feb 21/RUN

4.45 miles
minnehaha falls and back
22 degrees / feels like 10
wind: 17 mph
less than 5% ice-covered

Windy, overcast. You can tell snow is moving in soon. A winter storm warning beginning this evening: 4-8 inches through Tuesday evening. It smelled like snow and cold and winter.

A wonderful run. Not over-dressed: green long-sleeved shirt, pink jacket, black vest, 2 pairs of black running tights, gray socks, a gray buff, black cap, pink hood, 2 pairs of gloves — one black, one pink with white stripes. Today I am coordinated, which is more by accident than design.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. very light gray sky, almost white
  2. the river was covered over; the snow/ice was mostly white with some stained spots that were a faint grayish-brown. Is that where the ice is thinning?
  3. the falls were completely frozen over. No roar, or dribble, or drip
  4. the creek below the falls was frozen over too, everything still, stopped
  5. as I approached the falls, I heard a lot of kids yelling and laughing. I wondered if it was a field trip and if they’d be near the falls overlook, taking over the path. They weren’t. They were at the playground instead
  6. running on the sidewalk through the neighborhood, the ice sometimes shimmered when the light was brighter. On the trail above the gorge, the ice was dull and flat and slightly brown. None of it was too slick
  7. on the outer rim of the Minnehaha Regional Park, near the road, I heard a loud boom: something being dropped into a big truck at a construction site
  8. someone was hiking with a dog down below on the snow-covered winchell trail
  9. every time I run by a trashcan that’s across the parking lot near the oak savanna, I think it’s a person. Mistaking trashcans for people happens a lot to me
  10. a group of much faster runners passed me on the double bridge. I watched as the distance between us became greater, then they turned up by the locks and dam no. 1 to cross the ford bridge and I didn’t see them again
  11. bonus: greeted Santa Claus! Our method for greeting: raising our right hands to each other

No “good mornings” offered, no birds heard (or remembered being heard), no cross-country skiers, no annoying path-hogging pedestrians, no open water, no shadows, no squirrels, no music, no park crews trimming trees, no black-capped chickadees or cardinals or turkeys.

Yesterday, I found an interview with the great poet, Ada Limón. Here are a few things she said that I’d like to remember:

ongoingness: the world is going to go on. And the world is going to go on without me, and without you. And the trees are going to keep living, and when they die, there will be more trees that are going to come. And that ongoingness of the world was really, in some ways, a relief.

How does her definition of ongoingness fit/not fit with Sarah Manguso’s in her book Ongoingness? I need to find my old notes to answer this….Found Manguso’s book instead. Here’s something she writes early in the book:

I wanted to comprehend my own position in time so I could use my evolving self as completely and as usefully as possible. I didn’t want to go lurching around, half-awake, unaware of the work I owed the world, work I didn’t want to live without doing.

Ongoingness/ Sarah Manguso

This quotation, especially her use of work here, reminds me of Mary Oliver and my study of her understanding of work on this log last April. Maybe time to explore that again?

When I say the word “surrender,” I mean giving into that timelessness. Time is real, yes, and it’s also a cycle. Surrender means not clinging to my own identity, to my own attachments, but finding some way to release my grip on the world. And of course when you release your grip you notice what you’re attached to, you notice the things you miss, and the things you love.

We have to live in a world where we have to protect ourselves all the time. Now even more so. We wear layers. We add a mask to it, we add isolation to it. There are so many ways we protect ourselves, even from ourselves. And I think it’s important to recognize that the self underneath the self needs witnessing.

One of the things the walk did for me was to decenter the self. At a certain point the mind opens and you start to watch, you get to witness, you get to listen, you get to receive the world instead of putting yourself into the world. I think I am someone who is inherently selfish, and I can turn anything into something about me. I think most people can. The more I walk, the more I can dissolve. The process of dissolving and being receptive to the world is where the poetry comes from. Sometimes it takes a lot of miles for that to happen.