mississippi river road path south
Cold today. Brrr. It was 59 degrees in February, now 34 at the end of April. Sounds about right for Minnesota. Didn’t mind too much. I like running at this temperature. I could have done without the wind, though. When I looped back at the halfway point I was greeted by a stiff 15 mph wind, blowing directly in my face at first and then off to the side later, almost like a not-so-gentle nudge to move along.
Thinking about the weather, I’m reminded of a great blog post about walking and poetry that I read a few days ago by the poet Edward Hirsch titled My Pace Provokes My Thought (note from 28 April 2022: originally, this essay was posted on Hirsch’s blog. It’s no longer available there, but I found it here). I made note of a few lines that I especially liked in the essay, including:
the inner and outer weather
The full line is: “Wandering, reading, writing–these three adventures are for me intimately linked. They are all ways of observing both the inner and outer weather, of being carried away, of getting lost and returning.”
Here are a few more lines that I particularly liked:
Cool Lines, a list
- my thoughts modify my pace; my pace provokes my thoughts
- Saunter off into the unknown,
heading into strange terrain.
- It had dignity. It wasn’t overly familiar. It kept its privacy, its wit
- it turns out that I like my alienation mobile, fluid, transformative
- walking meant “to roll about and toss,”
- to turn what is transient into something permanent, immutable
- Walking is so common
- It disappears in plain sight, too pedestrian (i.e., commonplace) to notice.
- a type of dream-work, a form of associative thinking
- An aimless meandering intermingles with–it is transformed into–a type of intentional and revisionary thinking
I also responded to a few lines. Hirsch’s lines are italicized.
a poem often starts as a daydream
so does a run, or rather, a run enters into a daydream, starting as a task.
one moment you’re following a leisurely trail;
the next you’re staring into the abyss.
The run is mundane. Routine. Focused on mechanics and efficiency. Then something happens. Not always, but sometimes. An awareness of life beyond the fluid surfaces of my body breaks through. I hear more. I feel more. I am more and less at the same time.
a walk made out of words.
Is it possible to capture the rhythms and feelings of a run in words? How?