march 20/RUN

3.85 miles
marshall loop
36 degrees

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 things

Dart / Alice Oswald

In the poem, these routine things include

bottles on belts going round bends.
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,
wearing ear-protectors.

Dart / Alice Oswald

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.