*Yesterday afternoon, RJP, Scott and I drove by Lake Nokomis and noticed the buoys were still up. Since it was going to be warm today, I decided I’d swim one last time this morning. Arrived at the beach at 9:30 am. No buoys. This is not the first time this has happened. Oh well. I ran instead and then waded into the water at the end to cool down. I don’t like big goodbyes with grand gestures, so I was fine with not being able to make this the final swim. I like ending things when there’s still the possibility that it could keep going. When open swim ended, I could think, I can bike over to the lake and do a few loops until they take down the buoys. By the time it’s actually over, I’ve already been acting as if it’s over for a while.
around lake nokomis
I haven’t run around the lake for many months. I can’t even remember the last time I did it. It was very hot, but nice. I like how they’ve been working on restoring the wetlands and the shoreline. More wildflowers. Running over the cedar bridge, I looked across the beautiful water. Ah, Lake Nokomis, I’ll miss you this winter!
10 Things I Noticed
- some very noisy crows
- a honking/moaning goose on the other shore — I think it was in the water and not up in the air
- a plane roaring over my head as I ran across the cedar bridge
- no buoys at the little beach, workers re-tarring spots on the bike trail
- 2 older men sitting and chatting at a picnic table near the bike racks just before the little beach
- an empty dock
- lots of people walking with dogs
- more walkers than runners
- after my run, wading in the water, just past my knees — brr! the water was cold
- seagulls strutting around on the sand
Glaucoma/ Charlene Fix
What my eyes see reminds me of under-exposed
negatives from my bygone wet photography days,
days replete with eyes—the camera’s, the enlarger’s, mine—
when I failed to admit sufficient light to the film,
resulting in negatives so thin that, held aslant,
they looked like printed pictures. Thin, yet yielding
tender images, the sweet round faces of children
rising and blooming in the developer tray as if
pulled from the photo paper’s fertile heart as it sloshed and sang
for an allotted time in nether clouds of liquid vapor,
images startling with the beauty of their truths.
Then into the final tray, a bath transforming love
and sight to artifact, though faint the accretion,
fragile memory made lasting with the help of chemical tears.
This is not what my eyes see but I appreciate the description. I’d like to return to this poem and think about how my experience differs.
After the run, while doing the dishes, I listened to an Ali on the Run podcast episode with Deena Kastor. Here’s a bit of it that I’d like to remember:
Ali: How do you keep going when a race isn’t going your way?
Deena: I think we always have the opportunity to talk ourselves out of something, or talk ourselves into something. And I feel, time and time again, how I am so suprised at how, when I talk myself into something, how it can get the job done. You can rely on excuses and feel okay with those excuses, but when you shove those excuses aside and you just convince yourself that one more step is the right thing to do, it’s amazing how we can accomplish something.
I am good at talking myself out of things and having excuses/rational and reasonable explations for why I’m not doing something. Sometimes this is okay, but…I’m finding myself saying no too often. I wouldn’t call it giving up, instead, I think of it as a narrowing of my world/options, a shutting of doors and foreclosing of possibilities. Lately, I’ve given myself a goal: keep the door open. Don’t do things/make choices that close the door. It reminds me of a line from Ron Padgett’s great poem “How to Be Perfect“:
Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don’t do
anything to make it impossible.
addendum, a few hours later: Reading through swimming entries from this summer, I came across this Ron Padgett line on August 5th. I was talking about the lyrics from the Mary Poppins’ song, “Anything Can Happen.”