edmund, north/river road trail, north/seabury, south/river road trail, south
snow/ice-covered 75% (path) 25% (road)
For the first time since Monday, I was able to run outside. Hooray! What a difference it makes — for how the run feels, how I feel after the run — to run outside above the gorge. I ran on the road for part of it to avoid the worst stretches of the trail. Lots of loosely packed, slippery snow. I wasn’t as worried about falling as I was about having all my energy drained from the effort of running through the snow. Because of the bad conditions, I stopped to walk a few times.
Ran north to the Franklin bridge with no headphones. Turned around and put in a playlist.
10 Things I Noticed
- some of the roads were bare, others were still covered in soft, slippery snow
- a walker ahead of me on edmund was wearing a bright orange jacket
- running north, the wind was at my back. Returning south, in my face — cold and stubborn
- the river road was thick with cars, a steady stream
- a few bikers, more walkers, some runners
- a runner in a blue jacket, carefully making his way down the icy path near franklin
- an orange sign, a porta potty, a few barricades off to the side: there must have been a race earlier today
- a congress of crows cawing furiously, the sound echoing through the alley
- the scrape of a shovel on a sidewalk somewhere
- heading up from below the lake street bridge, hearing the wind shaking the dead leaves on the oak trees, sounding almost like water dripping — or was it water dripping?
Things I Forgot to Notice, or Didn’t Notice
- the river — don’t remember looking at it even once
- no regulars — no Dave the Daily Walker or Mr. Morning! or Daddy Long Legs or Mr. Holiday
- no geese
- no woodpeckers
- no black-capped chickadees
- no fat tires
- no kids laughing and sledding
- no overheard conversations
- no darting squirrels
- no music blasting from cars or smart phone speakers
Scrolling through twitter, I happened upon this poem:
Letter from the Catskills/ David Eye
Cousin–When a dozen robins blew into the yard yesterday–
I’d never seen so many–I watched them hop, cock their heads,
grab the thaw’s first worms. Such a pleasure, those yam-
colored breast feathers. Then snow las night, enough
for a fine white pelt, mostly gone by midday. (You’re better
off doing your play in the City, till it warms up for good.)
I wonder if the snow melted or–what’s that word?–
sublimed. To go from solid to gas, skipping liquid altogether.
The way I’d like to die. Grocery-shopping last night, I swear
I felt like such a loser. Not a fully set of teeth in the house,
yet I’m the freak: 45, alone at the Liberty Shop-Rite. And a snob:
can you believe it took four people to help me find capers?
So many breakups. My sister got the only keeper. God, I love
those kids. I dream of children almost every night. Awake,
I’m a eunuch. New vocal warmup, repeat before you go on
tonight: “unique New York eunuch unique New York
eunuch….” Give your boy a squeeze. The robins are back.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot about how poetry makes the familiar strange, but I think poetry can also make the strange familiar. Give us a door into the unfamiliar so we can get to know someone else and their experiences. The door in for me with this poem was all the robins. This past week, I saw so many fat robins on my crab apple tree, swaying and bobbing and getting drunk off the shriveled up apples.
a note about editing: I have a lot of typos in my writing. I didn’t used to. For years, that was a super power, being able to catch all the errors and to write a draft with hardly any mistakes. Now, I make lots of spelling errors (before I fixed it, I had spelled crab apple, CRAP apple), leave out articles and other secondary words, and for some reason, use an excessive amount of commas. I feel like I over-comma everything. Why? I think these errors and excessive commas are happening because I’m getting older, I’m writing more, the way spellcheck is set up with autocorrect is fucked up, and my declining vision. I think my declining vision is probably the biggest culprit. It’s frustrating and irritating and humbling to confront a decline like this, but I’m working on reframing it. Less of a decline, more of a shift to new practices and less worrying about stupid typos that don’t really matter. Maybe I’ll write a poem about it?