bike: 15 minutes
bike stand, basement
3, feels like -10? No thanks. Before I could bike, I had to pump up my tire. Spent at least 5 minutes, which felt like an hour, trying to remember how to attach the pump to my annoying tires. I appreciate how people love bikes and maintaining them, but I don’t. Could I learn? More importantly, should I try?
run: 2.75 miles
Listened to an old (2015?) “January” playlist while I ran. I don’t remember thinking about much, or noticing much in my dark, unfinished basement. Still, I enjoyed having the chance to move without having to go outside to run on the ice, in the cold wind, with the too bright sun. If I hadn’t run 5 miles outside yesterday, I might have liked being out there today. I bet it’s snot-freezing weather.
Last year I ran 1000 miles. This year I decided to take it easier, and focus more on swimming. My less ambitious running goal for the next few days is to reach 850 miles. With today’s run, I’m at 845.8. 2 more days, 4.2 miles. I should be able to do it.
Yesterday, I listened to an On Being episode with Jane Hirshfield. Excellent. Then I found this brief interview with her in which she answers a question about poets and civic responsibility. Here’s her answer:
I love in this question the word responsibility for its fundamental meaning of, “to respond”. When you’re asking what the role of a poet is in a society, in a culture, in a country, in a community, it is to respond in the way that only poetry can….Jane Hirshfield Interview
Poetry summoning is to transcend easy language, platitudinous language, slogans that make people stupid and that separate them from one another. And so part of the role of poetry and poets is, I think, to force ourselves past the common ways of looking at things by being more responsive and finding the uncommon, original, sidelong, nuanced, subtle, and not strive for the certainty which seems such a bane of our current discourse.
Slogans that make us stupid and separate us. Yes. I think many people focus more on the stupid part of the problem, often feeling superior for believing they are smart, critical thinkers who don’t fall for the slogans. Thinking (and not being stupid) matters, but it needs to be considered alongside the questions: what can connect us, bring us together, open up space for seeing and being with each other in meaningful ways that relieve suffering, offer more resources, make the world less violent? Poetry can do things with words that enable us to think deeply and connect with each other (and recognize the ways in which we are always already connected/entangled).
I also love this idea of linking uncommon with sidelong and uncertainty (or not certainty), and looking for subtle, nuanced words/meanings.