river road, north/south
over lake street bridge and back
I was just about to leave for a run when my son asked if I could run with him for his online gym class. Of course! I wish he could learn to love running; I would worry much less about all the time he spends in front of his computer. We did a combination of running and walking. A beautiful fall morning. As we were walking I said to FWA, “It’s really fall now!” On cue, a swirl of leaves fell between us. (I looked up “collective noun for leaves” and got: pile and Autumn–really? An Autumn of leaves? Ugh. Decided on my own: swirl.)
After walking back home with him, I headed out again for my own run. Decided to run across the lake street bridge to check out the trees on the banks of the Mississippi. Big, bright slashes of red, orange, yellow! Not quite peak, but getting there. When I reached the east side of the river, I ran up the hill just past the steps and stopped at my favorite spot where the path is right on the edge of the bluff, above the tree-line, and you can see the blue water and the glowing trees on the other side. I stopped for a few minutes and admired an orange tree on the west side.
Yesterday I worked some more on my second mood ring poem. Happy to have figured out the story that I’m trying to tell: it wasn’t until my vision failed that I became very curious about how vision works and once I did, I learned all sorts of fascinating, delightful things. Here’s the text of the poem without the formatting:
MOOD // CURIOUS
All I remember from science class is the inscrutable image of an inverted tree, entering upright, then shrinking and flipping around. I don’t remember the retina or that it’s a thin layer of tissue lining the back of your eye or that at its center is the macula where some of the most important cells reside, waiting to convert light into signals that travel through the optic nerve to the visual cortex. I never thought about blind spots or tried to find mine or wondered about how much of what I saw was real or illusion. But when my brain could no longer hide the effects of diminishing cones I started paying attention. Now I’m learning about photoreceptors and the fovea and the number of cone cells in it and why they’re called cone cells and what the types of scotomas are and when the blind spot was first written about and how the brain guesses or makes up images when it lacks visual data and why some people, in the early stages of vision loss, hallucinate dragons and floating heads and little people dressed in costumes.
I have decided that each of these mood ring poems will be a block of text very similar in size and dimensions to the Amsler Grid, which is a grid you can use to check for macular degeneration. Each of the poems will have my blind ring on it in some way–lightly superimposed or darker, blocking the text, or maybe even creating an erasure poem. I’m still trying to figure it out. Here’s one possible version:
Originally, I made the “ring” text even lighter but I’ve been thinking I might want to make the ring become more difficult to see around as the poems continue–so the text would get lighter and lighter?
Here’s an amsler grid: