june 4/RUN

3.5 miles
marshall loop
65 degrees

Saturday, mid-morning. I was worried that the path would be very crowded, but it wasn’t too bad. Maybe that was because I avoided some of the trail right above the river, through the tunnel of trees? Ever since I realized that I’m often hearing bluejays when I think I’m hearing crows, I hear bluejays all the time. Should I try to build some affection for them, or wallow in my annoyance? Mostly a good run. My left hip felt tight towards the end. Thought about trying to let the wonder win and being more open and generous to everything and everyone I encounter. It’s difficult. I suppose today’s run (and most of my runs) helped. So many other people out by the gorge, sharing in its awesomeness (can I find a better word? I wanted to say amazing-ness but, is that an actual word? I’m tired of “beauty” and it doesn’t quite capture what the gorge is, or what it does (to me). I’m using “wonder” too much. Fabulous? I’ll keep searching).

10 Things I Noticed

  1. heading east, over the lake street bridge, the water was blue and had lots of white, ghostly streaks near the surface. Not swirls but something else — what causes these cloudy currents? A few years ago, I wrote about these, referring to them as cataracts, or the clouds that come when eyes develop cataracts
  2. heading west, over the lake street bridge, the water was brown and the ghostly streaks less visible, even more ghostly
  3. lots of traffic everywhere — on the bridge, up the marshall hill. Running on the sidewalk, a safe distance from the road, I was able to pass some cars as they waited to merge or at the light
  4. running up the hill, I smelled some flowering bush. Not lilacs, but something else that I should remember but can’t right now. Too much!
  5. running at the top of the hill, I smelled waffles from Blacks coffee
  6. a kind pedestrian moved out of the way to let me pass on the sidewalk. When I thanked them, they replied, “Oh, no problem!” or something friendly like that
  7. some sort of sporting event happening at st. thomas. I could hear the cheers and an announcer saying something over the loudspeaker
  8. 3 bikers biked passed me on the bridge. I was pressed as close to the railing as I could. One of them whizzed by so closely that I almost felt their breeze. I whispered under my breath, “people suck.”
  9. music coming out of (I don’t think it was loud enough to be described as blasting) the speakers of a passing bike. No doppler effect
  10. emerging from the tunnel of trees, I heard (but didn’t see) the click click clack of the ski poles of a roller skier!

Listening/watching again Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s book launch for World of Wonders, I finally found the source of one of my new mantras: let the wonder win. In the Q & A at the end, AN says:

It’s there. A grief is there. Sadness and rage is always there. And then the wonder wins. I make sure the wonder wins. And definitely there are harder days than others, but that’s where the practice is. I try with all my might to make the wonder win by the end of the day.

Live with Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Ross Gay

Yes, that is where the practice is for me: struggling, finding ways, working dilligently on letting the wonder win out over everything else. Hanging onto the love and the joy and the generosity and the belief that there are good, delightful, beautiful, amazing things in the world that always make it worth it. Letting the wonder win is an expression/performance? of hope.

Found this poem by Jane Hirshfield on twitter this morning:

Termites: An Assay/ Jane Hirshfield

So far the house still is standing.
So far the hairline cracks wandering the plaster
still debate, in Socratic unhurry, what constitutes a good life.
An almost readable language.
Like the radio heard while traveling in a foreign country—
You know that something important has happened, but not what.

What is an assay? Searched online and found this: “the term, she says, is used as it is ‘in the mining industry, where a substance is disassembled and analysed to determine the strengths and quality of its various parts; only in this case the examination is done with the imaginative mind rather than the chemical one.’