bike: 8.6 miles
lake nokomis and back
11:00 am / 12:30 pm
So windy on my ride over to lake nokomis! I could hear it rushing past my ears. Looking down at the trail on the river road and the creek path, I noticed orange spray paint everywhere, marking the cracks. Will they fix those spots before the orange paint wears off? Probably not. As I biked, I thought about how wonderful it is to be able to bike to the lake to swim and how much I’ll miss it over the winter. The answer is not too much; I love biking to the lake and the trail is great, but I do get burned out on it by August. On the bike trail at the lake, they were patching cracks.
swim: 1.5 loops
main beach white buoys
Hooray! The buoys were still up. When will they take them down? Happy to have been able to swim today, even though it was windy, the water choppy. The water was also light brown and opaque. The only thing I could underwater were the bubbles coming off of my hands as they break though the surface. No silver flashes of fish, no hairbands at the bottom. Looking out above the surface, all I could see was the beach to one side, endless treeline to the other, white buoys in front of me, and strange, jagged clouds up above. There were a few people at the beach: 2 guys then later, 2 girls, and one metal detectorist. The metal detectorist was at the far edge of the wading area, near the orange-faded-to-pink circular buoys. When I swam nearer him, I think I could hear the vibrations of his detector underwater. The water didn’t feel cold when I first stepped in it but later, after a few laps, I felt chilled.
I stopped a few times near the far white buoys to be in the deeper water and to look out over the lake. I was drawn to one of my favorite, and most helpful, images: the bottom of the lifeguard boat at the little beach. It stood out clearly to me, making the little beach look closer than it was. I’m hoping to conjure that boat bottom as I drift off to sleep this winter. Today, with less sun, the bottom was white and flat. On the sunniest days this summer, it was silver and shiny.
paying versus giving attention
The other week, Scott and I were discussing the difference between paying and giving attention. I can’t remember everything we said, but here are some things I do remember:
Paying attention seems to be a demand, obligation, requirement. An annoyed teacher tells you sternly, Pay Attention! and might add, This will be on the test! It also suggests staring, focusing, closely concentrating, exercising your will, which indicates that attention is (only) a mental activity.
Giving attention is something given freely. To give attention to something is to turn to it, to notice it, but not necessarily to scrutinize, categorize, or classify it. You’re offering something, not because you have to, or because you want something in return. note: I want to read more about giving in Braiding Sweetgrass.
Found this poem on twitter from one of the poetry people:
To the Person Who Marked Up This Book of Poetry/ Amy Miller
I had forgotten about you
until this morning at Denny’s
when I didn’t have enough quarters
for a newspaper and pulled,
instead, this book from my purse,
laid in for such emergencies.
And there you were,
asserting your opinions in black ballpoint,
two stars next to the titles
you obviously liked,
you seemed to think superfluous—
And then the waitress frowned
when I told her no hashbrowns.
She asked again—no potatoes?
No grits?—as if to correct
this error in the book
of my morning. She scrawled a note
in her own book, lips tight.
But she brought me the eggs
and you finally left the poet alone
as he went on to talk
of farmers, as his horse changed leads
on command, and sometimes not.
And it’s hard to tell
whether you simply tired
of the old, old game—
this singular shaping, this lonely work
for the betterment of us all—
or whether the poet won you over,
maybe with those lines on page 40
about chickens and the little
swaybacked shed he can’t
bring himself to knock down,
beautiful it its disrepair.