Yes! Love this weather: cold, but not too cold, hardly any wind, no snow or ice on the paths yet. Cold enough to keep the crowds away and for me to keep my gloves on for the whole run. Calm enough for the river to be a mirror reflecting an upside world — the arches of lake st bridge smiling instead of frowning.
Layers: black running tights (the thicker ones), green base shirt, pink jacket with hood, pink head/ear band, black and white polka dot twins cap (used to my daughter’s because, yes, my head is small enough to fit into a girl’s cap), black gloves
Heard a strange bird call in the gorge, which made me think “whip-poor-will,” but it’s most likely not that bird because they’re nocturnal and they’re listed as rare in my birds of the mississippi river guide.
Just as I neared the river road on the east side I heard a honking goose and the bells of St. Thomas.
Saw a few, and by a few I mean less than 10 total, snow flurries in the air.
This route is only 5.6 miles and takes only a little over 50 minutes, but it felt like I ran through a lot of places: cooper neighborhood, on lake street, over the lake street bridge, up marshall in st. paul, beside St. Thomas, on Summit, above the river on the east and west sides, past grand old houses, big brick apartment buildings, corner stores, salons, ice cream parlors, gas stations, cafes, a university, a WWI monument, falls hidden in ravines.
Today’s gray theme is: gray as (the absence of?) color
Thinking about color: Yesterday afternoon, in the chapel at Gustavus, which was not dim but not bright either, I started to notice that looking one direction, toward the far window on the other side, the only color I could see was an occasional red square embedded in the walls (I double-checked with Scott; there were also a bunch of blue squares too). The hymnals 15-20 feet away, which I know are red, looked dark but colorless. Staring out at the crowd of people, everyone looked like they were dressed in dark or light — not quite black or white, just dark clothes or light clothes. No variation, no purples or blues or oranges or anything but dark and light. It was strange, partly because it didn’t feel strange. It wasn’t like I thought, where is all the color? It felt more like when I wake up in the dark and, after my eyes adjust, I see the room and it looks like the room, but just darker, dimmer and without color. And, usually I don’t think there’s no color — sometimes I might even think I see color because I know my robe is purple or the pillow is yellow, or I don’t see yellow, but I recognize the pillow on the couch as that yellow pillow because I already know it’s yellow. Hope this description makes sense to anyone reading this, including future Sara.
Anyway, because my theme for today is gray as color (or colorless) and because I was still thinking about my experience in the chapel last night, I gave particular attention to noticing colors today. I wondered if I would struggle to see colors because it was a gray, darker day. I don’t think so. Would I be able to tell? Here’s the colors I noticed:
10 Colors I Noticed
- green grass, green stoplight
- red stop sign, red stop lights
- yellow stop light, yellow leaves
- rusty brownish red stain on the lake st bridge
- blueish water
- pinkish, purplish jacket on a walker
- orange traffic cone
- brown dirt
- white patches of snow in the corners of the sidewalk
- my black running tights
A few grays that come up a lot in poetry: gun metal gray, pewter
added a few hours later: Thinking about color more and how I see it or don’t see it. This afternoon I was wondering about how others describe their inability to see color in the dark/low light, like when you wake up in the middle of the night, look around, and nothing has color. It’s all dark or light or gray. Using the search, “seeing color in the dark,” I came across this article: Why We See Swirling Color When Our Eyes Are Closed. Among other interesting things, it mentions intrinsic gray or eigengrau:
The color black is often referred to as the absence of light, but when it comes to the human visual system, eigengrau is the color perceived in the absence of light. Eigengrau is a German term that roughly translates to ‘intrinsic gray’ or ‘own gray.’ When deprived of light — as in when our eyes are closed, or when we are in darkness with our eyes open — we are unable to perceive true blackness, and rather, perceive eigengrau. This is because light provides the contrast necessary to perceive darker-ness. For instance, the black ink of text might appear darker than eigengrau because the whiteness of the page provides the contrast the eyes need to understand black.
Here’s a little more info from another article:
Scientists believe that Eigengrau is the dark grey colour that human eyes see in perfect darkness and this is said to be the result of visual signals from optic nerves.
German philosopher and physicist Gustav Theodor Fechner is believed to have investigated and popularized the term Eigengrau. He is also known for his key role in the genesis of the measurement of human perception.Eigengrau is the Dark Gray Colour That Most People See in the Absence of Light
The term eigengrau is not used that often now. Instead, it’s referred to as visual noise or the static in your retina. In the article, eigengrau was also called “brain gray.”