may 1/RUN

3.8 miles
47th ave loop, short
55 degrees

note: In April, I tracked the number of deaths due to COVID-19. I wanted to add these in as a way to acknowledge how scary and surreal it is even as I write about the things I’m enjoying, noticing on my run. For this month, I’ve decided not to include this data. I’m hoping to avoid thinking about the virus as much as I can. Is this possible? Will it help? I’ll see at the end of the month.

Gloomy and gray but not cold. Ran into the wind at first, then had it at my back on the way home. I remember looking at the river and I remember admiring it but I can’t remember why or what it looked like. The leaves are filling in on the trees. Slowly the green veil is growing. Soon, no more view. Not too crowded on the trail and was able to keep at least 6 feet of distance. My knee felt okay–a little stiff and sore afterwards.

Recited the poem, “Dear One Absent This Long While.” Didn’t have any problems remembering the lines, but had to take a lot of time between lines–too focused on the effort of running. Oh–at first, I recited a line as “I have new shoes” then boots then I remembered it was “I have new gloves.” Thought about how gloves fits much better than boots or shoes in telling the story of a gardener. One of my favorite lines: “She has the quiet ribs of a salamander crossing the old pony post road.” Quiet ribs. Old pony post road. Salamander. Such great phrases/images/words!

Found this poem the other day, and I thought about Bruce Lee and the interview in which he talked about being water.

ANTHEM/ Aaliya Zaveri

This is my first memory of my mother.
We were in India.
My mother, graceful, cross-legged in front of her sewing
machine and I, holding the pins.
She stops running material abruptly and takes my small
face in her cupped hands,
my round cheeks in her long fingers. I could feel the cold
metal of her engagement ring, her wedding ring.
She said to me:
one day you will be a woman. And I want you to understand
that you must be like water.
Like water, you have to know where you are going before
anyone else does.
You have to be able to rush into the gaps. You have to be
diffuse. You have to uncoil
to fill the space.

You have to be transparent.
In times of hardship, in the times of heat, you have to steam
only then will your rise.
You have to be smooth. You have to shift easily. Stay the
same but take the shape of every new place.
You have to be patient. You have to move only when you are
called to move.

You also have to know when not to move.
You have to know when to freeze and then expand so full
and so eloquent, you can force those spaces in between rocks
to deepen, to widen, and then force the rocks to shatter.
you must watch, she said, You must reflect back. You must
be water.

Love thinking about who to be like water:

  • rush into the gaps
  • be diffuse
  • uncoil
  • fill the space
  • transparent
  • in times of hardship, steam, so as to rise
  • smooth
  • shift easily
  • stay the same but take the shape of every new place
  • patient
  • move only when you are called to move
  • know when not to move
  • know when to freeze and then expand so full you force spaces between rocks to deepen, widen, shatter
  • reflect back

Do all these fit? I’m not sure, but I like thinking about what water does/is and how to try and be more like it. I love water–swimming in water, running beside water. Looking at moving water, still water. Hearing water lapping against a shore, dripping out of the eaves, gushing from a sewer pipe.