mississippi river road path, north/south
13 degrees/feels like 5
feels like: freedom, solitude, quiet, I could run for another hour
Of course the amazing Minneapolis parks cleared the path already. It was difficult making my way to the river–several neighbors had not shoveled yet–but once I got there, it was fine. Better than it’s been for the last week, although there were still spots where the path was rough and uneven. Running above the river, I felt separated from everything. The plowed snow provided a hip high wall that divided me from the cars. And not many other people were outside. I only encountered 2 walkers, 1 runner and 1 biker (biking with thin tires on the road). One of the walkers was dressed all in black and was so tall–tall people unsettle me. Maybe it’s because I’m short? As I ran under the lake street bridge, on the way back, something strange happened: suddenly the sky turned lighter, from gray to brownish. After thinking about it for a moment I realized, it looked sepia toned. Weird. The wind picked up a little too. Maybe my eyes were seeing things after spending so much time staring at the bright white snow? The sepia tone made me feel like I was stuck inside a vintage photo of old Minneapolis. What did the river gorge look like 100 years ago? After a quick google search, I didn’t find any images of the west side of the gorge, but I did find a cool article about Bridal Veil Falls on the east side.
It was quiet today. There were cars, but they drove slower on the snow. No roaring or rumbling rushing. Not much wind. I did hear birds chirping as I walked to the river and a few geese honking deep in the gorge but mostly, everything was quiet, calm, slow–not in a thick way, just relaxed.
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
I discovered this poem last year. This morning, while looking through my running journal, I found it and my response. I like this poem but I feel like the advice is not universal.
this impulse to still ourselves
to not move or do or be anything more
than a body with other bodies
does not feel liberating
it feels confining
maybe some of us keep too quiet
maybe some us stand too still
maybe some of us need movement—
need to be moving—to find the calm
to feel less trapped