Veteran’s Home Loop
22 degrees / feels like 11
wind: 14 mph / 22 mph gusts
Sunny and cold and windy. Wore lots of layers: vest, jacket, long-sleeved shirt, tights, gloves, buff, winter cap. My watched died 1 1/2 miles in so I don’t know exactly how far I ran or how fast. It doesn’t really matter. Ran to the falls, over the creek, under the arbor, behind John Stevens’ House, across the tall bridge, up to the bluff, beside the river, through the edge of turkey hollow, past Beckettwood with its bright red sign that looks newly painted (or brighter in the early spring sun). A nice run. I didn’t feel fantastic the entire time, but not miserable either. And now, being done, I feel glad to have gone outside in this blustery weather.
Thinking about this line I reread this morning before my run:
your eyes are made mostly of movementDart / Alice Oswald (45)
I deduced to make this my task for noticing the world on my run today: What is moving on my run (besides me)?
10 Things I Noticed: Movement
- swirling leaves (seen)
- a woodpecker’s bill rapidly pecking on hollow wood (heard)
- the rush of fast-moving air on my arm (felt)
- Minnehaha Creek bouncing off of the limestone ledge then falling over the falls (seen)
- the river moving swiftly downstream under the Ford Bridge, encouraged by the wind (seen)
- dead leaves in a tree, shaking (heard)
- a shadow barely creeping over the creek under the tall bridge (seen)
- a black truck crossing the bridge then turning right (seen)
- many runners, including one moving slightly slower than me over by the gorge, as I ran on Edmund (seen)
- a flag at half mast (for Madeline Albright) waving gently (I expected it to be flapping in this wind, but it wasn’t) (seen)
No flashes. And the shadows I did see, tree trunks, lamp posts, stop signs, were all still. No darting squirrels, or dancing water, or soaring birds.
One other imagine I’d like to remember: the big rock that stands next the lonely and inviting bench — the one I always wanted to stop at but never did during my early pandemic runs — looked like it had inched closer to the path. This rock is BIG so this is very unlikely. A closer look: its shadow was creeping onto the trail.
Back to movement. Here are two poems that fit with the theme of movement and eyes. One of them I read today, the other I posted a few months ago:
The Rock that Is Not a Rabbit/ Corey Marks
The rock that is not a rabbit suns itself
in the field, its brown coat that isn’t fur
furred with light. The rock that isn’t a rabbit
would be warm to a palm but wouldn’t
quicken or strain from touch. It doesn’t ache
with hunger or pine with rabbit-lust,
doesn’t breathe the world in, translating
scent into some rabbit understanding.
The world is beyond its understanding.
And yet the rock that is not a rabbit will
outlast the hawk banking above, the fox
sloughing free of its den, the wheel nicking
off the road to disturb the gravel berm,
the mower coughing up the neighbor’s yard.
Even so, its ears fold back against its body
as if to make itself small, a secret,
though when a breeze disorders the grass,
the rock’s stillness appears like wild motion.
Had to look up berm:
a flat strip of land, raised bank, or terrace bordering a river or canal.
a path or grass strip beside a road.
an artificial ridge or embankment, e.g., as a defense against tanks.”berms of shoveled earth”
Saccadic Masking/ Paige Lewis from Space Struck
—a phenomenon where the brain blocks out blurred images created by movement of the eye
All constellations are organisms
and all organisms are divine
and unfixed. I am spending
my night in the kitchen. There
is blood in the batter—dark
strands stretch like vocal
cords telling me I am missing
so much with these blurred
visions: a syringe flick, the tremor
of my wrist—raised veins silked
green. I have seen the wings
of a purple finch wavering
around its body, stuck, burned
to the grill of my car, which means
I have failed to notice its flight—
a lesson on infinities, a lesson I
am trying to learn. I am trying.
Tell me, how do I steady my gaze
when everything I want is motion?