A beautiful morning for a run! Cooler, leaves scattered on the ground, more reds and oranges and yellows. Started slow and intended on staying slow, but looking at my splits after the run, I noticed I negative split each mile. Ran the franklin loop — north on franklin, over the bridge, south on the east river road, past the lake street bridge, up the hill beside my favorite viewing spot, then back down the hill to the bridge. I walked up the steps and on the bridge until I reached the overlook. Stopped to study the river, then put in Renaissance and ran all the way back.
To keep myself distracted, or focused on something other than my effort, I chanted triple berries. Strawberry/raspberry/blueberry/blackberry/gooseberry
Also thought about a poem I’m revising and the idea of learning to hold contradictions together without resolving or reducing them. In the case of this poem, it’s about both having great affection for the other swimmers in the lake with me because we all love the lake and being irritated by how they get in my way or kick me or push me off course. I can’t remember much of what I thought — something about other contradictions, lik how we always hold joy and suffering together too, and about the need to find balance with these contradictions.
10 Things I Noticed
- the welcoming oaks are still green and full
- a few rips in the veil of green that hides the river below the tunnel of trees
- minneapolis parks worker was weedwacking near the lake street bridge. all the goldenrod poking through the rails and leaning over the trail is gone, so are the red leaves
- gusts and swells of wind, sounding like water falling from the limestone ledges
- evidence: the voice of a kid, then an adult and an empty bike with a kids’ seat in the back parked in the bike rack…assumption: there’s a kid somewhere nearby with his mom exploring the gorge, never verified
- passing a man with a “sporty” walker (its wheels looked like they were more rugged and ready to go fast) just before getting to the franklin bridge
- greeted Dave, the Daily Walker and Mr. Morning! Also passed a guy that I’m pretty sure used to walk on the track at the YWCA everytime I ran there. I think I’ll call him, Mr. Y
- water (not wind, I think?) falling off the ledge near the Meeker Dog Park — is there a way to get to this seep/falls?
- a bright red tree just below the railing at my favorite viewing spot above the lake street bridge
- the river! blue with slight ripples from the wind that were moving towards the middle of the river, streaks — from the sandbars? — were visible too. At the overlook, a little over halfway across, the river was split in 2. One side was sparkling and shimmering from the sun, the other side was almost flat. Up above, the sky was streaked with shreds of clouds; it looked almost like a mirror of the ripples in the water
Autumn/ Linda Pastan
I want to mention
without meaning the death
of somebody loved
or even the death
of the trees.
Today in the market
I heard a mother say
Look at the pumpkins,
it’s finally autumn!
And the child didn’t think
of the death of her mother
which is due before her own
but tasted the sound
of the words on her clumsy tongue:
Let the eye enlarge
with all it beholds.
I want to celebrate
color, how one red leaf
flickers like a match
held to a dry branch,
and the whole world goes up
in orange and gold.
Ever since I read Vertical by Linda Pastan, I have loved her poetry. This poem — “Autumn” — adds to that love. Some years, like this one, it’s harder not to think about death in the fall. Maybe I’ll try repeating pumpkin and autumn over and over.
addendum (17 feb 2023): For the month of Feb 2023, I’m spending time with Linda Pastan. While watching one of her readings on YouTube, she mentioned that this poem was for Jane Kenyon and in response to Kenyon’s poem, Let Evening Come:
Let Evening Come/ Jane Kenyon
Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.