river road, north/south
Sun! Sun! Sun! Didn’t realize how much I was missing the sun until it came back and I was able to see shadows everywhere.
Heard the birds as I was heading to the river and thought about how clichéd it seems to mention chirping birds and then that I still like mentioning them and then how I wish I could identify birds better or had better words for describing their sound and then that the simple word, “bird” and the sound description “chirp” still give me a thrill so I’m fine not searching for fancier words right now. I’ll spend my time enjoying the sound of birds chirping. Of course, now that I have made this declaration I had to look up synonyms for chirp: cheep, peep, trill, warble, and purl. Purl fascinates me. So many definitions and room for synonyms! I always thought of it in terms of knitting, but it also can be defined as:
- a purling, swirling stream or rill (a gentle brook)
- a gentle murmur or movement (purling water)
- to make the soft, murmuring sound like that of a purling stream
Greeted Dave the Daily Walker. Admired the floodplain forest. No snow on the trees today, just carpeting the floor. The river had a few ice floes but was mostly open. Ran into the wind. It felt hard. Heard my breathing and my feet shuffling on the grit. Stopped for a almost a minute to put my headphones in at the turn around. Ran back a little faster. Sprinted up the final hill. Did I look foolish to the drivers? Why do I care? Forgot to look down at the ravine at the end of my run.
Trying to remember some deep and helpful thought I had as I was starting out. I remember thinking, “Oh, that’s good. I should remember that.” Now I can’t remember it.
Last night, driving on the river road in the winter dark of early evening, I noticed runners on the path, some running in packs, others alone. Some with headlamps, others with super bright reflective shirts. I said to Scott and my daughter, “I always say I would never want to run at night, that it would be miserable, but I also used to say that about cold winter running and I love it now. Maybe if I tried running at night, I’d love it too?” Then, Scott said, “But how can you run in the dark with your vision?” And my daughter added, “and because you’re a woman?” Sigh. A sad truth. My failing vision is a bummer, but I see my fear as a woman running in the dark by herself as much more of a burden/hindrance.
Randomly found this poem and I love it. I was drawn to the title, wondering what the hell it meant. Then the first stanza sucked me in.
I Heart Your Dog’s Head/ Erin Belieu
I’m watching football, which is odd as
I hate football
in a hyperbolic and clinically revealing way,
but I hate Bill Parcells more,
because he is the illuminated manuscript
of cruel, successful men, those with the slitty eyes of ancient reptiles,
who wear their smugness like a tight white turtleneck,
and revel in their lack of empathy
for any living thing.
So I’m watching football, staying up late to watch football,
hoping to witness (as I think of it)
The Humiliation of the Tuna
(as he is called),
which is rightly Parcells’s first time back in the Meadowlands
since taking up with the Cowboys,
who are, as we all know,
thugs, even by the NFL’s standards. The reasons
I hate football are clear and complicated and were born,
as I was, in Nebraska,
where football is to life what sleep deprivation is
to Amnesty International, that is,
the best researched and most effective method
of breaking a soul. Yes,
there’s the glorification of violence, the weird nexus
knitting the homo, both phobic and erotic,
but also, and worse, my parents in 1971, drunk as
Australian parrots in a bottlebush, screeching
WE’RE #1, WE’RE #1!
when the Huskers finally clinched the Orange Bowl,
the two of them
bouncing up and down crazily on the couch, their index
fingers jutting holes through the ubiquitous trail of smoke rings
that was the weather in our house,
until the whole deranged mess that was them,
my parents, the couch, their lit cigarettes,
flipped over backward onto my brother and me. My husband
thinks that’s a funny story and, in an effort to be a “good sport,”
I say I think it is, too.
Which leads me to recall the three Chihuahuas
who’ve spent the fullness of their agitated lives penned
in the back of my neighbor’s yard.
Today they barked continuously for 12 minutes (I timed it) as
the UPS guy made his daily round.
They bark so piercingly, they tremble with such exquisite outrage,
that I’ve begun to root for them, though it’s fashionable
to hate them and increasingly dark threats
against their tiny persons move between the houses on our block.
But isn’t that what’s wrong with this version of America:
the jittering, small-skulled, inbred-by-no-choice-
of-their-own are despised? And Bill Parcells—
the truth is he’ll win
this game. I know it and you know it and, sadly,
did it ever seem there was another possible outcome?
It’s a small deposit,
but I’m putting my faith in reincarnation. I need to believe
in the sweetness of one righteous image,
in Bill Parcells trapped in the body of a teacup poodle,
as any despised thing,
forced to yap away his next life staked to
a clothesline pole or doing hard time on a rich old matron’s lap,
dyed lilac to match her outfit.
I love the way the final stanza brings it all together. And I love the small deposit of faith and “doing hard time on a rich old matron’s lap, dyed lilac to match her outfit” and “But isn’t that what’s wrong with this version of America:/ jittering, small-mulled, inbred-by-no-choice-/ of-their-own are despised?”