feb 20/RUN

4.2 miles
minnehaha falls and back
5 degrees/ feels like -5
10% snow and ice covered

Another dictation entry. I tried to more deliberate in my speaking today, but it’s still harder to speak these then to write them.

Ran south towards the Falls this morning. It is very cold. The path is clear, although there was some ice that was slippery. I paid attention to my favorite spot right after the Mesa curves down and opens up into the river. I noticed that the path was stained with salt. The river was mostly frozen over with a few gaps of open water. I ran towards the falls thinking that they would be completely frozen over by now but when I got to the park, I heard some water rushing and when I reach the falls, I noticed a bit of water falling over the edge. There were a few people there.

I don’t think I saw any other runners. The first person I encountered on my run was somebody on a fat tire and I remember thinking how cold they must be.

When I got to the Falls I stopped for a minute to take off my hood and to look at the water. Then I started again. I noticed as I was running that my shadow was right in front of me. So clear and sharp and fully present! Then I had a revelation: my shadow is who is writing my workbook. My shadow is talking to me and giving me advice on what to do. In my exercises, my shadow is the implied I and I am the you she’s talking to. Very exciting to figure this out.

On the run back, I was hot and sweating. I noticed how beautiful the ravine near the double bridge is at this time of year when all the leaves are off the trees and you can really see everything.

After I was done and had walked home, I took a recording right outside my front door of the birds. Speaking of birds, about 3 miles into my run, heading north, I heard a mourning dove crying out, sounding like the one in this recording:

Discovered this wonderful essay over at Poetry Foundation by Edward Hirsch on poetic language. Here are a few of my favorite bits:

Poetry charts the changes in language, but it never merely reproduces or recapitulates what it finds. The lyric poem defamiliarizes words, it wrenches them from familiar or habitual contexts, it puts a spell on them. 

As the eighteenth-century English poet Christopher Smart put it, freely translating from Horace’s Art of Poetry:

It is exceedingly well
To give a common word the spell
To greet you as intirely new.

The lyric poem separates and uproots words from the daily flux and flow of living speech but it also delivers them back—spelled, changed, charmed—to the domain of other people