july 7/RUNSWIM

3.25 miles
2 trails, the mostly dirt version*
76 degrees
humidity: 81% / dew point: 70
9:15 am

*I ran south on the dirt trail between Edmund and the river road. Crossed over at 42nd to the river road trail, then down to the Winchell Trail. Through the oak savanna, up the gravel by the ravine, down through the tunnel of trees, over to the dirt trail at 33rd and Edmund.

A dew point of 70? That’s pretty miserable. It didn’t bother me today. I was thinking about attention and listening to all of the sounds: birds, trucks, lawn mowers, cicadas, cars, roller skiers, singing bikers.

one thing I remembered, one I forgot

remembered: As I ran by the ancient boulder, I remembered to check if there were any stacked stones. Yes! 4 tiny stacked stones, hidden in the curve of the boulder. I saw these stones yesterday too, but forgot to write about them. Seeing these small stones, I wonder how many times I’ve glanced at the boulder and thought there were no stacked stones on it, when there were these tiny ones, hidden.

forgot: I forgot to look at the river even once. I even ran closer to it, down on the Winchell Trail, then forgot to turn right and look. Was it blue? brown?

Near the end of my run, I stopped for a few minutes to record my thoughts:

thought after run / july 7

letting attention flow through you, not holding onto it, letting it go
things remembered: the steady soundtrack of my striking feet and my labored lungs because of the humidity
people talking loudly in the background
trading off of lines between birds and cicadas, no constant soundtrack, in and out
cars zooming by, a loud truck, bikers singing
what were the bikers singing? ridiculously delightful
overheard: a biker listening to talk radio
more cars whooshing by
all the things I’m curious about: surfaces and how they’re made — who made them and through what process
birds chirping, the steady striking of my feet on the dirt

As I listen back to the recording, I’m struck by all the background sounds, some of which I notice and remark on, others which I don’t. It’s funny how much of our surroundings we tune out — like the cars or the birds or the people.

Here’s a poem I found on twitter this morning. Love Carl Phillips!

My Meadow, My Twilight/ Carl Phillips

Sure, there’s a spell the leaves can make, shuddering,
and in their lying suddenly still again — flat, and still,
like time itself when it seems unexpectedly more
available, more to lose therefore, more to love, or
try to…

          But to look up from the leaves, remember,

is a choice also, as if up from the shame of it all,
the promiscuity, the seeing-how-nothing-now-will-
save-you, up to the wind-stripped branches shadow-
signing the ground before you the way, lately, all
the branches seem to, or you like to say they do,
which is at least half of the way, isn’t it, toward
belief — whatever, in the end, belief
is… You can
look up, or you can close the eyes entirely, making
some of the world, for a moment, go away, but only
some of it, not the part about hurting others as the one
good answer to being hurt, and not the part that can
at first seem, understandably, a life in ruins, even if —
refusing ruin, because you
can refuse — you look
again, down the steep corridor of what’s just another
late winter afternoon, dark as night already, dark
the leaves and, darker still, the door that, each night,
you keep meaning to find again, having lost it, you had
only to touch it, just once, and it bloomed wide open…

swim: 3 loops
lake nokomis open swim
80 degrees
5:30 pm

A great night for a swim! Calm water, overcast, not too crowded. I swam without stopping for 45 minutes, and I swam straight to each buoy, even though I hardly saw them. As usual, just the smallest flash that something was there. Sometimes I could tell it was orange or green, but usually it was just the idea of a hulking shape way ahead of me, or the smallest smudge of something. So strange.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. no fish below me
  2. the orange buoys were in a straight line, the one closest to the little beach wasn’t that close
  3. most of the buoys tethered to torsos were yellow
  4. a flash of green, then a swimmer directly ahead of me, way off course — I had to swing wide to avoid them
  5. another swimmer, pushing me off to the side. I had to stop and swim behind, then around them (this happened at least twice)
  6. the far green buoy was in line with at least two white sailboats, which made it hard to sight
  7. a plane overhead, no blue sky, only clouds
  8. breathed every 5 strokes: 1 2 3 4 5 breathe right 1 2 3 4 5 breathe left
  9. encountered a family of ducks out in the middle of the lake
  10. the water was slightly clearer than on Tuesday, but not as clear as at Cedar Lake. I could watch my hand stretch out in front of me, but only saw dark green below