trestle turn around
Windy. Sunny. Not too cold. Ran in the early afternoon, since I voted in the morning. I loved running on the edge of the path, my feet landing on the grit, making a satisfying scratching sound. I think I looked at the river–did I? Now I can’t remember. I do remember noticing how the snow on the walking path that winds down through the tunnel of trees was melting. With all the warm weather this week–and 61! predicted for Sunday–maybe it will be cleared of snow soon. I also remember lifting my knees as I ran up from under the lake street bridge and noticing how the walking path at the top, which follows the rim of the gorge while the biking path follows the road, was clearing up too. Hooray! Anything else? I heard then saw a small wedge of geese flying north. Encountered a few runners, many walkers, at least one dog. It was a good run. I didn’t think about the coronavirus and the fear and worry and hassle it’s causing for so many people even once!
Before starting the run while I was still walking, I listened to a recording of myself reading 2 poems: 1. a draft of my latest poem, which I’m calling January Joy, and 2. a fabulous poem by Marie Howe, Singularity–I posted it on this log on Jan 19. I liked listening to both of them. I also liked recording myself reciting them. Maybe this will be a new thing I do with poems in 2020? Yesterday I recorded myself reading Love by Alex Dimtrov (posted on this log on jan 21)–over 11 minutes of lines starting with “I love…”! One of the I loves reminded me of Howe’s poem:
I love how the Universe is 95% dark matter and energy and somewhere in the rest of it there is us.
I read this line as loving the idea that we are such a small fraction of what makes up the Universe. I love this idea too–it’s comforting and liberating to me to matter so little. Most of Howe’s poem and the idea of singularity is a little different. It’s lamenting the loss of a time when we were not separate from the Universe, when there was no universe or we or I or us or anything to fuck up (which we have, as we trash the ocean and each other). She has one line that reminds me of Dimitrov’s and that resonates:
before we came to believe humans were so important
I find it’s easier to remember this–that I am not so important, or the most important–when I’m running outside by the gorge, above the Mississippi River, under the oak trees. I like remembering this. Here’s another line this discussion of not being important reminds me of:
You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind (Frédéric Gros/Philosophy of Walking, 84).
And, of course, the minute I write nobody, I think of my introduction to Emily Dickinson:
I’m Nobody! Who are you? (260)/ Emily Dickinson – 1830-1886
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
Wow, that was fun to wander around all of those words! As I was scrolling back through my January entries, I saw a lot of wonderful poems and ideas. More wandering around them is necessary.
Speaking of January, here’s a first draft of my January Joy poem. It’s a collection of things I enjoyed during the month of January for the past 4 years. I’m not quite satisfied with it. I want to find a better way to describe/express how thick slushy viscous water moves–how?
January Joy/ Sara Lynne Puotinen
Oh to see the river!
The river, open
The river, brown
The river, thinly veiled
The river, pale blue
The river, empty
The river, white
The river, a big black hole of deep, cold nothingness
The river, a thick slow slush traveling to the falls
The falls, flowing between frozen columns of ice
The ice, cleared from the path
The path, no big crowd
The crowd, 2 cross country skiers
3 men in red jackets gliding
1 woman floating–confident bodies moving through space
The space between sky and tree top, illuminated by sun
The sun glowing up the gray gloom
The sun warming my face
The sun flashing through tall, thin tree trunks
My trunk, straight strong steady more machine than gangly human
How wonderful it is to move!
Oh great runs!
Oh clearer paths!
Oh strong legs and adequate knees and functioning feet!
How wonderful it is to move and breathe and feel free
on this winter-perfect day, white and woodsy and blueish gray!