Victory Lap (Running, Version 2 – Rare)

The earth runs much faster than me
And I’ve never really known what for.
But for as long as I can remember,
She was always rushing to go somewhere
Or rushing to stop.

How do you catch up to a planet?
Or how does a planet catch up to you?
When you’re standing on
Opposite sides of the track,
It’s never been easy to tell
Who’s winning the race.
Who separated first.
Who ran ahead,
Or fell behind,
Or maybe stopped walking entirely.

But it must've been me,
Lagging behind in the hurdles
Tripping over nothing as we
Rushed to the finish line.

When the whistle blew,
I remember not caring to tie my shoes
Because if I ran fast enough,
I would fly.
And you can't step on your laces
When there's no ground beneath you.

But she remained glued to the gravel
Sprinting, lunging, jumping
On a hamster wheel of a track,
Body thrust forward
As if it wasn’t her own legs propelling her.

Bare feet on cracked streets,
Sneakers stolen from the start.
Soles torn to shreds by shards of glass.

Can you pull the breaks for a second?

But stepping on the gas meant
Trading my dust for clouds…
I mean, have you seen the horsepower on this thing?

A check engine light made to be ignored
Until you breakdown on the side of the road.
Like the weight of neglect came crashing down.
Like gravity demanded to be felt,
Like reality demanded to be felt. 

In cartoons,
Characters run off cliffs
With no hesitation.
As if the air was water
They could glide through.
As if flying should be easy,
Like walking and swimming

But

Without wings,
I cannot fly.
Without ground,
I don't know life
On this track
(Of) forward and back.
So I stop.

Her pace slows to that
Of a cloud.
Unmoving.
Unphased, but unsure.

She tells me to tie my shoes,
And I do.

You know,
I've never had friends
That would wait for me,
So as I bunny looped
And doubled the knot,
I thought I'd have to sprint
To catch up.

Like a kid last picked
In gym class,
Or dodgeball,
Or soccer.
Climate action is a team sport.
There is not hauling (of) planets
Like a bag slung over your back.
Avoid stepping on the cracks
On the journey to recess.

We're in a game
Never played before.
Rules only written
Because we wrote them

Here.
(And) now.

With each other.
With no winners,
But no losers either.

Just
Us,

Players that can't quit.
Running,
Us.

Breath heavy,
Lungs heavy,
Air heavy,

Us.
Running.

Race tracks have no beginning
Or end,
Just forward
And back.

Us,
Running.


Runtime: 2 minutes, 55 seconds

Originally written on April 12, 2022, commissioned by Rare.

Version Two, Victory Lap, performed at Rare’s Board of Trustees dinner event on September 22, 2022.

Version One, Running, performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Peabody Essex Museum’s new exhibit, Climate Action: Inspiring Change, on April 23, 2022.

Read more about Jordan’s involvement here.

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