minnehaha dog park and back*
*a new route: south on the river road trail, past the falls and John Stevens’ house, along the gorge with hidden falls on the other side until turning around just before the dog park
Cooler weather. A bit blustery. Most of the time, the wind was pushing me and the leaves. Every so often I chanted, I am the wind and the wind is invisible, all the leaves tremble but I am invisible (Richard Siken) and Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you: but when the leaves hang trembling, the wind is passing through. Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: but when the trees bow down their heads, the wind is passing by (Christina Rossetti).
Felt strong and relaxed. My right kneecap did some tiny slips. I decided that I should start warming up more before I head out for a run. Hopefully this will help my knee stay in the groove? Also: worked on my posture, trying to keep my trunk tall and my head straight.
A rare occasion: Nearing the park building at the falls, I realized I needed to go the bathroom, so I stopped. Hooray for a real bathroom, and not just a port-a-potty or a bush!
10+ Things I Noticed
- the leaves on the edge of the gorge, down near the ground, look a bright glowing orange instead of their usual red. Not sure if that’s true, or just my bad vision
- a view is coming! the trees are thinning in a stretch somewhere between 38th and 42nd and I could see the blue of the river below
- between the double-bridge and the locks and dam no. 1: a row of bushes, still thick with leaves, blocking my view of the river. The light flashing through the small gaps disorients
- seeing these flashes, wondering if I should tilt my hat to shield my eyes, a peleton passes by on the road
- at the falls, several of the sidewalks are covered in fallen leaves
- the trail is peppered with bright reds, yellows, oranges
- many of the trees at the falls have changed from green to gold and red, but a cluster (a stand?) of 4 or 5 are still green
- running above the gorge, parallel to Hiawatha, sirens — what happened and where?
- a bright red tree, glowing with color, way over in the neighborhood on the other side of Hiawatha
- the sandy beach at Hidden Falls almost glowing white through the trees
- the falls, dry — not a drop of creek water falling down the limestone
- someone blasting music (rock? pop?) from their car on Hiawatha. So loud!
- bing bing the fake bells of the train ringing as it pulls out of the 50th street station
The Secret in the Mirror/ Alberto Ríos
The mirror is dirty from the detritus of dailiness—
I look in the mirror and am freckled.
A week out from being cleaned, maybe two, maybe more,
The Milky Way shows itself in the secret silver,
This star chart in my own bathroom,
Aglow not in darkness but with the lights on,
Everything suddenly so clear.
It is not smear I am looking at, but galaxies.
It is not toothpaste and water spots—
When I look in the mirror, it is writing and numbers,
Musical notes, 1s and 0s, Morse-like codes, runes.
I am looking over into the other side,
And over there, whoever they are, it turns out
They look a lot like me. Like me, but freckled.
I really appreciate Ríos’ description in “About this Poem”:
…this poem speaks to the everyday lives we also lead—not cleaning the bathroom sink quite as much as we perhaps should, not always controlling the floss strings of good intentions now turned wild, not vacuuming nearly enough. But even in the mundane, we have, always at hand, surprise, surprise at its most savory in that we have least expected to find it where it is not advertised.
Surprise. Yes! I’m struck by how my failing vision creates a lot of surprise as my brain attempts to guess what I’m looking at. My vision aside, I also like the idea of finding the magical in the moments when the mundane fails, like when we fail to clean our bathroom mirror.