wind: 16 mph/gusts up to 25 mph
mississippi river road path, north
Windy. Dark. Gray. Cool. Before leaving the house, I could see the trees swaying, so I knew it would be windy. Decided to not wear headphones and pay attention to the wind instead. How many versions would I be able to name? Remembering to pay attention to the wind was difficult. I kept getting distracted. Another runner creeping up on me. I could hear their feet strike the grit on the path. Tried slowing down a little–or did I unwittingly speed up?–to let them pass. They must have turned off at Lake Street. The few remaining orange and gold leaves stubbornly clinging to the branches, refusing to concede to winter. The faint beeping of an alarm–beep beep beep beep beep–coming from a car driving by. The uneven path just past the railroad bridge, waiting to twist my ankle if I stepped wrong. But even with these distractions, I noticed the wind.
versions of the wind
- Muted wind, made gentle by a hood covering my ears. Roars becoming whispers
- Sneaky wind, hiding from me, tricking me into forgetting about it until the path twists and it rushes at me, full force
- Thoughtful wind, generously clearing the leaves off the path right in front of me
- Teasing wind, playing with my hood, moving it onto my shoulder where it bunches up annoyingly
- Helpful wind, pushing me along, enabling me to go faster, feel freer in the second half of my run
The sounds and textures of the wind blended in with other sounds. Was that the wind rushing at my back or a car whooshing along the river road? Wind blowing turned into cars traveling into a bike wheel turning, its chain clanging into wind shivering into a leaf blower blowing into jagged breathing into grit crunching. So many noises, one flowing into the next, never starting or stopping just shifting form.
As I ran, I thought about form. How I’ve been taking writing classes on form–unconventional forms, finding the right form, using different forms to provoke and inspire–and thinking about my running form. I’d like to write a poem or a hybrid essay about form, weaving together ideas about writing and running form. Maybe include one of my favorite lines by a poet about how form is a way of conserving energy–“energy soon leaks out of an ill-made work of art.” Forms: the shape of the wind, bare oak branches, sloping hills, relaxed shoulders, slightly bent trunk, twisting path, winding river, flowing sounds, scattered leaves piled up on the path.
I also noticed the colors. Oh, the colors of late fall! Not as showy as October’s glowing greens and yellows and oranges and flaming reds, but achingly beautiful. Dark dark brown, tan, steel gray, pale blue. Flashes of rusted red and burnished gold. All muted colors, nothing bright to hurt my eyes, nothing too intense to disrupt the calm that has sunk beneath the surface of my skin.
One final memory: Running on my favorite part of the path where it dips below the road and close to the top of the gorge, my shoe squeaked as it landed on wet leaves.
Today’s run has given me so many writing ideas! Lunes about the wind. An anaphora about color. A pantoum about the shifting shapes of sound.
update: here are the poems I just crafted after writing my log entry:
versions of the wind, mostly haikus, a few lunes
muted wind, softened
by hood covering cold ears
roars become whispers
sneaky wind, tricking
me into thinking it left.
still here, just hiding.
the sneaky wind hides
making me think it has gone
it waits near the gorge
clearing leaves off path
as I near
the thoughtful wind clears
the pile of leaves off the path
before I approach
playing with my hood
near the bridge
the teasing wind plays
with my hood
and feeling freer
wind at back
helpful wind, pushing
me to run faster, freer
it is at my back
the wind helps me to
run faster and feel freer
when it’s at my back
Not an anaphora about color, just free verse
Oh, the colors in November!
The closing credits of fall
after October’s big show
so subdued in their splendor
nothing bright or intense to disrupt
the calm that sits
on the surface of my skin
I stare at the gorge
my eyes grateful
for the rest.
Running log, november 15, 4 miles
today I’m paying attention to the wind
but it is not the only sound I hear
the wind mixes with other noises
I’m listening closely for the wind
but I’m confused—is that the wind or a car coming?
the wind mixes with the noise of whooshing wheels
one sound blends into the next
I’m confused—is that the wind or a car coming?
or is it the wheel of a bicycle, its chain clanging?
one sound blends into the next
the rushing wind becomes whooshing car wheels then a whirring bike wheel
A bike wheel, its chain clanging, becomes the wind again,
shooshing, sounding like brushes softly hitting a snare drum until
the wind becomes the distant hum of a leaf blower then my quick breaths as I run
sometimes jagged, sometimes smooth
sounding like wind that roughly rushes near the bridge or softly sifts through the tall grass
so many noises, one flowing into the next
never starting, never stopping
wind car bike leaf blower runner the shifting shapes of sound