Decided to run the Franklin loop today. I’ve avoided it until now because I’ve been doing shorter runs more frequently and because of the pandemic and trying to avoid other people. The first half of it was fine, but by mile 3 I was doing a lot of weaving around to try and keep my 6ft of distance. There were only a few times when I got closer than that. What a beautiful morning for a run! Overcast and coolish, not too much wind. So many bright, intense colors.
Things I Remember
- Honking geese! A ton of them under the lake street bridge. I couldn’t see them through all the green, but I could hear their honks
- One goose honk sounded so forlorn or was it angry? Now I can’t remember the call but it was strange enough that I spent a few minutes wondering if it was a goose or some other bird. Decided it was a goose
- A lone rower on the river with the water as smooth as glass
- One of the dirt trails that leads down into the gorge, framed by yellow leaves looking mysterious and inviting and dangerous
At the start of my run, thought about more of my moods as I lose my central vision, particularly how I need to spend some time on my darker feelings. I remember having some thoughts about it, but now, writing this log entry, all I can remember is this: some of what makes me feel awe and wonderment–that the brain can mostly hide the worst effects of my failing vision–is what causes doubt and uncertainty–if i can still read some things and see color and notice birds in the sky, is my vision really that bad? Am I exaggerating it? I know I’ve written about this here a few times already.
Here’s a draft of my awe poem”
[epitaph] Legend has it that before an execution, King Charles II of England closed one eye and aimed his blind spot on the head of the condemned man. This allowed Charles’ brain to decapitate the prisoner before the axe took its turn.
Behold, the awesome power of sight! Not found in one destructive glance but in an accumulation of looks. Against the odds and in spite of damaged cones, misfiring signals, and incomplete data, these looks produce something resembling vision — an image, a feeling, a fuzzy form. So much could go wrong, and often does. Yet, light, cells, the optic nerve, the visual cortex find a way. Through guesswork and improvisation, imagination and processes scientists still don’t understand, they ensure I see more than seems possible. O faithful cones! Dilligently delivering data despite dwindling numbers. Allowing me to see some color — greens and golds and pinks and blues. Enabling me to read slightly distorted letters. O clever, industrious brain! Tirelessly trying to make sense of scrambled signals. Conjuring images, filling in broken lines, concealing gaping holes and black rings. Making it possible for me to still exclaim, “oh my god look at that wedge of geese, high in the clean blue air!”
Listening to the Current as I write this and the new Janelle Monáe song came on, Turntables. I especially liked these lyrics:
There’s a boomerang boomin’ back, yeah
You laid the egg, now it’s ’bout to hatch, yeah
You gaslightin’, ’bout to meet your match, uh
You fuck up the kitchen, then you should do the dishes
One of my introductions to poetry was through song lyrics. I used to love listening to a song for the first time and reading the lyrics on the record sleeve, watching how the lyrics and rhythms worked together, often in surprising ways. Some day, I want to write song lyrics and collaborate with Scott on a song. So far, I haven’t been inspired.