oct 19/RUN

3.75 miles
trestle turn around + extra
35 degrees

Hooray! I ran again today. I think my kneecap is doing better. It didn’t slide around, and my knee isn’t swollen after my run. It felt strange a few times, and I was apprehensive walking back, but I think it’s okay. I need to remember to take it easy for the next week, and not run too much.

It was a beautiful day for a run. Brisk, sunny, not too much wind. A clear trail, a clear view to the other side. Less leaves, more river. I ran north until I reached 2 miles, then I briefly stopped to put in my headphones and listen to Lizzo’s latest album, Special.

I didn’t notice that much; I was too busy thinking about my knee and wondering if it would start sliding again.

image of the day

A tall bike! Running near the trestle, I noticed that the bike approaching me from the north was extra tall. Because of my vision and because I was looking into the sun, I couldn’t see much detail. All I remember is: an extra tall bike, a male biker. Cool. I looked it up and wikipedia says that these bikes used to be called lamplighters because workers would ride them to reach the gas lamps on city streets. It also says that some people still refer to them as lamplighters. Is that true? I hope so.

I did a little more research — I googled “tall bikes Minneapolis” — and found this cool book (and cool writer/artist): Butterflies and Tall Bikes by Jamie Schumacher:

oin artist and author Jamie Schumacher on a tour of one of Minneapolis’s most unique neighborhoods: The West Bank.

In her second book, Butterflies and Tall Bikes, Schumacher combines personal narrative, compelling interviews, and neighborhood history in vignette-style chapters that paint a picture of the West Bank Business Association and West Bank/Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Detailed, mandala-like illustrations by artist Corina Sagun are interwoven throughout the text, and the book features a cover and map by Minneapolis artist Kevin Cannon. Interviews highlight the stories of West Bank characters and Cedar-Riverside residents, past and present, as they reflect on the community’s changing landscape. 

Lamplighter makes me think of Emily Dickinson’s poem, “We Grow Accustomed to the Dark,” which I decided earlier today would be the focus of new series of vision poems. Lamplighter reminded me of this poem because of the 3rd and 4th lines: As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp/ to witness her Good Bye –. My poems will orbit around the idea of a moment after we enter a new phase/location/situation, and before we adjust to it.

ED’s moment:

We grow accustomed to the Dark —
When Light is put away —
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye —

A Moment — We Uncertain step
For newness of the night —
Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —
And meet the Road — erect —

My moment focuses on the uncertainty caused by my vision — how that uncertainty lasts much longer because of my lack of cone cells, how my brain compensates and adjusts to a lack of visual data, how it feels to (unlike full-sighted people) not have everything immediately make sense or be clear, various tips and tricks I used to grow accustomed, etc. There’s a lot I could do with this: visual illusions, accounts of my mishaps and failures, descriptions of what I see/don’t see, and more.

The last stanza of the poem serves as a big inspiration too:

Either the Darkness alters —
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight —
And Life steps almost straight.

Last year, I spent time thinking about the almost, the approximate. I want to return to that and push more at what it means to dwell longer than I’d like in that almost, not quite, nearly there, only just, space. I’d also like to think more about how vision works, or doesn’t work, or works strangely, for everyone to different degrees. How what we see is not purely objective or accurate, where our eye is a camera faithfully rendering the real. Here’s an article I found yesterday that might help with that: The painter who revealed how our eyes really see the world

Oh, this is exciting! I hope this idea sticks and leads somewhere. I hope I find a form that fits and can hold all of these ideas!