Sacramento del Corredor (Sacrament of the Runner) By Sarah “Stump” Sumpter, 2014
The road is a cruel mistress, but she rewards earnestly those of earnest and diligent heart.
Be warned, for her demands are steep, and her sacrifices are best received in blood and sweat and the weariness of limbs. What she gives, however, is the sweetest of ecstasies. What you pay in blood she returns thrice-fold – strength of mind, strength of spirit, strength of flesh and bone and breath. Make yourself naked to her, and she will bare before you the faces of death, the marrows of courage, the dark crevices from which hope is born.
She is fickle with man, but bears for him a certain affection, for it was man who made Her, and pays homage to Her daily.
She requires no chapel and no prayer save the open air and the cadence of flurried feet. A desperate breath is as pure as any verse or hymn. The world is her altar and Her laws are made known not by stoop-backed scholars/scribes/wise-men but by address to her alone. There are no mediums, no prophets or seers or psychopomps. You must ride the Mount yourself, and venture all the layers of heaven and hell without compass.
Pay no mind to what others see or do not see, for she always sees, and you may share the thrill of the hunt and of victory with Her even when the mob has turned its back. She will teach you who and what you are, and no one can deprive you of that lesson/knowledge.
Do not think to rule Her. No crown or title makes you any less vulnerable to her might. There is no royalty, no classism on the road as there sits in the human thought-bubble. You must put yourself above the rest, you must prove it in the moment. There is no throne set aside just for you. If you must rule, you must prove yourself fit to conquer, and to hold that reign, if only for the day.
(Editor’s note: thanks to Sarah’s mother, Shawn Sumpter, for allowing us to publish this.)