minnehaha falls and back
0 degrees / feels like 0
It was cold today, but there was sun, and no wind, so I decided to run outside above the gorge. It felt colder than 0 to me, especially at the beginning. I started to get a slight headache from the cold air on the bridge of my nose. Once I warmed up, it went away. The other part of me that was cold for a few minutes: my feet.
layers (extra cold version)
- one pair of socks
- 2 pairs of gloves, 1 black, 1 hot pink with white stripes + hand warmers
- 2 pairs black running tights
- green base layer long-sleeved shirt
- black 3/4 pull-over
- pink jacket with hood
- gray jacket
- black cap
Mostly, I was alone on the trail. When I did encounter people, it was almost always walkers alone, or in pairs, often in clusters — one walker, then a few seconds later, another walker, etc. At the falls, there were a few more people. At least 2 of them had big cameras. The falls were totally frozen, so was the creek up above. Almost everywhere, it was quiet and still.
This month, I’ve decided to read and write about a phrase that is also the theme for a call for poems from a journal that I’m submitting to: “what you see is what you get.” I’m hoping to approach this from as many angles as I can think of (and have time for). As I ran, I thought about in two ways:
what you see is what you get = whatever it is you can see (with your cone dystrophy), is all you get to work with for figuring out how to make sense of something. With the limited data I get from cone cells, that will involve some guessing, and relying on other senses + past experiences
what you see is what you get = what you see is not what you get, or what is real is not seen, but sensed in other ways, like air and wind. You can’t see wind or air, but you know it’s there. I think I was thinking about another example — maybe something to do with shadows? — but I’ve forgotten now.
10 Things I Noticed
- School kids on the playground — in 0 degrees. Minnesota kids are hearty
- The collar of my jacket rubbing against my hood
- My breath, labored as I ran up a hill
- Some sort of bird chirping, sounding like spring
- A car’s wheel whooshing on the river road
- A low, almost shrill and sharp, buzz just barely noticeable near the DQ
- The soft shuffle of my feet striking the grit on the path
- Someone on the walking side of the double-bridge holding a snowboard (I think?), then a thud, then that someone yelling something that sounded slightly distressed, but mostly not. What were they doing?
- Returning 20 minutes later to the bridge, hearing some scraping or pounding in the ravine below. I don’t know what the noise was, but I imagined snowboard dude, along with some other snowboard dudes, was chipping ice, or climbing an ice column, or doing something else to ice to make it possible for them to get back up to the bridge. Will I ever know what was going on?
- (not related to sound): a walker, or runner, I couldn’t tell, below me on the winchell trail. As I ran I wondered, was there even someone there, or was I imagining it?
- one more: my shadow, behind me as I ran south. Sharp, well-defined
Another thing I did in relation to “what you see is what you get” was to do some research on Groundhog Day. I’ll add the notes to my February page; I’ve spent too much time in front of my computer right now. Some interesting stuff. I wanted to think about Groundhog Day because it was yesterday, and also it fits the theme. In the U.S. if it’s sunny and the groundhog sees his shadow on Feb 2, there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If it’s cloudy, and he doesn’t, spring is coming. As Scott pointed out, this tradition is not an instance of, “what you see is what you get,” but the opposite: “what you see, is what you don’t get.” note: If the groundhog sees his shadow, most people across the country are bummed. Ugh, 6 more weeks of winter! But, here in Minnesota, it’s cause for celebration. Only 6 more weeks of winter? Hooray!