june 7/RUN

3.25 miles
2 trails + extra
66 degrees

The rain that looked like it was coming never did, so I went out for a run. It’s overcast. Not cloudy, but CLOUD — one big cloud covering everything, making the sky gray and the greens more green. It seemed humid to me and I sweat a lot, so I thought the humidity would be high. Nope, only 47%. The run felt good, relaxed.

On the surface, all I remember is trying to lift my knees and my left hip and looking out for other walkers or runners or bikers. Can I remember more if I try? Yes!

10 Things I Noticed

  1. lots of bikers, mostly single bikers or groups of 2, one large, spread out group, several of them wearing bright yellow jackets
  2. no blue jays or chickadees, but lots of little chirping birds — I wondered if they were warblers
  3. the faint voices of kids playing on the Dowling Elementary playground
  4. exchanging deep head nods with a man using a walker
  5. Minneapolis parks is mowing today — saw and heard a big lawn mower speeding by on the path. More evidence of the lawn mowing: the smell of freshly cut grass
  6. encountering another runner down below on the winchell trail, near its southern start, where all the asphalt has reverted to dirt. They were wearing sweatpants and maybe (I can’t quite remember) a sweatshirt too?
  7. voices below, in the gorge — rowers?
  8. mud on the trail from yesterday’s rain, but not enough to slip in or on or through
  9. trickling water in several different spots in the ravine, just north of the oak savanna
  10. the dirt trail below the mesa that the parks dept cleared out last year is showing signs of being reclaimed: weeds popping up in the middle of the path

Today I got lost in the run, in some sort of reverie or just my mind shutting down for a while. I can’t remember what the river looked like, though I know I looked at it. I can’t remember anything about running through the tunnel of trees, not even a hint of a memory of the dark green or the sound of cars above, or whether I encountered someone as I ran past the old stone steps. Strange and wonderful. I like getting lost.

Found a beautiful poem through this tweet:

As from a Quiver of Arrows/ CARL PHILLIPS

What do we do with the body, do we
burn it, do we set it in dirt or in
stone, do we wrap it in balm, honey,
oil, and then gauze and tip it onto
and trust it to a raft and to water?

What will happen to the memory of his
body, if one of us doesn’t hurry now
and write it down fast? Will it be
salt or late light that it melts like?
Floss, rubber gloves, and a chewed cap

to a pen elsewhere —how are we to
regard his effects, do we throw them
or use them away, do we say they are
relics and so treat them like relics?
Does his soiled linen count? If so,

would we be wrong then, to wash it?
There are no instructions whether it
should go to where are those with no
linen, or whether by night we should
memorially wear it ourselves, by day

reflect upon it folded, shelved, empty.
Here, on the floor behind his bed is
a bent photo—why? Were the two of
them lovers? Does it mean, where we
found it, that he forgot it or lost it

or intended a safekeeping? Should we
attempt to make contact? What if this
other man too is dead? Or alive, but
doesn’t want to remember, is human?
Is it okay to be human, and fall away

from oblation and memory, if we forget,
and can’t sometimes help it and sometimes
it is all that we want? How long, in
dawns or new cocks, does that take?
What if it is rest and nothing else that

we want? Is it a findable thing, small?
In what hole is it hidden? Is it, maybe,
a country? Will a guide be required who
will say to us how? Do we fly? Do we
swim? What will I do now, with my hands?

For reasons I can’t totally express, this poem seems fitting to post this late morning, after spending time working on an introductory lecture for a class I’m teaching on noticing the world, then documenting that noticing in a log, and after writing in this log entry that I got lost in the run.

Also, it’s always a good time to post a Carl Phillips poem. His work is wonderful.