1.5 miles loop + extra
Last night was heartbreaking and scary. Peaceful protests, escalated by the police, turned violent. Building looted, burned. I live about a mile and a half away and could hear the sirens and smell the smoke all night. Will it happen again tonight? Such justified anger and rage over decades of racist policies and practices.
Wasn’t sure if I would run this morning but decided it might help me feel slightly less panicked and upset. Listened to my playlist and ran a few stretches much faster than usual. Running helped. Didn’t think about the poem I recently memorized–Threshold/Maggie Smith. Didn’t hear any birds or see any roller skiers. I did see the river briefly through the trees.
A few hours after I was done, sitting on the couch, almost drifting off for a nap, I thought about the lines in Smith’s poem: “Imagine yourself passing from and into. Passing through doorway after doorway after doorway.” The first few times I read these lines I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of passing through more than one doorway/threshold. But I’m warming to it. I kept thinking about the different doorways I pass through–and what I exit (from) and enter (into)–as I make my way to the river. The door to my house, the end of my block, the boulevard and parkway before the trails, the warming up of my body, the loosening of my mind. Not sure if that makes sense, but I’d like to think about it some more.
As I’m writing this, I’m also thinking about Smith’s desire not to be on both sides of the door at once, but to pass through doorway after doorway after doorway, to keep moving, which is the name of her new book.
This poem. Wow.
What Kind of Times Are These/ ADRIENNE RICH
There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.
I’ve walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don’t be fooled
this isn’t a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.
I won’t tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.
And I won’t tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it’s necessary
to talk about trees.
I knew I recognized this poem. I encountered it a few months ago in this poem: November 30, 2016. And I watched Adrienne Rich read it here.