nov 8/4 MILES

31 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

A great run with negative splits again. I love the colder air. It was sunny and a bit windy. Don’t remember too much. Saw only one dog. Very few bikers. No cross country skiers on skates. Less than 5 runners. Encountered one runner twice, going the opposite direction. Almost twisted my ankle on an uneven bit of the path. Sporadically practiced rhythmic breathing, in 3, out 2. Listened to headphones. Heard the Violent Femmes’ singing “Add it Up” and finally realized, after listening to this song for almost 30 years, that the lead singer says “When I take a bow and say good night.” Of course! This makes more sense than what I thought it was: “When I think about it and say goodnight.”

nov 6/5 MILES

28 degrees
the franklin hill turn around

No headphones today. Noticed that my favorite oaks, the ones that welcome me at the start of my run, lean in different ways. One leans back with its arms out, almost as if to say, “Heeeyyy!”.  Another leans in, whispering to me to have a good run. Others stand at attention, straight and perpendicular to the ground. After running through them and closer to the gorge, heard the scampering of squirrel feet on the bare branches. No rustling, just clicking. And the thumping and cracking of acorns. Busy. Preparing for winter. Cars rushed by, busy too, racing to work. About 1.5 miles in, I began chanting to keep myself going: This is the path/that I run/when I want to/have some fun. Then: This is the path/with a hill/I run down it/for a thrill. Then, running up the hill again: This is the hill/I must run up/I must go slow/or I’ll throw up. Not the most amazing chants, but they helped. A lot. Stopped once to walk for about 2 minutes near the top of the hill. Then finished with my fastest mile.

nov 4/3 MILES

37 degrees
humidity: 91%
mississippi river road path, north

Humid again. Didn’t bother me as much this time. Kept up my plan of doing each mile faster than the last. Listened to music. What do I remember from my run? Running behind someone dressed all in black. I followed him as he stayed on the bike path instead of traveling below the road on the part of the path that travels right above the gorge because I worried that it might be too slippery. Slowly creeping up on and then passing another runner dressed in black pants and white jacket.  Wondering how far ahead of her I was getting. Encountering her again, once I had turned around at the greenway trail. Feeling mostly good with only a few fleeting flashes of doubt and desire to stop.

Kept working on my sonnet assignment when I got back home. Came up with 2 versions. Don’t quite like either.

Attention

is the beginning of devotion
devotion, the beginning of prayer
prayer, undertaken while in motion
motion, gliding in and through outside air
a prayer that is given with lungs and feet
inspiring trees and absorbing the ground
a letting go to a steady beat
desiring nothing but to hear the sound
of time slowly dripping like the drops of sweat
that fall from my face and sit on my skin
cooling me down as they evaporate
counter-clockwise time, moving out, not in
I listen and imagine I can hear
my Self—a slow steady release into air.

Attention

is the beginning of devotion
devotion, the beginning of prayer
prayer, undertaken while in motion
motion, gliding in and through outside air
a prayer that is given with lungs and feet
inspiring trees and absorbing the ground
a letting go to a steady beat
desiring nothing but to look around
and count the leaves or catch a fleeting glimpse
of river, near the stand of mesic oaks
and to witness time as it slowly drips
like the sweat off my face that slowly soaks
my shirt and evaporates from my skin
my sense of Self moving out and not in.

nov 2/2 MILES

38 degrees
humidity: 96%
mississippi river road path, south

Decided to run today even though I ran yesterday because it seemed calm and dry and not too cold. It was too humid. Hard to run in such thick air. Yuck. Ran 1.5 miles, walked for a few minutes, then another half mile. Not much fun, but it was beautiful, staring across to St. Paul. A few trees left, with grainy mustard yellow leaves. The river, a blueish gray.

nov 1/3 MILES

33 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

It’s getting colder. I love it! I run so much better in the cold air. As I ran by them, I tried looking a little longer at the bare trees, the gorge slope, the floodplain forest floor and the river. Turned around at the railroad trestle. Before reaching it, realized that I wasn’t feeling the wind so I knew when I turned around that I would. And I did. But it wasn’t too bad. Encountered a woman who might have been talking to me. Not sure if she was or what she said; I had my headphones on. Listening to Sia, Loverboy, Huey Lewis and the News, Pat Benatar, Violent Femmes, Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green and Adele. Right before running back under the Lake Street bridge noticed two trees, one was a rusty red, the other a brilliant gold.

Later, walking through the neighborhood, I marveled at the beauty of bare branches. Some trees, maybe maples, need their limbs hidden by leaves, but not oaks. Such forms! Some graceful, stretching up and out everywhere. Others awkward, gnarled and twisted toward the sky, the ground, the other side of the sidewalk. All of them interesting, demanding my attention. How do I look, I wonder, to anyone else when I stop and stare, craning my neck to take in every limb?

oct 30/3.85 MILES

37 degrees
wind: 16 mph
mississippi river road path, north

Ran for 35 minutes and 3.85 miles without stopping. Negative split each mile. My knee was sore for the first half, but it mostly felt okay. It was windy and cool with some light drizzle/snow. Checked on the progress of the leaves on my favorite part of the gorge: all gone. Now I can see the slope down to the forest floor and the Mississippi.

Thinking again about routine, rituals and habits and what is/isn’t sacred about running and preparing for running. Wrote a poem in homage to Craig Arnold’s Mediation on a Grapefruit. Towards the end of the poem he writes:

a discipline
precisely pointless       a devout
involvement of the hands and senses
a pause     a little emptiness

My homage is about coffee brewing, an essential part of my pre-race routine/ritual. note: I can’t figure out how to the spacing here. It’s supposed to have more, like Arnold’s poem.

Meditation on the Smell of Coffee Brewing

To wake when nothing is possible
before the unexpected joys of the day
have saved me
To come to the kitchen
and pull out a thin paper basket
before breakfast
To open the metal tin lid sounding
like cymbals being lightly struck
by a drum stick
metallic and sharp as a cold winter morning
To tip
each rich brown scoop into the filter
not that carefully sometimes spilling
several darkly fragrant grounds
To pour each cup of water
into a cheap black coffee maker
the water settling until the whole
carafe is emptied
and only then to breathe and to brew
who knew
this habit
seemingly not the point a repeated
performance ending with the nose
a deep inhale with no substance

each morning harder to live within
each morning harder to live without

and

Meditation on a running shoe

To wake when nothing is possible
before my morning run
has saved me
To go to the front room
and find my electric blue wings
after breakfast
To take them out of the shoe rack
light and featherless        with orange swishes
swirling on the side
vibrant and zesty as citrus
To slide
each foot in, first right then left
so mindfully     without making
my socks bunch up.
To tie each lace
into big, loopy knots
then tuck the loops    until the whole
shoelace is protected
and only then to run
more than fun
a ritual
reverently practical       a sacred
preparation for the body and spirit
a moment      a little attention

each morning more necessary to live within
each morning more impossible to live without

oct 27/3.1 MILES

32 degrees
Halloween 5K
Riverfront Minneapolis

I raced a 5K! I raced a 5K! And I didn’t stop or feel much pain. Only the second time I’ve run that much without stopping in 2 months. It wasn’t fast, but it felt good and Scott and I did negative splits on each mile. Many people were dressed up because it was a Halloween race. I saw 2 Mr. Incredibles, a bunch of Waldos, a Gilligan, a few Wonder Women, Thomas the Train, the Doodlebops, a bright blue fuzzy monster with fabulous fuzzy legwarmers, a donut, a reindeer, a mother and son as black and white striped robbers, Dwight from The Office, a few Minnie Mouses and Cruella deVille. That’s all I can remember. No zombies. No vampires. No ghosts. No homicidal maniacs. And no witches. Why no witches? Well, I did hear someone say they saw Hermione, but that doesn’t count. Scott and I agreed that this 5K was one of the easiest we’ve ever run.

A post shared by Scott Anderson 📎 (@room34) on

oct 25/3.3 MILES

41 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

My first day of running non-stop for 30 minutes! Not too bad, but I can tell that I need some more training before I’m back to my pre-injury endurance. Ran with headphones to forget about difficult mornings with middle-schoolers so I didn’t pay attention to much around me. I did notice that the leaves on the welcoming oaks are all gone and that I can see all the way to the river–sparkling in the sun–near the floodplain forest. Late fall is my favorite time of year. Seeing St. Paul on the other side of the river. Almost bare branches mixed with neon orange. The woods with its bones beginning to show. Colder air. Snow coming soon. Winter running!

oct 22/3.35 MILES

50 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

My last recovery run combining walking and running. Next week, I start running for 30 minutes without stopping! The light this morning was really cool. The entire neighborhood glowed with orange and gold and red. We are just past peak color season. I didn’t look down to check the progress of the leaves on my favorite part of the gorge because I was too busy making sure that I didn’t slip on the wet leaves or on an acorn shell hidden under them. Realized after finishing my run, while I was walking back home, that I had put my running pants on inside out. Oh well.

Here are a lune, a tanka and a haiku about my run today:

a city block
illuminated:
red gold orange.

Red, gold and orange leaves are so pretty on a tree but not on the path; they conceal debris that lies in wait, ready to twist knees.

blue pants, inside out
only noticed at the end
much too late to care.

oct 19/3.1 MILES

43 degrees
shirley theel memorial park/austin, mn

A 5K! 1 minute walking, 4 minutes running, six times. Scott and I ran it together. Felt pretty good. My knee feels okay. Looking forward to being finished with the injury recovery plan and just being able to run. Maybe then I can pay attention to things other than how my knee feels, what my pace is, when I stop walking, when I start running.

This week’s poetry assignment is haikus. Thought I’d try to do some breathing/running ones.

1.
jagged breaths
as running begins
crisp cold air.

2.
hard to speak
legs start to warm up
air is cool.

3.
nose drips
eyes weep in the wind
hood stays up

4.
zipped jacket
muscles loosen up
breathing slows

5.
longer strides
longer sentences
said out loud.

6.
unzipped shirt
hood comes off. bare skin
is exposed.

7.
a warm trunk
bent slightly foward
hands relaxed.

8.
In 2 3
out 2. rhythmic breaths
rapid pulse

9.
flashing sun
pulses through pine trees
steady feet

10.
quicker steps
sweat pools at tip of
ponytail

11.
six loops run
warmer body and
warmer air

——

12.
to run is
to stop thinking and
start flying

13.
when running
never trust a path
without trees

oct 16/3 MILES

41 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

I made it past the railroad trestle, just as I knew I would. 3 miles today! 1.5 minutes of walking then 3.5 minutes of running, six times. Didn’t listen to headphones, but wished I did. All the cars sounded like planes taking off as they passed and there was a low, insistent hum the whole time I was running. Where was the wind? I’m not sure.

Before running, I worked on a few poems/poem fragments about words. So fun!

A word walk

Yesterday
I took my words for a walk.
Down the block
to the river gorge
through the oak savanna
on the trail that hovers above the mississippi
I didn’t know I was taking them,
I thought they’d stayed behind
still in bed
but
there they were
just sitting on my tongue
waiting to be spoken
into my phone
into the air
onto a page somewhere.
Today
i think
I’ll take them
for a run
but
will they come?

A Walk in the Words

for Marie Howe.

Walking into words
isn’t the same as
walking in the woods
but sometimes
they can be done
at the same time and
sometimes
they help each other:
the words bring the woods or
the woods bring the words.
Stepping into the floodplain forest
maples and oaks and aspens towering
I encounter
words falling as gently as leaves.
words scattered on the path
words waiting,
just behind a tree
to jump out
and surprise me
with their clarity.
How right they feel!
How much they understand!
How little I knew before they came!

Difference between words and thoughts

I.
Are thoughts just words waiting to happen?
Words not yet woken up?
Words that want desperately to be
out there in the world
yet can’t quite get there
so they wander and wander and if and
when they aren’t used
wilt or
weep like that willow near the walking path?

II.
Why is it that some thoughts seem so brilliant
until they meet words?
Realizing only then
that they mean nothing
or not yet something
and not nearly enough to be worthy of words?

III.
How do you keep a thought from running away?
Grab a stick and etch it in your hand (Jamie Quatro)?
Put it on a piece of paper and pin it to your clothes (Jonathan Edwards)?
Jot it down in a small notebook that fits in your pocket (Mary Oliver)?
Speak it into your smart phone?
Why not let it run away
instead of trapping it in words.
You might be able follow it
into the woods or
over the creek or
down by the river or
across the bridge.

oct 13/2.9 MILES

51 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

The end of week 2 out of 4 for my injury recovery plan. Halfway done. I end this plan with a 5k race right before Halloween. Today I walked 2 minutes and ran 3, six times. More running than walking! Decided to listen to my playlist instead of the wind. I don’t remember much about my running except for that it wasn’t too bad. I almost made it to the railroad trestle at the greenway but not quite. I briefly considered just running the extra 15 seconds to reach it, but then decided not to push it. I’ll make it there and probably much farther on Monday when I run 3.5 minutes and walk 1.5.

The light this morning was strange. At first, a bright sunny beaut of a morning. All glowing trees and crisp autumn air. Then, when I wasn’t paying attention, the sun left. It was much darker. Gray instead of blue. Then, suddenly, it was bright again. This happened several times. Bright blue. Dull gray. On repeat.

 

 

oct 11/2.7 MILES

45 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

Colder this morning. I actually wore gloves and 2 long shirts. Winter running is coming!! Run recovery plan for today was: walk 2.5/run 2.5 X 6. My knee felt a little sore by the end but not after I was done.

Walked through the oaks between 36th and 35th at the start of the workout. They are more and less golden everyday. More because the leaves continue to transform from green to gold and less because the leaves are starting to fall to the ground. Realized yesterday that this group of oaks is an example of the “goldengrove unleaving” that Gerard Manly Hopkins writes about in “Spring and Fall.” Learned that a grove is “a small group of trees with little or no undergrowth.”

On another walk break noticed three oaks on alternating sides of the path. The first oak, on my left, had a trunk that leaned slightly, almost as if it were trying to talk to the second oak, further ahead on my right, that had two branches sticking out on either side of its very straight trunk, both branches extended horizontally and then bent up. This tree looked like it was shrugging. I can’t remember what the third oak, on my left again, looked like.

correction: Walked by the three trees again. The third one is on the same side as the second one and has a porta potty chained to it.

I wrote a poem about the trees that I see while I run.

oct 9/2.5 MILES

52 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

52 degrees! Sunny! Radiant. So many yellow trees, some gold, some paler yellow. A red tree near the lake street bridge. I planned to run with my playlist again but when I started running, it felt wrong to shut out the wind and the crunching leaves and the cars gently driving by. So I took off my headphones. Today’s injury recovery run was walk 3 minutes/run 2 minutes X 6. My knee felt a little sore during the last three runs, but not too bad.

3 versions of the wind I heard today

  • shimmering (or sparkling, not whispering) wind that passes by, or that you pass through, almost like a curtain
  • wind that sounds like the gentle roll of boiling water
  • the wind that picks up the dead leaves on the path and swirls them around, lightly, not vigorously

oct 6/2.3 MILES

71 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

Week one of returning to running complete! Today I walked 3.5 minutes/ran 1.5 minutes 6 times. I ran longer and a little faster. And it felt okay. Now, hours later, my knee still feels fine. Very exciting!

The trees just above the gorge are turning from lime green to lemon yellow–or is it more of a banana yellow? Whatever it is, it’s definitely not golden or fiery red or orange. The other day, I started thinking about how much of the poetry I’ve read about fall, which is not that much, talks about red leaves or gold/yellow ones, but rarely orange. Why is that?

For the Orange Leaves that have been Overlooked

I’ve read many lines
about fiery red leaves
and glowing golden ones
but where is the poetry for leaves that are orange?
Is it because of the sound?
Red has a punch
yellow is mellow
and gold is bright, brassy, bold!
But orange just splats on the page,
plops off the tongue.
Maybe we should talk about
leaves of vermillion
or leaves of persimmon
or marmalade leaves
or leaves that glow like a neon crayon?

oct 4/2.15 MILES

48 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

Sunny. Crisp. Cool. Great fall weather for running! This morning I ran a little more, walked a little less. 4 minutes of walking, 1 minute of running, six times. Felt okay. I listened to my playlist and didn’t pay attention to much other than the time, making sure I didn’t miss my minute of running or run too much.

Here’s what I remember:

  • Walking under the oak? trees that line the path between the 36th and 35th street parking lots. Their gnarled branches stretching horizontally.
  • Encountering the daily walker and wondering if he recognized me after my 2 month absence.
  • Two runners passing me while I was walking, one right before the lake street bridge, one just above the floodplain forest, on my favorite part of the path, the part where I always check the progress of the leaves. Both had graceful, relaxed gaits.
  • Seeing one of those runners run off the path onto the grass to avoid two path-hogging walkers. Wondering if my last running minute would start soon and then imaging running up behind the walkers, stepping off onto the grass, and displacing my kneecap again.
  • Seeing lots of yellow trees, a few red, a few orange.
  • Not encountering any dogs and very few walkers.

I’m working on a collage of writings about “the body electric” that might include an homage (of sorts) poem to the final part of Walt Whitman’s “I sing the body electric” from Leaves of Grass. Here’s what I have so far:

The Parts and Poems of the Body

I. The Knee

Bones, joints, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, muscles,
fibrous thickenings and fluid-filed capsules and sacs
make locomotion possible.

The femur, patella and tibia move
The fibula bears weight.

The tibiofemoral joint bends
the patellofemoral joint grooves
the rings of Meniscus absorb
the smooth white tissue of the articular cartilage transfers
loads of tremendous force.

The cruciate ligaments cross over each other
the collateral ligaments support
both link femur to tibia
the quadriceps tendon attaches
the quad muscles to the patella.

The quads, that four headed muscle of the femur, with its
vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedium
and rectus femoris bend and straighten.

The hamstrings, those string-like tendons in the hollow of the knee—
the semitendinosus, semimembranosus
and biceps femoris—extend and flex.

The adductor longus and the gracilis keep the runner upright
the beefy stomach of the leg, the gastrocnemius, points and lifts
the popliteus, devoted solely to the knee, rotates and unlocks
the Iliotibial band stabilizes and assists
the synovial fluid lubricates
and the bursae reduce friction.

O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say the soul of the runner is the knee!

oct 2/2 MILES

59 degrees
mississippi river road path, north

Running again! Well, mostly walking with a little bit of running too. Since I have only run once (and with a brace) in the past 2 months, I’m easing back into it with this plan. Today I walked for 4.5 minutes and ran for .5 minutes 6 times. It felt good to be running again. I was surprised by how fast 30 seconds went by. On Wednesday, I’ll walk 4, run 1 and Friday: walk 3, run 2.

As I read more poetry and experiment with my own poems, I’m thinking about line breaks. I found a useful exercise in which you take the same poem and arrange the line breaks differently depending on 6 Ss: speed, sound, syntax, surprise, sense, and space. I applied it to a poem I wrote about the body a few months back. Here’s the original poem:

The body is a machine.
Not the body as machine
or the body is like a machine
or the body is only a machine.
But, the body is a machine.
An efficient machine,
capturing energy, consuming minerals, converting air into breath.
The body is an intricate machine,
made up of muscles and tendons
and ligaments and joints and bones
that work together in the complex process of locomotion.
The body is a marvelous machine,
containing strange creatures
with multiple heads and fantastical names.
The body is a beautiful machine,
composed of grace and exuberance and joy.
The body is a powerful machine,
able to endure intense pain and absorb tremendous force.
The body is a delicate and temperamental machine;
it can shut down from overuse, lack of use or repeated abuse.

And, here’s a version where I took the best parts of each “s” attempt:

The body is a machine.
Not as
is like
is only
but is

An efficient machine,
capturing energy,
consuming minerals,
converting air into breath.

An intricate machine,
containing muscles and tendons
and ligaments and joints and bones
and organs and arteries and veins
and fluids and systems that work together
in the complex process
of locomotion.

A marvelous machine,
made up of strange creatures
with multiple heads
and melodious names.

A beautiful machine,
composed of grace
and exuberance
and joy.

A powerful machine,
able to endure
intense pain and
absorb
tremendous force.

And a delicate and temperamental machine
that can shut down from
overuse,
lack of use
repeated abuse.

sept 29/HIKING

Took a great hike with Delia the dog this morning on the Winchell trail. Walking on the river road path between the 36th and 35th street parking lots, we walked under several trees lining the path. They seemed to be greeting us or maybe heralding the beginning of our walk, the opening to a ceremony or sacred ritual. I need to write more about this stretch of the path.

The marathon is on Sunday. Mostly, I’ve accepted the fact that I can’t run it, but I still can’t wait until it’s over so I can move on. Thinking about it, I composed to quick poems:

Consolation Prize

Maybe the best consolation
I can take from getting injured
and missing the marathon
is that right now,
sitting at my dining table,
a little over 24 hours before the race,
I’m not undone with anxiety,
overwhelmed with the what ifs,
unable to imagine how a human body
can run for more than 4 hours.
It’s a very small consolation
but I’ll take it.

Missing

almost 2 months ago
I misplaced my kneecap
only for a few minutes
it was gone
it came back
but not before
misplacing my marathon
I found the kneecap,
but not the marathon.

sept 28/HIKING

I can’t wait until I can run again–next week, I think. Until then I’m walking a lot more and biking occasionally. Today, I did both. Biked 4.75 miles to Minnehaha Falls and then hiked to the river. What a beautiful fall day. Walking on the dirt trail, through a grove of trees just starting to turn yellow, I briefly wondered if I should take a picture. But I didn’t. I’d like to spend some time, sitting on a bench, and find words to describe it. But what words? I need better ones, better than “beautiful.”

Here’s a poem I discovered the other day.

O Autumn! Autumn!/Effie Lee Newsome

O Autumn! Autumn! O pensive light
and beautiful sound!
Gold-haunted sky, green-haunted ground!

When, wan, the dead leaves flutter by
deserted realms of butterfly!
When robins band themselves together

To seek the sound of sun-soaked weather!
And all of summer’s largesse goes
For lands of olive and the rose!

I like Newsome’s trick twisting flutter by into butterfly. And the phrase “to seek the sound.” And I like her enthusiasm. I’m usually too restrained, so I appreciate someone willing to gush and overuse exclamation points.

Words other than Beautiful to describe my view:

  • aesthetically pleasing
  • alluring
  • appealing
  • attractive
  • dazzling
  • gorgeous
  • grand
  • handsome
  • lovely
  • magnificant
  • wonderful
  • splendid
  • resplendent
  • radiant
  • awe-inspiring
  • transcendent
  • sublime
  • poetic
  • vibrant
  • vivid
  • intense
  • aetheral

sept 26/WALKING

Walked with Delia the dog and decided to record my observations. Here’s a transcript of what I spoke into my iPhone memo app for our almost 20 minute walk (update: I turned it into a poem):

Sounds and Things I Pay Attention to on my Walk

The squeaking of the garage door
The glistening reflections on the wet pavement
The trickling water from the fountain in somebody’s backyard
The low, electric hum of the cicadas
An occasional chirping bird
My footfalls on the wet pavement
The trickling of the water in the sewer after the rain
The wheels of the stroller approaching me, almost feeling hostile and threatening
The whoosh of the water under the wheels
The clanging of Delia the dog’s tags on her leash
The big orange construction cone on the driveway, amidst the grayish brown wood and cement blocks
An occasional drip of water, sometimes a plop, sometimes just a drip
The traffic way in the distance
Some unspecified hums
A single yellow leaf falling off a tree already having lost most of its leaves
Burgundy and yellow flowers next to pink and light purple ones
Small puddles on the sidewalk
Darker black asphalt patches where the sidewalk has been repaired
Drips from the trees on my hat
A squirrel running quickly across the street even though there’s no danger of a car
Water rushing in the sewer
The not bright blue, not powder blue, maybe cornflower blue, Adirondack chairs
A runner running by, out in the street; fun to watch their stride—so graceful
and relaxed
The ugly purple leaves on the ground
A car just in the middle of the road for some unknown reason
Some cars approaching me with their lights on, some without
the Furry fuzz
Clanging from a truck, unloading scaffolding perhaps,
unloading some sort of equipment that I’m not turning around to see
It echoes in the otherwise calm, peaceful morning
Talk radio birthdays: T.S. Eliot, Ira Gershwin
I keep listening to hear what kind of talk radio it is
An interesting bark from a dog, deep and low and then high pitched and whiny
A gray car that’s been in an accident
Milkweed pods, some black and dead, others still green and ready to burst
A bright yellow school crossing sign
A slightly paler yellow seat, rope swing on a big tree with gnarled branches
A plane overhead
Walking through clumps of wet, dead leaves on the sidewalk
A bright red chair in front of a green house
The crunch of a walnut shell or a stick under my shoe
A squirrel running ahead of us on the path
Another bright red chair
and two red cars
A truck backing up
somewhere nearby
but not that close.
More drips.
Beautiful mums in pots on the front steps
The light from a front door still on. Was it left on by accident overnight, or is it on because it’s darker this morning?
A squirrel overhead, rustling in a tree branch
More planes and crows

Devoting my time to looking and listening to my surroundings and then describing them into my phone meant that I had no time for any broader ruminations. What would a walk where I randomly spoke what I was thinking into the phone be like?