minnehaha falls and back
Overcast today. No sun. I like how this makes the colors — the reds, golds, greens — glow more. Almost peak color in the trees. When I started my run, I felt awkward, almost like my limbs were working against instead of with each other. By the time I reached the river it was fine. Ran south to the falls on the trail, which I’ve been trying to avoid, and it was crowded. 4 roller skiers, skiing 2 x 2 were causing all sorts of problems for bikers and me as I encountered the bikers. Made it to the falls, stopped to check out the statue of Minnehaha and Hiawatha. Hardly any water in the creek. Ran north, heading home. Took the Winchell Trail and admired the leaves — their intense colors and the fact that many of them had already fallen. My view is coming back!
10 Things I Noticed
- The slow approaching clicking and clacking of ski poles. Click clack click clack
- A squirrel emerging from the trees then darting back in as I neared
- The lights from a bike coming closer, a sharp contrast with the gray gloom
- The trickle of the sewer pipe near 42nd. Drip drip drip
- Many leaves on the ground. In some spots erasing the trail
- 2 spindly, bare branches poking out from behind a golden tree, reaching up to the sky
- A clicking or rattling noise coming from some animal, probably a squirrel. Sounding a little like the rattle of a rattlesnake
- The falls barely falling. Hardly any water
- Kids laughing, yelling, talking at playgrounds — Minnehaha Academy and Minnehaha Falls. More kids playing tag around the fountain and the benches with parts of “Song of Hiawatha” etched on them
- Winchell Trail in full color — a perfect fall scene (can this perfection last for more than a day?)
As I ran, I was thinking more about the act of haunting (frequenting) a place, returning to it and then about trails and how I might want to write more route/trail/loop poems that play with ideas of haunting. At the end of my run, I recorded some of my thoughts. Here’s a transcript:
I’m thinking about trails and frequenting and haunting. And then I was thinking as I was running over the leaves, how the trails are hidden, can’t see the cracks or the trail at all. But then, when the leaves are gone and the snow starts to fall, when it’s just barely flurrying and there’s just a dusting on the ground, it illuminates the trails. You can only see that when the leaves are off and it’s just a dusting of snow. Thinking about how I want to play with that as part of this tracing. And also thinking about the different ways I can see — the visible and not visible. When is it a matter of seeing and when is it a matter of feeling? And thinking about the type of seeing I can do with the peripheral, which detects movement and gives you a larger sense of the terrain. What does that mean for these well-worn trails and how I experience them?Voice Memo Notes / 12 Oct 2021
Here’s my ghost/haunt poem for today:
Seven Types of Shadow – an extract / U A Fanthorpe
This is a country of ghosts. Down the eastern shore
Lie the drowned villages, drowned luggers, drowned sailors.
After a hot summer, fields grow talkative.
Wheat speaks in crop marks, grasses in parch marks.
Wheat or grass, what they tell is the truth
Of things that lay underneath five thousand years ago,
The forts, the barrows, the barns, the shrines, the walls.
These are the native ghosts. After a hot summer.
No haunting. No rattle of chains. They just lie there
In their rigid truthfulness, the ghosts of things.
We carry our human ghosts around with us.
As we grow we face the mirrors, and see
The spectre of a great-aunt, a vague look
Known only from sepia snapshots. The hands we’re used to –
Yes, these – their contours came by way of a long retinue
Of dust. We are photofits of the past,
And the future eyes us sideways as we eye ourselves.
We are the ghosts of great-aunts and grand-nephews.
We are ghosts of what is dead and not yet born.
Ghosts of past, present, future.
But the ones the living would like to meet are the echoes
Of moments of small dead joys still quick in the streets,
Voices calling I’ve passed / We won / QED /
It didn’t hurt much, Mum / They’ve given me the job /
I have decided to name this apple Bramley;
And the women convicts singing their Holloway march,
While Ethel Smyth conducts from her cell with a toothbrush.
These are the ghosts the living would prefer,
Ghosts who’d improve our ratings. Ghosts
Of the great innocent songs of freedom
That shoulder their way round the world like humpback whales,
Ghosts of the singers, the dancers, the liberated,
Holding hands and cheering in parks, while the tanks
Squat immobilized. Ghosts of the women on the fish quay
Hugging each other when at last the boats come in.
Ghosts of the last night of the Proms. And ghosts of lovers,
Wandering round London, so happy that they could
Have danced danced danced all night.
Like this bit: “And the future eyes us sideways as we eye ourselves.
We are the ghosts of great-aunts and grand-nephews./ We are ghosts of what is dead and not yet born.” Love this way of messing with linear time. On a smaller scale, I think about this with past, present, and future Saras.