dec 8/RUN

5.5 miles
bottom of franklin hill and back
19 degrees
80% snow-covered

Hooray for blue sky, not too much wind, staying upright on slippery paths! Another wonderful winter run. Ran north without headphones. Greeted Dave, the Daily Walker. Noticed how the river was almost completely white — the dusting of snow we got yesterday morning covered the thin ice. Heard some chirping birds. Saw a few runners in bright yellow shirts, one running fast with a dog. Right before turning around at the bottom of the hill, I noticed a few open spots on the river — dark water in contrast to the white ice. Ran back up the hill. When I reached the top, I stopped, fumbled with my headphones, and put in a playlist. I ran back south listening to Harry Styles, Elton John, Foo Fighters, and Queen.

Inciting Joy: Skateboarding, the Fifth Incitement

For December, I’m reading Ross Gay’s Inciting Joy. Here are some notes for the fifth incitement.

Skateboarding: skateboarding with a friend, beholding each other as you attempt to do tricks in a dark parking lot after hours — a feeling of groundless (the mysterious, unknown). Also: sharing extra parts with skateboarding buddies (practicing gift economy). Gay places this practice of possible joy/ethics of sharing in larger context of 80s excess/hoarding of wealth, especially in terms of property and the criminalizing of skateboarding in public spaces, or private spaces that weren’t yours.

a new word: USUFRUCT “the right to enjoy the use and advantages of another’s property short of the destruction or waste of its substance.” As in, “Gonz (famous skateboarder) is just one of a trillion apostles of the form, the genre–is because he usufructs the skateable world, which includes benches, picnic tables, walls, handrails, flights of steps, curbs, fire hydrants, ledges, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, loading docks, loading ramps, bus stops…” (Gay, 60).

Wow. Gay’s ability to move between his particular lived experiences and a more general context is amazing. What a writer! And the idea of joy as not looking away from the larger, less joyful context, is so powerful and helpful.

I love the ethics and possibilities for joy around sharing your bucket of parts:

It was the just the case that whatever you had extra–and skateboarding, with its many components (decks, wheels, bearings, trucks, bushings, riser pads, rails, Rip Grip, bolts, etc. ) made for extra–you passed along. Most of us had a bucket of some sort where, when someone needed something, we dug around to find it. I never once heard anyone express it as an ethics (sharing, redistribution, commonwealthing), though if you tried to keep your extra to yourself, if you spoke to no one of your bucket, and then it got out you had one…the reaction would be an ethical one: Yo, that’s fucked up, man.

Sharing the bucket = sharing parts; sharing in the experience of skating into the unknown, over railings, across dark parking lots, over bumps; sharing space — public, private, off limits; and sharing “skateable” locations. I love the last line of the chapter:

join us at the new spot, this new stain , this wreckage, this abandonment, this ruin, this commons, this c’mon.

Found this poem on Instagram this morning, via The Slowdown. I love its compact lines and the idea of “the soft dislodging of eyes.”

sunrise through mount vernon, wa/ Jasmine Khaliq

after beauty I am
entranced by the soft
dislodging of eyes:

blurs of cows
necks sloping

colors thinner
than water
and running

this is where
I most miss
the dead:

a highway pasture
bisected body
and always

I am on the other side