Holy man

Blog post from July 11, 2011 about the holy running man

[in case the link doesn’t work, because I’m trying to import content from blogger to wordpress…]

Running w/ Prayer 

There is this gentleman in our neighborhood I see at various times while driving. If I were to guess his age, I’d say somewhere between 25-32(ish). He has a full, untrimmed beard: his head has a close to scalp cut. He doesn’t wear official running clothes. I often see him with long shorts, or cut off pants, ratty t-shirt, black socks and curious shoes. I think they’re really old; either shoes he wears to work, or running shoes that are more than 12 years old.

His running pace is slow, plodding, thoughtful. He’s not training for a race. He is always holding something in his hand.

It’s a holy book. I make no assumptions of bible, psalm or Koran. The book is weathered, older than his shoes. It’s small enough to be held open in one hand. He reads a little, then refocuses his eyes on the pavement for a few strides. Returning back to the book, he might be reading more, or he may be checking the words as he tries to memorize the passage.

He runs in all times of day, in all kinds of weather. Hi space never changes, his hand never empty. He frequents the same sidewalks. Perhaps he keeps the same route to safely return to the book. Does he know the cracks and uneven slates of sidewalk as well as he knows that book?

When I first noticed his regular appearance in the neighborhood, I thought of Forrest Gump.

Is he running with, for, or about devotion? Is running to be saved?

October 13, 2016. Finally talked to him:

“Good Morning.”
“And how is life today?”

He has an accent. I think.

February 3, 2017. We pass each other again. From the opposite side of the street, I yelled,

“Good morning!”

“Good morning!”

“My name is Silagh.”

“My name is Aladdin. Just like the movie.”

“It’s great to see you out running all the time.”

“It always makes my day go better.” [He keeps running in the opposite direction of my walk] “Have a beautiful day.”



2 thoughts on “Holy man

  1. You know me. I’m judgmental, not the “holy man.” Ha! In my opinion he is reading a Bible—that’s what makes my day beautiful. Can’t wait for my back to heal from the very major surgery so I can return to my 3 mile daily walk (or roller blading), like the “holy man” —and add to my Bible reading and beautiful day.

    Choosing joy,


    1. He’s not the THE holy man. I regard him the same way I would the Dhali Lama, Ghandi or Mother Theresa. These people are holy in that they bring light into the world. Aladdin brings light into my day each time I see him. I’m thankful that there are such beautiful people in the world THE holy man created.

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