oct 22/RUN

5 miles
john stevens house and back
36 degrees
humidity: 87%

We are at peak, or just past peak, color here at the gorge. Wow! So beautiful that it’s hard to take it all in. How wonderful it is to live here and experience this every day! Running to the river, I heard a loud noise. A bell? No, the horn from a train. Was a train rumbling over the trestle? Ran south on the river road and received at least 2, maybe 3, “good mornings” or “morning” from other runners. Very nice. The sky is gray, but in one small corner of the sky, I could see the sun almost peeking through. Heard and saw some geese flying high in the sky. The falls were gushing a bit more than the last time I ran to the falls. Ran up the steps, over the creek, along the bluff, and around the John Stevens House. Encountered a woman running with 2 dogs. One of the dogs lunged at me, which didn’t bother me, and I could hear her yelling, “No! We don’t do that!” at it after I passed. Anything else? No turkeys. A roller skier. Oh–an older woman who stopped at the edge of the paved path to call out to someone from the city working on the sewer across the road, “thank you!” The worker was confused and called back, “Sorry?” “Thank you!” Don’t think I’ve ever seen (or heard) that before.

As I was running through minnehaha regional park, I thought about the things that have stayed the same, the things that have changed, and what seems to still be present as living and vital, and what only remains in decay, or in the faintest traces of what it had been. I was thinking about this as I ran by the playground, which was redone five or so years ago, but still has some old equipment, like the creaky, rusty swings. Something about that reminded me of a few lines from Poe’s “The Bells,” especially the bit about the rust.

Hear the tolling of the bells—
                 Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
        In the silence of the night,
        How we shiver with affright
  At the melancholy menace of their tone!
        For every sound that floats
        From the rust within their throats
                 Is a groan.

monody: an ode in a greek tragedy; a poem lamenting a person’s death

“the rust within their throats” — love that line and how it speaks to decay and sorrow and, almost, the living dead