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Nance_INSP

Allison Nance
Inspiration piece provided to Kathy Doran

*My Soul You Stole
By Kathy Doran

I fought the temptation to return,

Yet  I yearn…

YOU wanted ME back!

Life with you, sometimes white, but mostly black

Me with you…

…Black, then blue

………….Black and brutal as a burkha worn at night

………….Out of sight, you kept me, held sway over me, spent a day with me

………….here and there

It’s not fair, I said

You’re holding me back, holding me down

Literally on the ground, sometimes

But mostly on a shelf,

You held me in a place for yourself

And when I strayed from there, you didn’t ask why

You went straight for the throat, you wrote

in print marks

Impressions, you said,

you wanted to impress upon me and impress, you did.

Goodbye.

*The title is inspired by certain  indigenous tribespeople who are afraid of being photographed for fear it will steal their soul.

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Note: All of the art and writing on this site belongs to the person who created it. Copying or republishing anything you see here without express and written permission from the author or artist is strictly prohibited.

One comment

  1. Allison, I love your image of the hands reaching towards one another. Great photo!



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