june 19/RUN

3.7 miles
marshall loop
65 degrees

Writing this a day later, so I don’t remember as much from my run. Another run on the Marshall Loop. North on the river road trail. Past the welcoming oaks which I forgot to greet. Past the ancient boulder which I forgot to check for stacked stones. Through the tunnel of trees, which I remembered to notice and admire, breathing in the silence of an early Saturday morning. Up the short hill and over the lake street bridge until, somewhere in the middle, it turned into Marshall and St. Paul. There I saw at least 2 or 3 shells on the water–rowers! After the bridge, Marshall becomes a semi-steep, multi-block hill. Last week my goal was to run up it and not stop until I got to the top, then walk for a minute before running again. Today’s goal: no stopping on the hill or at the top. No walking, only running. Success!

Still thinking about water and stones for the month of June. Today: fossils. Mostly inspired by the amazing poem (which I posted on here before): And the Old Man Speaks of Paradise: a Ghazal/ Wang Ping, especially this part:

Clams and shells in Kasota stones—layered history of paradise

Put your fingers into the bluff, and pull a handful of sand
From the Ordovician sea, each perfect to make a paradise

Found a few resources for learning more about the fossil in this area:

And here’s a great poem (and an essay explaining the poem) about fossils:

Not the Thing but a Fossil of the Thing/ Rebecca Foust

Fern fronds fletched like a feather etch ache into gray slate,    

five petals float in a now-unbound crown,     

a thumb-sized spine curls and fans out to a tail, a spall splits

into stone pages stamped with tree bark

repeating like wallpaper, a leaf shines like oiled leather, oblate,

and an ammonite’s dull weight   

smells of new snow. A clam called brachiopod, licked, gleams

like a dark marble and tastes

of clapper-less, cast-iron bell, its absence of sound and soft parts

perfecting an imperfection

of knowledge called faith, bare of the lies told by the thing itself

—bravado bloom, spilt perfume, music,

bee-pollen, and blood and all that hot narcotic blur—these casts

and molds pungent as words,   

and as the moon’s craters are seen best in eclipse, so that when

I trace the diamond-on-diamond-on-diamond

of what once was a tree, a canopy spreads overhead, a bud

unwinds and wells with dew,

an ancient sea swells to flood the dry valley below, wet salt

to knees, hips, waist, neck, mouth, eyes   

and under my breastbone—a fish leaps—

I hope I can spend some more time with this poem, it’s great. I’d like to ponder fossils and how they are a thing and the trace of a thing.