dec 6/RUN

5.6 miles
franklin loop
20 degrees / felt like 12
25% snow-covered

A wonderful run on a wonderful, wintery morning! Sunny, calm, cold but not too cold. I know I noticed many different things, had lots of interesting thoughts, but I’m distracted now, having read a beautiful, caring, generous post from a friend from grad school about sickness and death and recently being diagnosed with cancer. Ugh. I wanted to write a comment, to do more than “like” her Facebook post, but…too many thoughts. I’m thinking about Ross Gay and inciting joy and grief and how joy can show up when we’re willing to let others meet our sorrow and willing to take the time to meet theirs. About how much I appreciate my friend’s words and her story, how awful it is that she’s living in limbo for weeks, waiting to hear how bad her cancer is, how I felt every word and didn’t look away. About how cancer and death and grief are everywhere — Scott lost 2 aunts, a mother, and a beloved godmother in the second half of 2022, one after the other: August, September, October, November. And about the beautiful words I heard from the poet Kemi Alabi on the VS. podcast when she was asked what was moving her:

Grief is moving me. Like it’s literally running me, I feel so governed by grief. And not just personally or with my community, but collectively just seems like you can’t walk down the street without encountering, stumbling on this grief. So I’m thinking about Rebellious Mourning. That’s actually the name of an anthology, where a lot of poets thinkers and movement builders are considering what it means to mobilize around our grief, understanding that so many social movements are catalyzed by collective grief at the injustices that we’re experiencing. Grief can be a really powerful force to harness for transformation, if we’re allowed the space to be together with it, to honor it, and to actually move through it together, to let it move us, and to not run from it. 

Kemi Alabi vs. Divinity

Typing all of this out reminds me of one feeling I had throughout the run. I felt tender — not quite raw, but vulnerable, open to others, having experienced great loss recently. Apparently Scott hates the word tender; it ranks up there as one of the worst words with moist. I love it, devoted September to it. I don’t think I’d say I enjoy being tender, but I deeply appreciate the space it allows me to inhabit, the openness it offers.

10+ Things I Noticed

  1. the river: mostly frozen over with a thin skin of ice. Where the ice was thinner, it looked gray, thicker white
  2. a strange back-up on the franklin bridge. not sure what was happening. Cars were stopped, one was diagonal. No evidence of a collision. Heard some honking after I passed it
  3. a man walking 3, or was it 4?, dogs
  4. at least one bike
  5. saw my shadow off to the side, dark-ish gray
  6. colors: a lot of gray, pale blue sky, an orange cone, my pink jacket and gloves, red stop sign, sepia-toned ice, yellow dividing line on the bike path, yellow truck
  7. the air was cold as I breathed it in
  8. the biking path on the east side of the river, mostly clear
  9. some loud thuds — from the construction being done on a house across from the river?
  10. the sharp, whining whirr of a drill, or some other tool, being used by a road worker in a yellow vest in a hole in the street
  11. lifting my knees as I powered up the last hill

Near the end of my run, walking up the steps to the lake street bridge, I stopped and recorded the following thoughts. Then I put in a Taylor Swift playlist.

notes / dec 6