bike: 8.6 miles
lake nokomis and back
Biked to Lake Nokomis for some swimming off of the big beach. There’s an open swim at Cedar Lake tonight, but it’s too far to go twice in one week, so I’ll go there on Wednesday, which is the other day there’s an open swim at Cedar. Biking wasn’t too bad. Not too crowded, which makes it easier. My biggest problem: unanticipated ruts or potholes. I can’t see them at all, or until I’m right on top of them. My poor tires. Lots of loud thuds and cracks and pops. But no crashes or falls off of my bike. The other big thing I remember: as I was powering up the hill between lake hiawatha and lake nokomis, I suddenly hear a loud pop and then crackling. Fireworks. At 10 am on a Monday. In the bright sun. Near a random green space between lakes. Why? Luckily I don’t startle easily, because something like that might have made me fall of my bike. So loud and unexpected. I hate fireworks.
The bike ride back, after my swim, was fine too. I encountered a biker who was biking with both of his hands by his sides, and not on the handlebars. How do people do this? I suppose, part of me is envious of someone that carefree, but most of me is incredulous. So dangerous on this cracked, curved, crowded trail.
swim: 1.55 miles/ 9 loops*
big beach, lake nokomis
75 degrees/ sunny
*since I’m not entirely sure of the distance, and my watch doesn’t seem to be accurate, I’m creating my own standard here, my Sara miles (similar to “jerry miles” from the bowerman track club). 30 minutes = 1 mile, or 6 loops = 1 mile. I added the extra .05 to the distance today, because I did swim a little more and to make my total distance a whole number.
Yes! I want to bike to the beach during the day and do a swim at least once every week. The water was a great tempature and calm. And no one else was swimming around the buoys. For the first half of the swim, I counted my strokes–1 2 3 4 5 breathe right 1 2 3 4 5 breathe left–and tried to stop thinking. Mostly it worked, although I do remember thinking about the water, how it felt as I glided through it, or as my arms pushed it past my body. Every so often, my buoy tugged at my waist–remember me, it seemed to say, I’m here too. The water was opaque; the only thing I remember seeing was bubbles below me from the water I pushed down at the end of each stroke. A kayak and a paddle board passed by me at some point. I briefly imagined what would happen if a fish bumped into me–not bit, just bumped me.
Earlier this morning, I was reading and ruminating over Bruno LaTour’s ideas about the two shores of a river as nature and culture or truth and the dream or what is real and what is described. A classic problem in philosophy is to find a way to bridge these distant shores, to see how they connect, to link the actual world with our perceptions of it. I’ve barely skimmed it so far, but LaTour is arguing that, instead of finding/creating a bridge, we should get in the river and learn how to navigate the water between these two shores. As I swam, I thought about what kind of reality swimming is–is it real? a dream? a distortion? Then I started thinking about classic philosophical approaches to this problem, and wondered, what if the idea that there is a distinct, sharp reality–a truth–was the illusion? What if the clear divisions we believe to exist between entities–fish, water, me– are our attempt to impose order where it doesn’t exist? Not sure if this is making sense, but it’s starting to sound a lot like a poem I wrote 2 or 3 years ago, Submerged. I think I’ll try to revisit/edit it.
what is poetry?
Found this collection of definitions of poetry in a sticky note that I created on sept 8, 2017–that was about 8 months after I started this log, about 6 months after I discovered I loved poetry, about a month and a half after I injured my knee, and 2 weeks before I could run again. I wish past Sara would have noted which awesome poetry person tweeted these definitions or where to find the essay they wrote, but she didn’t. Oh well.
Well, here is a list of how several poets have defined what a poem is (lifted from an essay I once wrote): What a poem is: “The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (Wordsworth). “A small (or large) machine of words” (Williams). “Language that sounds better and means more” (C.D. Wright). “A verbal contraption” (Auden). “A form cut in time” (Pound). “At bottom, a criticism of life” (Matthew Arnold). “The journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air” (Carl Sandburg). “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off” (Emily Dickinson). “An empty basket; you put your life into it” (Mary Oliver). “Somebody standing up… and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment” (Galway Kinnell). “A holy thing” (Roethke). “A momentary stay against confusion” (Frost).a poetry person on twitter/sept 2017
Erosion/ Eamon Grennan
What the sea does–coming, going–is mole beneath the
seeming solid earth
and keep eating at it until it gives over at last its stony hold
and another chunk comes tumbling. What’s strange is, after
I’ve never seen this happen, never been there at the pivotal
when these two conditions, these major states of being
(solidity and flux,
the rooted and the foldaway ruthless rootless heart of the
matter) meet and
mate for an instant in which sea-roar and land-groan are one
and then that jawing withdrawal, that collapse, that racing
after–so foam, stones,
churn of sand, swirl of search become a wrecked mouth
bulging with one
loud clamourtongue, which the rock you stood on plunges
into, dumbing it.
O, I love this poem and the single moment when sea roar and land groan meet and mate!