feb 12/BIKERUN

bike: 15 minutes
run: 3.25 miles
outside temp: -5 degrees, feels like -21

Another cold day. I don’t mind the cold but I worry my sinuses might, so back to the basement. I don’t mind. I like watching Dickinson and I’m getting used to the treadmill. In today’s episode of Dickinson, which I’ve watched half of, Emily is pretending to be sick so that she can stay in her room and write. Her parents are extremely worried; yellow fever has been going around and many people are dying. In the last part I watched, the doctor, after examining Emily, tells her parents that she is dying. They are distraught. Emily is oblivious and just happy to jump on her bed, write at her desk, and sneak out of her room to steal more books. I do not like this storyline, or this version of Emily. Such selfish, bratty behavior. It’s difficult for me to believe that Emily, having witnessed so many of those close to her dying–friends, even–would be so flippant about illness and death. Yes, I realize that I am watching this from the perspective of an uptight parent.

One part of the episode I did like was her description, to her father’s law clerk, of poetry:

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?

Looking it up, Emily apparently does say this, but not to a law clerk and not when she was a teen. These lines are recounted by her long time friend/mentor, Thomas Higginson, to his wife in 1870 (2 sources: full quote + letter it came from).

Emily’s lines here remind me of Basho and his description of poetry:

Poetry is a fireplace in summer or a fan in winter.

But getting back to Emily and her bratty behavior as one reason I don’t like this version. Reading through an article about the historical accuracy of the show, I encountered this quote from the creator, Alena Smith: “Everyone’s free to invent their own Emily Dickinson, and this is mine. I don’t in any way say it’s the authoritative version.” Yes. It helped me to loosen up on my irritation with the show once I realized it was one person’s fantasy of her.

After I finished biking, I ran on the treadmill while I listened to a playlist. Very nice. Didn’t think about much. Used a lot of effort trying to not check the display on the treadmill; I was hoping to lose track of time. It worked.

a moment of sound

This morning I opened the door to our back deck and recorded the noisy bird conversation. Sure sounds like spring to me! Hard to believe it felt like 33 below.

feb 12, 2021

Is that a northern cardinal I am hearing? I think so. It was close, but I am rarely able to see red birds in trees because of my failing vision. Can you hear the other one calling back from far away?