Progression run today, I was thinking about truth.
Phidippides was late for school again. The chariot had just come out of the shop one week before and it was sitting there in the middle of the rutted road tilted to one side. The wheel had come off again. Agnes, the horse, was not a bit happy. She was bucking relentlessly hoping to detach herself from the one-wheeled carriage. Phidippides tried to get close enough to release the strap but he was not too keen to have this 20 talent animal fall right on top of him. He was waiting for the right moment.
Plato was going to be peeved. This was the third time in as many weeks that he was going to be late for the Socratic discussion. He could hear it now. “Let us count the faults of young Phidippides as he gives us the time we need.” Or, “If you’re not here by the rise of another sun, may the moon guide you toward a cliff.” Blah, Blah, Blah did the man ever stop his blabbering? Maybe he wasn’t cut out for this philosophy stuff, maybe he should try something new, something more virtuous.
Agnes had settled enough for him to approach the chariot. He approached from the rear and as he got close, the horse lifted its hind leg and released a mighty kick. The hooved foot grazed the young man’s knee and missed hobbling him by the width of a horse hair. He grabbed the strap, released the belt and the horse rose in its fury. When it regained its full footing, the animal reared and turned in one motion with its teeth gnashed. “That horse doesn’t like me”, he thought. Phidippides turned as quickly as the horse had turned on him and he started to run. He ran as fast as he could and the horse chased after him. While just a draft horse, this behemoth had a burst of initial speed but could not catch the young runner. Phidippides flew past people and houses and the Parthenon and the Acropolis and he kept on going. The young man had no idea he could run this fast, it was like his feet had wings. The horse quickly tired and gave up its chase.
He saw a fellow student and philosopher who asked where he was going, school was in the other direction. Phidippides quickly responded, “Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth. Running is truth!” He missed school that day, that week, that month and that year. Plato was heard to say, “Love is a serious mental disease”. And everyone knew that Phidippides loved to run.
A little bonus this morning. Favorite song: Chariots of Fire performed by Vangelis.