31 degrees / feels like 22
First Marshall loop of the year. Last time I ran over the lake street bridge, up Marshall, over to Cretin, down to the East River Road, then back over the bridge was on November 13th. There were a few slick spots where the ice covered the sidewalk, but mostly it was fine. I enjoyed having a different route to run. Felt relaxed and happy, as always, to be outside and moving.
10 Things I Noticed
- running above the tunnel of trees and the floodplain forest, I could see the river. Brown, open water
- later on the bridge, looking down at the river, near the banks, it was all white, with a thin line of dark brown parallel to the shore
- on the east side of the river, looking at the lake street bridge, the distance between bridge and water didn’t seem that great, but on the bridge, looking down at the river, it seemed tremendous
- running past Black Coffee, noticed a person sitting in the window with a newspaper — were they reading about the war? drinking black coffee or coffee with milk?
- cretin, which runs past St. Thomas University, was thick with cars
- early in the run, on the west side of the river not far from home, thought I heard the bells at St. Thomas. Later, running down the hill above shadow falls, close to St. Thomas, I heard them again — the clock cycled through all four parts of the song — the parts that chime at 1/4 past, 1/2 past, 1/4 to, and on the hour. I couldn’t quite remember when I started running, so I counted the chimes at the end of the song cycle: 11. 11 am
- running back over lake street bridge, I looked down and saw 2 somethings in the water. Could they be ducks? I stopped, stood on my tiptoes, and looked through the railing. Yes, 2 ducks!
- at the start of my run, a block from my house, noticed a HUGE crow on someone’s lawn. I had to check again to make sure it wasn’t a turkey
- looking down at the steep slopes of the gorge, noticed veins of white snow in the cracks
- some new graffiti in vivid blues and greens on a lower wall of the lake street bridge, in a spot where’s no trail or stairs
Tried to chant in triples, but became distracted. Thought about some other things that I can’t remember now, except this random thing: when thinking about the value of moving for paying attention, and what experiments I might try with attention and movement, stopping and standing still can be a part of it too — like running or walking from spot to spot.
This was the poem of the day on poets.org. I like the different look at something that, at first, seems miserable.
Drift/ Alicia Mountain
The gold March dawn
and below my window
a man carves his car
from the snow heap
plowed up around it.
So easy not to envy
the cold muscled task
but then imagine—
feeling your heartbeat
alive like a chipmunk
at work in your chest,
imagine the whole day
arm-sore and good
the day you begin
with heavy breath
and see it linger
outside your body
like a negative of
the dark air cavity
in you like the spirit
in you like the ghost.
And here’s Mountain’s description of the poem:
This poem is an exercise in re-encountering the familiar. Lately, I’ve been trying to take another look—at poem drafts, at circumstances, at assumption, chores, beliefs. More and more, I have come to understand myself as a draft of a person to which I return and try to see again, anew. Even in the line and intentions struck through, negation is a presence, too. This poem is about externalizing something internal so it can be witnessed. It’s also about allowing the grace and strength of others, along with the mysterious gift of breath, to change me daily.