mississippi river road path north
As I ran, I tried to keep thinking about poets, intense feelings, whether or not living “like an engine with the governor off” is a good thing and how this relates to running. I couldn’t. Not because I don’t have any thoughts about these issues, but because I was distracted by an impulse to monitor my pace, heart rate and running form. And preoccupied with thoughts of leg injuries and how I probably need to strengthen my core.
What else do I remember? There was wind in my face as I ran north and at my back, helpfully pushing me along, as I turned around and went south. The Franklin hill wasn’t too bad. My pulse seemed to go slower as I went faster. The trees at my favorite part of the gorge are covered in leaves, making it hard to see the floor of the gorge. I think I encountered 4 or 5 dogs and about 15 humans, some walking the dogs, some walking alone, some running and some biking. I smiled at several of them, but didn’t speak. Neither did they. I don’t remember hearing a single bird or the wind rustling or the gravel crunching or traffic moving.
Even if I don’t remember thinking about poetry and intense feelings, I’m sure I did, at least fleetingly. And, even if I didn’t think about it consciously, the ideas were there, hovering around me as I ran, inspired by the discussion I started about George Sheehan in my log entry yesterday.
Sheehan argues that we should try to be poets, “responding to everything around us and inside us as well,” like engines with the governor off. Then he adds: “The best most of us can do is be a poet an hour a day.” And laments: “There are times, more often than the good times, when I fail. I never do pierce the shield. I return with a shopping list of things to do tomorrow. The miraculous has gone unseen. The message has gone unheard.” His words got me thinking and inspired me to create:
A 60-minute Poet
George Sheehan claims that,
for an hour a day,
while we’re running,
we can try to be poets.
Feeling everything intensely and without restrictions.
Like an engine with its governor off.
We can try.
But we’ll frequently fail
A thick smog of obligations, worries and regrets
makes it harder to breathe.
And to see.
And to feel.
And to remember to let go and let in
more of the world.
A Deep Core Workout for 60-minute-a-day Poets?
60 minutes a day of intense feelings seems like a lot.
How can we train ourselves to feel deeply for that long?
What sort of strength and stretching exercises do we need to build up our “deep core” feelings?
To prevent hyper-awareness related injuries brought on by overuse or improper form?
To help us stretch our imagination?
Limber up our ideas, so we can bend, twist, contort them?
Strengthen our resolve against the worries and regrets that distract us?
Lengthen our vision to extend farther, beyond our myopic preoccupations?
Quicken our reflexes for faster responsiveness?
Attune our senses to the too-often invisible or ignored encounters?
I’m thinking about “core” workouts lately because so many things that I’ve been reading recommend core exercises for preventing injuries. A strong core stabilizes your bones, joints, muscles and internal organs. I’m terrible with scientific/medical terminology–I can’t seem to retain the information that I read or hear–but I’m fascinated by the names and some the descriptions of the “deep core” muscles, especially the multifidus.
pronounced: mull tiff a dus
The muscle consisting of a number of fleshy
not flashy or flesh-eating or flesh-colored or thin, but plump and succulent
sounds like tenderness or tendon-less, even though it means “consisting of tendons”
pronounced: fa sick you lee or fa sick you lie, depending on if you want to rhyme it with an old oak tree or a key lime pie
which fill up the groove
the groove in the dirt trail, winding through the gorge? the groove of a Funkadelic album? what you’re in when it’s going well?
on either side of the spinous processes of the vertebrae,
not a process but a bony protrusion where the muscle attaches to the vertebrae
from the sacrum
pronounced: say crum, as in, “say crumb, why don’t you hop into my mouth?”
to the axis
aka C-2, aka epistropheus. Contains a bony protuberance, another fun word to say, on which the C-1 vertebrae rotates.