jan 14/RUN

3.2 miles
trestle turn around
27 degrees
100% slushy loose snow-covered

It snowed a few inches on Sunday, a few more last night. Not enough to plow but enough to cause problems on the path. Wore my yak trax and that helped. Except for the bad stretch between the lake street bridge and the trestle. It’s always windy and the path is always covered. Nearing the trestle, my legs felt really tired from all of the sliding around I was doing. I stopped to take a break and put my headphones in. This seems to be a trend: running one way with no headphones, the other with them in. Not sure if I like this habit. It’s harder to listen to the gorge with headphones in.

the daily delight

Just after I reached the river, running on the bike path near the road, I heard a shimmering shaking sound as the wind blew roughly through some dead leaves on the trees closer to the gorge. It was my friends, the Welcoming Oaks! I imagined that they were calling out to me, “Hi friend, we miss you. When will you run on the walking path near us again?”

a strange image

With a quick glance down, the river looked like a brown wall to me. Flat and vertical instead of horizontal. So strange. Looking again, for longer, it stopped being a wall.

the daily walker

Perhaps the biggest reason I take note of and remember the Daily Walker is that he is always by the gorge walking. No matter what the weather. Usually wearing 2 long sleeved shirts and no coat. Rarely a hat. Since I started writing in this log, I’ve seen him almost every time I’ve ran. I admire his consistency and aspire to be him in a few decades. But there is another reason I take note of him: his gait. I’m not sure what happened to him–maybe he had a stroke?–but his arm swing–I think his left arm–is very exaggerated. It swings out wide. This swinging motion is how I can see that it is him. Without it, I’m not sure I would remember him. Even after passing him hundreds of times. I hardly ever remember faces anymore because I can’t see them clearly. I rely on other features–hair, clothes, how a body moves. As I near someone on the path, I always look for the tell-tale swing and I know it is him. Today he was there and we greeted each other.

A few days ago, I watched the short documentary, Notes on Blindness. Wow! Discovered that it’s been turned into a longer documentary and that it’s on Netflix. Cool. I’ll need to watch that soon. At some point in the film while discussing how we can’t see or remember his wife’s or kids’ faces, Hull asks,

To what extent is the loss of the image of the face tied up with the loss of the image of the self and with the consequent feeling of being a ghost or a mere spirit?

I can still see the outline of faces and haven’t lost my memory of ones important to me, but this idea of losing a sense of the self–at least a self beside other selves–because I can’t see faces, resonates for me. When I don’t recognize family members’ and friends’ faces, I feel less human, more spectral.