august 15/SWIMRUN

swim: 10 beach loops = 2 big loops
lake nokomis main beach
66 degrees
9:00 am

Brrrr. Colder air this morning. Windy and cloudy. An almost empty beach. Water temp = 76 degrees. After a few days off — since Thursday night — it felt good to be in the water again. Only 2 weeks left. Sigh. For the first loop, I had to convince myself that nothing was going to swim up from the bottom of the lake and drag me under. I knew this was extremely unlikely to happen, and I wasn’t really that scared, but I still imagined it happening. Thankfully by the second loop, I was fine. I felt strong and very boat-like, my sturdy shoulders like the bow of a boat, slicing through the water, my feet the rudders. Thought about a poem I’ve started working on about the light our bodies make on the surface of the lake as we move through the water. This morning I wrote, hands pierce or hand enters the water. As I swam I thought about how it isn’t just our hands that pierce the water, but our whole bodies, then I thought body breaks. Yes, I like the multiple meanings of a body breaking.

10 Things I Remember About My Swim

  1. choppy water, a gentle rocking
  2. a vee of geese flew high above me
  3. lentil dal yellow water (visibility 1.5 feet)
  4. the sun behind the clouds
  5. breathed every 5, sometimes 6 or 4 or 3
  6. at one point, wondered what it would be like if this big lake was a pool instead. Is there any pool this big anywhere?
  7. no kayaks or swams or paddle boards or other swimmers
  8. saw some white streaks below me a few times — a trick of the light, not fish, I think
  9. felt warmer in the water than out of it
  10. a pain in my neck sometime as I breathed to the right

run: 3.1 miles
neighborhood + river road path + winchell
71 degrees
11:15 pm

When I got home, I decided to go for a quick run. Heard lots of birds — a strange trilling call near Cooper school. Looked it up and it sounds like an Eastern Whip-poor-will, but they usually sing at night. So, what was it? I don’t remember looking at the river or hearing any roller skiers. Had to duck under the fallen tree — are they planning to remove it? Felt hot, sweaty, tired, and happy to be able to be outside and running.

I’m slowly making my way through Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey. It’s great.

the ones who stay :: faith shearin

There are the ones who leave and the ones who stay,
the ones who go to war and the ones
who wander the silent streets, waiting

for news. There are the ones who join the circus
or go on safari: the explorers, the astronauts,
then there are the people who never leave

their first neighborhood, their first house.
Odysseus spent years trying to come home
but Penelope never left. He was seduced

by women with islands and sung to by sirens;
he held the wind in a bottle. But Penelope
slept differently in the same bed, weaving

and unweaving the daily details while men
she did not love gathered in her kitchen.
Her face grew thinner, her son grew taller.

Is that a journey? The ones who leave
come back with stories: an excitement
in their eyes. But the ones who stay

witness little changes: dust, weather, breath.
What happens to them happens so slowly
it seems not to be happening at all.

the ones who stay/witness little changes: dust, weather, breath. I like being one who stays. I like tracking the subtle changes of dust, weather, and breath. I write about them a lot on this log. And, I like how doing this tracking is enough for me. Through it, I am satisfied — that’s no small achievement.