It’s April! Let’s read and discuss “Children in the Garden: On Life at a 3,100-Mile Race,” by Devin Kelly
“I think we often chase epiphany, despite the fact that, at all times, the possibility of epiphany is right here, exactly where we are.”
Hi Article Clubbers! Welcome to April.
Before revealing this month’s article, I would like to express my gratitude to Sara, Toronzo, Jamie, Elise, Jennifer, Bonnie, Summer, Astrid, and Telannia for participating in last Sunday’s discussion of “On White Violence, Black Survival, and Learning to Shoot.” Special thanks go to Astrid — for joining Article Club for the very first time! — and to Jamie, for facilitating for the first time. I’m also grateful to Kim McLarin, for her beautiful article. Also, congratulations to Sara for winning a copy of Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Love and Life.
I’m pleased to announce that this month, we’ll be reading “Children in the Garden: On Life at a 3,100-Mile Race,” by Devin Kelly. Originally published in Longreads in January, and featured in The Highlighter Issue #328, the article at first glance is about a long-distance running race in New York City. But it’s about so much more: the nature of endurance, the beauty of the ordinary, and the importance of play and lightness – how we might all be better if we acted like “children in the garden.”
Here’s my original blurb:
Even if you’re not a distance runner, you’ll appreciate this profile of the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race, in which participants run around a half-mile block in Jamaica, Queens, over and over, for 52 days. In this beautifully written piece, Devin Kelly starts with running and extrapolates to the philosophical and existential: What is beauty and what is joy in our pandemic world? He writes, “I think we often chase epiphany, despite the fact that, at all times, the possibility of epiphany is right here, exactly where we are. The word itself has nothing to do with how it is commonly portrayed, which is that epiphany occurs out of nowhere, as if what is surprising someone didn’t exist before the moment of their surprise. In reality, the idea of epiphany has to do with seeing things exactly as they are.”
Mr. Kelly is a writer and teacher living in New York City. He is the co-founder of the Animal Riot Reading Series, and his work has appeared in Longreads, The Guardian, LitHub, DIAGRAM, Hobart, Redivider, The Year’s Best Sportswriting and more. The author of two books of poetry, he works as a founding English teacher at Comp Sci High in the Bronx.
I hope you’ll join me and fellow Article Clubbers in discussing the piece on Sunday, April 24, 2:00 - 3:30 pm PT! I’m very happy to announce that Mr. Kelly will be there. This event will be on Zoom and will be limited to 18 participants. After a quick intro, we’ll spend most of our time in small, facilitated discussion groups (5-7 people each).
Are you IN?
I hope so! If so, here’s what to do:
Hit reply and let me know you’re in.
Then I’ll send you more details, plus a calendar invite.
Start reading the article.
Here’s the original, and here’s a shared version we can annotate together.
Coming up this month at Article Club
This week: We’ll sign up for the discussion and start reading the article.
Next week: We’ll annotate the article and share our first impressions.
The week of April 18: We’ll get the conversation started with a discussion thread.
Sunday, April 24: We’ll discuss the article with fellow Article Clubbers. Mr. Kelly will be joining us, too.
Are you new to Article Club? If so, welcome! We look forward to meeting you and having your voice in the conversation. Feel free to reach out with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.