This year, the first day of spring feels like spring, which doesn’t always happen. What a wonderful morning. Felt much warmer than 36 degrees. I was overdressed. Sunny, low wind, calm. Clear paths — not crowded, and no snow (except for some slick spots on the sidewalk climbing up Marshall). I was able to run on all of the walking trails. I know I looked at the river, I remember doing it, but I can’t remember what it looked like. Was it brown or blue? No clue.
“staring at routine things”
Before my run, I read a short section from Dart. This one was in the voice of the dairy worker (page 29):
to the milk factory, staring at routine thingsDart / Alice Oswald
In the poem, these routine things include
bottles on belts going round bends.Dart / Alice Oswald
Watching out for breakages, working nights. Building up
prestige. Me with my hands under the tap, with my brain
coated in a thin film of milk. In the fridge, in the warehouse,
I decided to start my run with this prompt: focus on/stare at the routine things on my run. Here are some of my thoughts:
- the route: Marshall Loop. Not as routine as other routes, but one I do often. North on 43rd ave; right on 31st st; left on 46th ave; right on lake street, then over the bridge until it turns into marshall; up the marshall hill; right on Cretin ave; right on east river road; down past shadow falls; up the lake street bridge steps and over the bridge; down the hill then over to west river road heading south
- ran past the lutheran church on 32nd and 43rd. Heard the congregation singing inside for the sunday church service
- encountered another pedestrian, stayed on the right side as we passed
- wore my usual outfit for an early spring run: black running tights, black shorts, green long-sleeved shirt, orange sweatshirt, hat, headband, gloves
- like it always does after a rain, or when the snow melts, shadow falls was gushing
- reaching the top of the marshall hill, I watched the crosswalk timer countdown and the light turn from green to yellow to red
At some point in the run, I started thinking about all the different forms of work happening out by the gorge — like squirrels thumping nuts, birds calling to other birds, a woodpecker drumming on a hollow tree. Maybe I will try to notice forms of work on some run this week?
Then I wondered about how stare might mean more than looking closely (and for a long time) at something. Maybe it also is a general way of describing giving careful, focused attention to something. I think I’ve said it before on this log: I don’t like staring at things, especially people. It feels rude (which is maybe a problem I should try to get over?). Also, it doesn’t always help me, with my bad vision, see something any better. I have more luck with having an awareness of something and absorbing details instead of forcibly collecting them.