feb 18/RUN

3 miles
43rd ave, north/32nd st, east/edmund, north/2 loops around Howe
12 degrees/ feels like 12
100% snow-covered

Now this weather is more like it! I don’t mind 12 degrees at all. No part of me felt cold. No frozen fingers; by the 1/2 mile mark, they were warm and I had to take off my second pair of gloves (the hot pink ones with white stripes). Heard lots of birds. Chickadees, robins, cardinals, crows. I think I heard at least one woodpecker.

The road and the sidewalks were covered with about an inch of snow. Where people had shoveled, the path was firm and easy. Where they had not, it was loose and uneven and slippery–not making me slip, but making my legs work harder to lift my feet off of the ground. I probably should have worn my yaktrax but if I had, I wouldn’t have been able to hear the delightful 2 part creak of my feet striking the snow then lifting off of it. I love those sounds. Still, those sounds could only do so much to counter the difficulty of trudging through uneven snow that slips and shifts, providing no purchase. Was planning to run all the way to 42nd but Edmund had too many slippery, slushy ruts. So I turned early and headed for Howe Elementary. Around the school, the sidewalk was shoveled and nice to run on. So nice, I ran around the school twice.

Heard some adults–teachers? staff?–talking outside of the main entrance to Howe. 3rd-5th graders head back on Monday. Governor Walz announced yesterday that middle and high schools will be opening soon too–probably (hopefully not until) after spring break in mid-April. So sudden. Is it safe? I doubt it; I think people are just too tired of it all and can’t isolate anymore. I worry about the next few months–with so many variants, are we opening too soon? Yes, I think.

a moment of sound

When I came downstairs this morning with Delia the dog for our daily routine–she wakes me up, I feed her, then she goes outside to poop, I heard a black-capped chickadee calling out. Then a faint answer. I decided to make this my moment of sound. At the end, you can hear Delia rush in, then make her favorite sound (the one that almost always unsettles me): a vigorous shaking of her head.

feb 18, 2021

Yesterday, when I told Scott that the Dickinson episode I watched was about the total eclipse, he asked, “Was there an eclipse they could see in Amherst in the 1800s?” After explaining to him that some of what happens in the show is imagined, but most of it is based on some evidence, even if they play fast and loose with when things happened, I looked it up. No eclipse at the time in which the show is set–the 1850s, but Brain Pickings, with the help of data from NASA(!), determined one total eclipse did happen while Emily was alive, on September 29, 1875. Emily would have been a few months shy of 45. This viewing may have prompted this eclipse poem, which she included in a letter to her mentor, Thomas Wentworth Higginson:

It sounded as if the streets were running —
And then — the streets stood still —
Eclipse was all we could see at the Window
And Awe — was all we could feel.

By and by — the boldest stole out of his Covert
To see if Time was there —
Nature was in her Opal Apron —
Mixing fresher Air.


Another interesting thing this quick research unearthed: Emily Dickinson’s first posthumous editor, the one that removed all of Emily’s dashes–wrote a book about eclipses, The Total Eclipse of the Sun. And this book was published the same year as she published the first volume of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. And, she was the long-time lover of Emily’s older brother Austin.

feb 17/BIKERUN

bike: 20 minutes
run: 2.25 miles
outside: 9 degrees/ feels like -1

Started the next episode of Dickinson. It’s about death, the eclipse and Emily’s growing affection for her father’s law clerk who is definitely going to die (looked up ED on wikipedia and yep, he dies of tuberculosis). I know a bit of her biography, but I hadn’t remember this guy. According to wikipedia he was a mentor but not likely a love interest. Oh and almost forgot to mention: in the last episode Louisa May Alcott comes over for Christmas dinner; she’s visiting another family and they bring her along to the dinner. The show depicts her as a badass hustler whose primary motivation for writing seems to be money and independence. And, she’s a runner! When she finds out Emily’s a writer, she invites her out for a run before dinner. I wondered if this were true, so I googled it. Yes, Alcott was a runner! Nice. Lousia and Emily ran through the fields holding up their skirts.

About 15 minutes into the episode, I got an alert that I needed to log back into my account to keep watching. Decided to stop and move onto running. Before I ran, I listened to myself reciting my latest poem. Another mood ring: incurable. Then, as I ran, I listened to a little more of Wintering and a playlist.

My mood ring poem, Incurable, is about how my eye disease does not have a cure and how I’m okay with that and it’s a response to my frustration with the well-meaning suggestions by others to go to more doctors and keep searching for a cure. My frustration is mostly irritation and annoyance: Both doctors I have talked to and all of the research I have done clearly states that there is currently no cure for cone dystrophy. Subjecting myself to more tests is exhausting and expensive without decent insurance. And, even if there were a cure it would be experimental and prohibitively expensive. Knowing myself and what I need (and what I can afford), this is not a good idea. Yet, when people refuse to believe me when I say there isn’t a cure and encourage me to keep looking, it plants the smallest seed of doubt–am I giving up? Not trying hard enough? I am not and I didn’t ask for advice. Instead of getting angry, I am writing this poem. Here’s my current draft of the main poem:

No cure. That firm sentence brings relief not despair. No terrible trips to countless doctors. No invasive treatments. No experimental implants. No big needles injected into eye balls. No difficult discussions about how much “good” vision is worth. No energy squandered. Everything devoted to adapting experimenting exploring new forms of delight. Someday there may be a way to repopulate the vacant city of my macula. But not now. Acceptance is not weakness but strength. Strength is not a hardening but a softening. And diminished vision is not a death sentence but a door into other worlds. Put back that sugar and salt. Pack away the preservatives. I do not need to be cured.

A few days ago, after the latest encounter with well-intention nudges from people who love me very much, I decided to free-write about my mood. I wrote down: “No cure. Cured, curing. Cured like bacon.” Yes! I started thinking about the different meanings of cure–to heal + preserve meat, fruit, vegetables + embalming/preserving the body. The word incurable came to me. Then I started thinking of fitting phrases, like “incurable optimist” and “incurable romantic.” And definitions: stubborn, irredeemable, incorrigible. And a passage I read in Georgina Kleege’s Sight Unseen about sighted people’s fear of blindess/vision loss:

The belief that human experience, both physical and mental, is essentially visual, and that any other type of experience is necessarily second rate, leads to the conclusion that not to see is not to experience, not to live, not to be. At best, the sighted imagine blindness as a state between life and death, an existence encased in darkness, an invisible coffin (30).

Incurable is my current mood. While I ran, I came up with an additional line (I do not need to be cured) that really helps the poem. This delighted me and made me happy to be able to write and to run and to use these activities to work through difficult moods.

a moment of sound

Went out into the backyard for my moment of sound. It’s snowing light fluffy flakes. Our crabapple tree is loaded with apples and birds–at least a dozen, at one point. I guess they’re too busy eating to sing. Silently, they feast on the fruit. Looked it up and I’m pretty sure they are robins. Also read that cedar waxwings and cardinals like to feast on crabapples in the winter. Notable sounds: crunching snow, a barking dog, a clanging fence, softly falling snow.

feb 17, 2021

feb 16/BIKERUN

bike: 32 minutes
run: 3.25 miles
outside: 5 degrees/ feels like 5

Stayed on the bike to watch an entire episode of Dickinson. At one point, during their Christmas Eve celebration, Sue starts singing “In the Bleak Midwinter” and I was struck by the lyrics. Looked it up and it was originally a poem by Christina Rossetti. Gustav “the planets” Holst set it to music. Nice. Not sure I have heard this before. Looked it up on spotify and most of the versions were either instrumental or big choirs. So many versions; I guess because it’s a traditional Christmas song. I don’t really care for the whole poem but I love the first stanza. What a great description of midwinter:

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Speaking of descriptions of winter, Katherine May provides some excellent ones in the chapter I listened to as I ran (November). If I had the written version, I could look them up. But listening to it while I was running made it hard to hang onto the words. I also liked May’s discussion of Halloween and rituals around death. One thing I remember her saying that struck me was wanting to reread a ghost story that was eerie and not horrific. I like that distinction and thinking about ghost stories that are mysterious, strange, uneasy (eerie) instead of terrifying, shocking, dreadful (horror). As I write this, I am remembering a few of her descriptions of winter: each blade of grass separated and visible with frost; the clear, sharp edges of the leaves. This prompted by mind to wander. I thought about how I can’t ever see that amount of detail. Everything is always fuzzy, smudged, in italics. Winter branches are not sharp and hard and distinct, but fuzzy and soft, gently blending with the sky, especially at dusk. After that, my mind kept wandering and I had an idea, which I spoke into my phone:

notes while running, 16 feb 2021

The idea: check my blind spot again against the wall and retrace it. Assuming that it had changed, use this new shape for a new set of mood ring poems. I could keep doing this until the blind ring becomes a spot–whenever that is.

a moment of sound

A few hours after my run, I took Delia out for a walk on this warmer (9 degrees) day. I guess it felt a little warmer, but it was still very cold on my face.

feb 16, 2021

feb 15/RUN

2.75 miles
river road, south/edmund, north
-7 degrees/ feels like -10

Brr. Decided to go for it and run outside. Didn’t look too bad when I checked the forecast: low wind, bright sun. According to my watch, the wind is 2mph. I’m dubious. I felt a cold wind blowing in my face almost the entire run. It wasn’t a stiff wind, but it was more than a gentle breeze. Today felt uncomfortably cold, especially on my fingers. Still, it was nice to be out there. Was able to run right above the river. It’s all white, frozen, looking more like a snowy field than anything else.

Things I Remember Most

  • 2 different woodpeckers, with 2 different drumming sounds. 1. the sharp, rapid rat a tat tat on a hollow (or dead?) tree trunk and 2. a dull, slow thump thump thump on another tree.
  • The salt on the road kept tricking me–is it dried salt staining the road or tightly packed snow or slick ice? I don’t remember it ever being slippery but I do remember frequently mistaking salt for snow and snow for salt.
  • Only encountered 1 other runner the entire time, but saw a few walkers. I think every walker was with a dog.
  • I heard the trilling of a northern cardinal.
  • My eyes watered a lot, but didn’t freeze into icicles. Condensation froze on the inside of my sunglasses, making it hard to see my shadow ahead of me.
  • My toes weren’t froze but my fingers were; I had to ball up my hands inside of my gloves to warm them up. The empty fingers of my gloves flopped in the wind.

I wore many layers (from top to bottom):

  • a purplish-blueish-grayish hood*
  • an ugly black hat that fits/looks like a thick black swim cap*
  • a gray buff*
  • gray “sports dad” sunglasses
  • a olive-gray with lime green zippers outer jacket**
  • a purplish-blueish-grayish micro-fiber pullover (that has the hood) *
  • an orange thick running shirt
  • a lime sherbet green base layer shirt
  • 2 pairs of gloves: one black and designed for running, the other hot pink with white stripes, not designed for running or lasting–slowly one end is unraveling; I cut the loose thread every couple of runs
  • 2 pairs of black tights–one with pockets, one with zippers at the ankles and a drawstring**
  • a black running belt with a phone and my keys in it
  • 2 pairs of socks: one pair gray*, the other mis-matched–both white but one with a green logo and one with blue
  • gray (with a tinge of blue) running shoes

* running swag from a race
**inherited from Scott

Mostly, all of this kept me warm. The only parts of me that were really cold: my face (and my lungs?), and my fingers. My face stayed cold, but my fingers warmed up enough for me to take the hot pink gloves off.

a moment of sound

This very cold morning, while sitting in the front room at my desk, I could hear a low rumble. It rumbled and rumbled, rattling in the inside of my head, low and steady and unrelenting for at least 20 minutes. This sound was so low and quiet that I felt it more than I heard it. It was caused by a pick-up truck idling in front of a neighbor’s house two doors away and it was very irritating. I decided to open the front door and record the sound. My moment only lasted 16 seconds because it was too cold outside and because the truck was producing a lot of exhaust that was invading my lungs, making it hard to breathe.

Feb 15, 2021

Perhaps you don’t even notice the rumble? Maybe you just hear the birds, who don’t seem to be bothered. O, to be a bird who can ignore rumbling trucks and the bitter cold, and keep singing like it’s spring!

feb 14/BIKERUN

bike: 27 minutes
run: 2.25 miles
outside temp: -5 degrees/ feels like -21

Colder today than yesterday. More time in the basement, more watching Dickinson and listening to Wintering. The Dickinson episode was about her father’s election, entering a poetry competition, Austen digging up a dead body in the cemetery to make room for Sue to be buried next to him, and the circus. Perhaps my favorite part of the episode is when Lavinia and her “friends”/the popular girls are having a slumber party and sitting around knitting and discussing the election and the need to abolish slavery. At one point Lavinia praises the most popular girl, “You’re so woke!” What a fabulous fantasy.

Listened to some more of Wintering and recorded a few thoughts while I ran:

notes while running/ 14 feb 2021

I wonder if she will discuss the need to address and change some of the harmful structures/habits that demand our wintering? Yes, I think there will always be times in our lives when we need to retreat/winter. And some of feeling stressed and overwhelmed is a given part of work–natural? like the seasons. But not all of it is or should be inevitable. I’m assuming these questions will be addressed at some point. For now, I’m enjoying listening to it.

a moment of sound

14 feb 2021/ feels like -35

This is what feels like 35 below sounds like. Took this recording on my back deck at 9am. Lots of birds, the rumble of the garbage disposal inside, the scraping of a shovel on the icy deck, feet pressing down on crusty snow.

feb 13/BIKERUN

bike: 15 minutes
run: 3.25 miles
outdoor temp: -5 degrees/feels like -19

Another arctic blast of a day. Looking at the dark sky weather app, it will be this cold for another week. Oh well. Finished the Dickinson episode I started yesterday. The poem she is trying to finish as she pretends to be sick is one of my favorites, and one of the first of hers that I memorized: “tell all the truth but tell it slant” Not sure how this poem fits with the episode. I enjoyed watching the second half today. After finding out she is going to die, both parents visit Emily’s room separately for confession. Her mom confesses that she never wanted to have children and Emily dying reinforces that belief: “no person should have to go through this, burying a child!” Then she collapses on the bed with such excess it made me laugh. Then her father confesses that he got drunk one night in college and slept with another women, even as he was engaged to her mom. I thought about how this version of Emily is the vision of the director and I wondered if she had lots of fantasies as a kid about how upset people would be if she died–“I’ll show you! You’ll be sorry when I’m gone!” I never had those fantasies but I know some others who have–I have a kid who does. I also thought about how, even as the director’s vision doesn’t resonate for me, I appreciate how fully and openly and unapologetically she embraces it. She’s not pretending it’s anything less than her highly particular vision.

While running, I listened to my latest audio book, which I’m really enjoying: Wintering by Katherine May. Here’s how she describes wintering:

There are gaps in the mesh of the everyday world and sometimes they open up and you fall through into somewhere else. Somewhere else runs at a different pace to the here and now where everyone else carries on. Somewhere else is where ghosts live, concealed from view and only glimpsed by people in the real world. Somewhere else exists at a delay so that you can’t quite keep pace. Perhaps I was already resting on the brink of somewhere else anyway, but now I fell through as simply and discretely as dust shifting through the floorboards. I was surprised to find I felt at home there. Winter had begun. Everybody winters at one time or another. Some winter over and over again. Wintering is a season in the cold. It is a fallow period in life when you’re cut off from the world, feeling rejected, side-lined, blocked from progress or cast into the role of an outsider.

About 3/4s of the way through my run, I had to stop listening (but kept running) to record some of my thoughts about the book so far. In sum: Even as she envisions wintering as something to embrace she understands winter as awful and unwelcome, a struggle with the miserable cold. But I love winter and the cold. I like the book but struggle to get past this point.

notes will running 13 feb/ heart rate: 160 bpm

I need to figure out an app to use that records the audio and transcribes it. I should do more of these.

a moment of sound

Sitting at my desk this morning, I started hearing an irritating sound. What was it? Where was it coming from? Realized it was someone’s car alarm in the alley. In the recording you can hear Scott taking–I didn’t warn him I was recording.

feb 13, 2021

After recording my notes, I turned on my Spotify playlist for the last few minutes. Heard “Teenage Dirtbag” again. Favorite line:

Man, I feel like mold
It’s prom night and I am lonely
Lo and behold
She’s walkin’ over to me
This must be fake
My lip starts to shake
How does she know who I am?
And why does she give a damn about me?
I’ve got two tickets to Iron Maiden, baby
Come with me Friday, don’t say maybe
I’m just a teenage dirtbag, baby, like you

I feel like mold? This line made me smile.

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 way 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?

feb 11/BIKERUN

bike: 30 minutes
run: 3.25 miles
outside temp: -3 degrees/ feels like -11

Thought about running outside but decided that this extra cold air is probably not good for my sinus problems. Plus, I wanted to watch more Dickinson and listen to my latest playlist while I ran. Watched the 5th episode of Dickinson. Discovered that an episode is only 30 minutes–for some reason, I thought they were longer–so I stayed on the bike to finish it. The episode was about white propertied males’ control over others’ (everyone else who is not a white propertied male) bodies. 3 examples: 1. the Dickinson’s black servant Henry is afraid to go into town for fear of being mistaken for a slave and then kidnapped; 2. orphaned Sue (Emily’s bff) is being sexually abused by her boss–the father she nannies for in Boston (it never shows it, but it strongly indicates the abuse); and 3. instead of asking Emily, Emily’s admirer George negotiates with Emily’s father for her hand in marriage. These different types of control are not equated. At the end of the episode, Emily apologize to Henry for how he was being treated, saying, “I’m sorry Henry. Life shouldn’t be like this.” Henry responds: “What should it be like? You’re sitting here, eating cakes and reading Shakespeare, trying to say this isn’t what life should be like. But your life is easy Emily Dickinson. You’ll always have your father to keep you safe.” The episode ends with Emily composing one of her poems in her bedroom with a voice-over of her reading it and the words, in her distinctive cursive, flashing across the screen:

I am afraid to own a body/ Emily Dickinson

I am afraid to own a Body —
I am afraid to own a Soul —
Profound — precarious Property —
Possession, not optional —

Double Estate — entailed at pleasure
Upon an unsuspecting Heir —
Duke in a moment of Deathlessness
And God, for a Frontier.

I liked the complications and messiness of the episode even as I was irritated by Emily’s repeated displays of her naive privilege (which was finally addressed at the end with Henry’s words to her).

After biking, I ran to a playlist, which was great. After hearing it this morning on The Current’s coffee break, I added “Teenage Dirtbag” to my list. Really fun to run to! Midway through my run, I started thinking about my syllabi project. I decided that I’d like to add in Audre Lorde’s “The Uses of Erotic” with a unit on wonder and joy. Then I thought about using Simone Weil with a discussion of attention. I thought about some other related things that I can’t remember now–I should have pulled out my phone to make a note, but it seemed like too much of a hassle. Bummer.

a moment of sound

feb 11, 2021/ -2 and feels like -14

Noisy pants, crunching snow, plodding steps, at least one faint bird call, and wind chimes! Scott was miserably cold but I was totally fine as we walked Delia around the block in the late afternoon. I love the cold! My mask warmed my face. The only exposed part of me were my eyeballs and eyelashes. I noticed some of the falling flakes (it’s snowing a little) freezing on my lashes.

feb 10/BIKERUN

bike: 20 minutes
run: 1.75 miles
outdoor temp: 8 degrees/ feels like -7

Finished the Dickinson episode I had been watching on feb 7. In my log for that day I asked: “I wonder if either Emily’s opinion (about marriage as bad for women) or Thoreau’s douchiness will change in the next 10 minutes, which is what I have left in the episode. And, will she be able to stop the railroad from being built in her backyard woods?” Well, Thoreau becomes even more douchey; Emily ends up calling him a dick and then storms out, leaving her copy of Walden behind. And, distraught, she falls asleep on George’s shoulder as they ride home on the train, which suggests she might be softening on him, if not on marriage. Finally, while sitting under her beloved oak tree her dad joins her and agrees to reroute the train tracks around the tree in order to save it. Emily is happy. My question: if the train is still running near the tree, will she want to visit it for solitude anymore? Will it be the same tree once it’s the tree by some noisy, air-polluting tracks? I guess Emily’s willing to compromise.

During my run, I listened to a Spotify playlist I had quickly made the other day. Excellent. It was fun to run much faster (at least a minute per mile faster) and listen to Britney Spear’s “Toxic”, Demi Lovato’s “Sorry not Sorry,” AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” and Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and the Beat.” While I ran, I don’t remember thinking about anything.

For the past few days, I’ve been thinking about creating a syllabus, or a few syllabi, out of the experiments on my running log. Right now, I’m thinking about 3 syllabi: 1 intro course, 1 intermediate course, and 1 advanced course all about movement and creativity and exploring how moving bodies influence creative expression in language (written and spoken). Mainly, I want to focus on moving = running and creative expression = poetry, but I’m also interested in walking/hiking, swimming, biking, and lyric essays. These 3 classes all fit within an interdisciplinary study of ethics/moral selfhood and the exploration of how to be an ethical, political, poetical, embodied self. What do I want to do with these syllabi? Not sure, yet. Maybe teach them. But maybe I see them more as imaginary/fictional syllabi that tell my story of running while writing/writing while running for the past 4 years.

Speaking of imaginary classes, I found this poem via twitter this morning. I love it.

What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade/ Brad Aaron Modlin

Mrs. Nelson explained how to stand still and listen
to the wind, how to find meaning in pumping gas,

how peeling potatoes can be a form of prayer. She took
questions on how not to feel lost in the dark

After lunch she distributed worksheets
that covered ways to remember your grandfather’s

voice. Then the class discussed falling asleep
without feeling you had forgotten to do something else—

something important—and how to believe
the house you wake in is your home. This prompted

Mrs. Nelson to draw a chalkboard diagram detailing
how to chant the Psalms during cigarette breaks,

and how not to squirm for sound when your own thoughts
are all you hear; also, that you have enough.

The English lesson was that I am
is a complete sentence.

And just before the afternoon bell, she made the math equation
look easy. The one that proves that hundreds of questions,

and feeling cold, and all those nights spent looking
for whatever it was you lost, and one person

add up to something.

What a class! The things listed here are impossible to teach, I suppose, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if our education gave more space for them to be considered? What if we took seriously the idea that the goal/purpose of education is to flourish and to learn how to be caring, responsible people in community with others instead of about individual success and competition and being better than anyone else?

a moment of sound

feb 10, 2021/ 3 degrees, feels like -9

I started this recording at the far end of my backyard. As I made my way to the back door up on the deck, I walked through 3 different versions of crusty snow: 1. about 3 inches of deeper, crusty snow, 2. 1 inch of partly shoveled, tamped down crusty snow, and 3. a thin layer of powdery, crusty snow on the surface of the deck. Each version makes a slightly different sound.

feb 9/RUN

3.15 miles
edmund loop, starting south
5 degrees/ feels like -9
90% snow-covered

Decided to go for it this morning and run outside. Yes! It didn’t feel like it was 9 below to me. My hands were slightly cold for a few minutes, but no frozen toes or legs that feel like concrete or brain freezes from cold air. I know I looked ridiculous with all of my layers. I asked Scott and his answer was not no but “who cares?” which means yes. I wore 2 pairs of running tights, 1 pair of socks, a green shirt, a thicker orange shirt, a lightweight pullover with a hood, a running jacket, a buff, a hat that almost looks like a swim cap, sunglasses, and yak trax on my shoes. The layers were good; I didn’t feel too warm or too cold.

Because it was so cold, I guessed that the river road trail would be empty. It was. Well, almost. I encountered 1 walker and a dog. Nice! I was able to run right above the gorge and check out how frozen the river was (very frozen). The only other thing I remember noticing was a few walkers (not together) walking below on the Winchell Trail. One of them was wearing a bright red jacket–or it might have been pink or orange. I wondered how deep the snow was down there. I crossed over to Edmund on the way back and heard lots of birds. When I heard a woodpecker drumming on a tree, I knew I needed to stop and record it for my moment of sound:

feb 9, 2021/ feels like -9

Love this sound! A few minutes later I heard at least one black-capped chickadee but I decided not to stop again. With the birds and the sun, it felt almost like spring, even in the cold. Maybe it felt more like the idea of spring. Actual spring hardly ever feels as great as the idea of it does. Here in Minnesota, spring is often wet and sloppy from melting snow–and smelly as the earth unthaws. Speaking of smelly, I smelled some fires at the same spot I usually do on Edmund. I’m still not sure but I think the smoke is coming from the gorge, not a house.