minnehaha falls and back
Hooray for outside runs! Windy, but much warmer. The trail was covered with a thin layer of snow, mostly very compact, occasionally loose and soft and slick. Now, as I write this, the sun is very bright, but before, when I was running, it was muted by clouds, everything white. I felt like I was suspended in white, not motionless but disconnected, separated. Very cool and dreamy. I can’t remember why, but I started thinking about layers and the poem I posted yesterday, with the repeated line, & under. What are my layers, and are layers so distinct and easily discarded? Now I’m thinking about sediment and certain types of rock formations, where rock from different times in history get all mixed up when they settle, so you can’t easily distinguish eras (or is it periods, or what?). What’s that called again? I’ll have to look itup.
10 Things I Noticed
- the sizzle of dead leaves on the trees in the wind
- what I thought was a goose, honking, turned out to be a woman laughing
- the teacher’s whistle, loud and bright, signaling that recess was over at Minnehaha Academy
- a kid yelling on the playground (before recess was over), or was he growling? I could tell he was playing a game, but what game was he playing to sound like that?
- a loud scraping rush of noise, like a snowplow plowing a street crusty with snow, but not, because there was no plow
- an orange sign signaling a curve in the road that I always mistake for someone’s jacket — or, maybe I should say, it gives me the feeling of a person standing there. I don’t see it as a person, I just feel it as one, if that makes any sense
- the falls, fully iced over
- about 1/2 a dozen people checking out the falls, one person walking over to read the sign about when a president (which one? I can’t remember) visited the falls
- stopping to slowly walk on the walking side of the double bridge and looking down at the ravine. It seems much closer with all of the snow
- mistaking the retaining wall near the start of the winchell trail, which was a thin dark brown line cutting through the white, for a thin slash of the river
Here’s one more poem from Paige Lewis and their collection, Star Struck:
On the Train, A Man
Snatches My Book/ Paige Lewis
On the train, a man snatches my book, reads
the last line, and says I completely get you,
you’re not that complex. He could be right–lately
all my what ifs are about breath: what if
a glass-blower inhales at the wrong
moment? What if I’m drifting on a sailboat
and the wind stops? If he’d ask me how I’m
feeling, I’d give him the long version–I feel
as if I’m on the moon listening to the air hiss
out of my spacesuit, and I can’t find the rip. I’m
the vice president of panic and the president is
missing. Most nights, I calm myself by listing
animals still on the least concern end of the
extinction spectrum: aardvarks and blackbirds
are fine. Minnows thrive–though this brings
me no relief–they can swim through sludge
if they have to. I don’t think I’ve ever written
the word doom, but nothing else fits.
Every experience seems both urgent and
unnatural–like right now, this train
is approaching the station where my lover
is waiting to take me to the orchard so we can
pay for the memory of having once, at dusk,
plucked real apples from real trees.
I feel this poem today, after briefly glancing at the news, and reading about a supreme court justice retiring and a new variant of concern. Do I think of doom as both urgent and unnatural? I’m always struck by how natural, “normal”, everyday, doom feels lately.