bike: 28 minutes
bike stand, basement
run: 1.8 miles
Deaths from COVID-19: 50 (MN), 15,774 (US)
11 deaths in MN reported for today. Up from 39 yesterday. A big jump. The peak here is supposed to hit at the end of April. We’re expected to have almost 600 deaths.
Very windy today. Decided to bike and run in the basement. Before heading down there, I sat at my desk upstairs, looked out at the small pellets of snow coming down–looking like little styrofoam balls–and memorized the beautiful poem, And Swept All Visible Signs Away/ Carl Phillips. I was drawn to it back in September because of Phillip’s discussion of seeing the face and connection and the line about wanting less for company than for compassion.
What’s a face, to a willow?
Thinking about my difficulty in seeing faces, I wondered (and still do): What’s a face, to me? Is a face–having it, recognizing it, expressing with it–necessary for connection?
If a willow had a face, it would be a song. I think.
I like the idea of the willow’s face (does face = Oliver Sack’s definition in his essay about face blindness: that which “bears the stamp of our experiences, our character”?) being a song, this song: “I am stirred, I’m stir-able, I am a wind-stirred thing.” What is my song? What might the songs of those I love–Scott, my kids–be? Fun to think about.
For the first 5 minutes of my bike ride, I recited the poem out loud. I can’t remember if I recited it when I started my run.
Speaking of not seeing faces, this morning my daughter was talking to me. I was sitting at my desk, she was on the couch, in the shadows. Looking at her for several minutes as she told me about her homework, I couldn’t see her facial features at all. Her head was a shadowy blob with hair. I could, however, see her hand gestures. Her small, graceful hands waved and pointed and flexed and reached out as she discussed her assignment. I did not need to see her face or her eyes to understand her.