river road, south/north
Walking down to the end of the block before starting my run, I marveled at the slightly cool breeze and the soft sun. What a morning to be outside! Perfect for walking, slightly too warm for running. Ran south on the river road. Heard the birds–which birds? Not sure. Glanced at the river for the brief moment I was able to run on the trail. Saw my shadow. Tried to stay calm and block out the relentless worry, simmering under the surface, about pandemics and tyrants and upcoming elections. Was mostly successful.
Running past the steps at 38th street that lead to the lower trail, closer to the river, I longed for last summer when I regularly ran the 2 trails route. O, to be closer to the river, below the road on the undulating trail!
Recited the rest of Halos this morning. The rhythm of this poem doesn’t work well with running and I found it hard to keep reciting the lines in a steady flow. Lots of stopping and starting. Was this also because of the heat or the effort or my still shaky grasp of the words?
I like, whenever I wish, strolling past
the myopic me
in a window or a mirror or whatever
reflects back to believe the soul is
ubiquitous like water
in our voices, our cells.
How else, when blinded by life,
would I remember:
to the dead, we’re the ghosts?
I am not sure what he means here or what to do with souls as ubiquitous as water or the idea that we’re the ghosts to the dead. What does it mean to be a ghost?
Ghost (noun), definition (OED)
- The soul or spirit, as the principle of life (to give up the ghost)
- Philosophy. the ghost in the machine: (Gilbert Ryle’s name for) the mind viewed as separate from the body
- The soul of a deceased person, spoken of as appearing in a visible form, or otherwise manifesting its presence, to the living. (Now the prevailing sense.)
- A shadowy outline or semblance, an unsubstantial image (of something); hence, a slight trace or vestige, esp. in phrase (not) the ghost of a chance.
Ghost (verb), definition (OED)
- to expire
- to haunt
- to scare with pretended apparitions
- To flit about, prowl as a ghost. Also to ghost it. to ghost away: to steal away like a ghost.
Ghost (Colloquial), definition (Wikipedia)
Ghosting is a colloquial term used to describe the practice of ceasing all communication and contact with a partner, friend, or similar individual without any apparent warning or justification and subsequently ignoring any attempts to reach out or communicate made by said partner, friend, or individual.
I would like to use the phrase, “to ghost it” somewhere. Also, having stared at the word “ghost” for too long, the letters seem strange, especially the g and h right beside each other.
Thinking about being “ubiquitous like water” I was reminded of Bruce Lee and his great poem? speech? about being like water. Then I was reminded of the poem by Ed Bok Lee that I discovered yesterday and just listened to right now, “Ode to Bruce Lee” from his collection Whorled. In the poem, he says:
Boxer and cha cha champion
style of no style
teacher, waiter, philosopher, dragon
Style of no style is also in Halos. I want to think some more about what this phrase means–to him, what it might mean to me. Fluid, not trapped any identity or label or “box”, flowing like water?
Here’s a recording of me reciting Lee’s “Halos” after I returned from my run. I still have a few extra/wrong words to fix: