minnehaha falls and back
24 degrees / feels like 9
wind: 16 mph / path: 99% snow-covered
This run was both hard and easy, and I loved it. Hard because of the wind, often in my face, and the soft, slippery snow. Easy because it felt so good to be outside and moving through the wintery world.
Even with yak trax, the soft snow makes it harder for me to lift my legs. Today I felt it in my right knee — what I call the “OG” knee because it’s the one that first started giving me problems (my kneecap was slipping out of the groove) and that led to never doing the marathon. Every so often, a short sharp pang. Nothing too alarming, just enough to remind me that my body is still here, tethering me to the world. I started thinking about Thomas Gardner and something I wrote almost exactly (one day off) 6 years ago, right after I started writing in this blog:
My right calf is still a little stiff from where I strained it last week doing mile repeats in the cold. Just enough to not let me out of my body.Poverty Creek Journal/ Thomas Gardner
I wrote: “Even as we try to transcend our bodies while running, we are constantly reminded of our limits. We are bodies. We need that reminder to ground us and to keep us from getting too lost in the dreamlike state that running creates (jan 26, 2017).
As I ran this morning, I thought about how I like that running outside in the winter tethers/connects me to my body. It’s impossible for me to get too lost in any dreamlike state, or any one thought or series of thoughts. The path, the wind, the cold always brings me back to my body. Sometimes, bringing me back to my body involves suffering and complaining, but more often it is about grounding me and helping me to stop overthinking things. Of course, these reflections only came in flashes that lasted less than a minute or two. When I’m running, I can’t hold onto thoughts for longer than that. Now, as I write this, I’m sure that I’m missing something else I was thinking while moving. It all made so much sense as flashes and feelings. Much harder to remember it and put it into words later!
10 Things I Noticed: Wind
- running south, the wind was in my face
- cold, but not brain-freeze cold
- strong, but not strong enough to shove me off the path
- I could hear it rushing through the dead leaves on the trees in the oak savanna — sizzling
- it stirred up an occasional dead leaf from the ground
- at one point, I felt the spray of water on my cheek — was that the wind blowing the snow? probably
- ahead of me on the trail, I could see something big-gish — was it a chunk of hard snow or ice? no, it was a branch with a few orange leaves on it. As I ran past it I was startled when the wind picked up and made it move slightly
- near the falls, I felt the wind from several directions — was it swirling, or was I winding, or both?
- no sledders enjoying the hill — is this because of the strong wind?
- the wind was not loud enough to roar, but it seemed to grumble non-stop for most of my run
Found this poem the other day when it showed up in my instagram feed. It’s from episode #799 for The Slowdown Show:
Fragment (Stone)/ Ann Lauterbach
What has a soul, or pain, to do with a stone?
You could walk not far through the grass to the shed barefoot
restless eye landing on distance there not far you could walk
looking down at various grasses weeds clover along the way
your toes in the green the undersides of your feet the cool damp
where is significance you think as you imagine walking across
grass to the shed barefoot what counts here does anything count
on the short walk while looking down and then over then up
at the catbird in the lilac where there are now dry brown sprays
at the robin hopping in the grass over there what counts you ask
incredulous at the pace not your pace the pace of time as if
rolling downhill gathering speed wound around
itself like giant twine but invisible so not present
in the sense of seen the way you assign to the visible presence
even as what is on your mind as you walk across the grass toward
the shed is invisible names their persons hunger mistakes
the lost and the recently slaughtered because of words
believed by the hopeless lost from view tossed
into the past like a weed a rind a stone found in grass
so find solace in the particular single crow high in the dead ash
its one-note cry sky pale blue low light sliding across wires.
I was drawn to this poem because it reminded me of how I think and how I notice as I’m walking. Lots of wandering and words running together without a break. One thought into the next. From here to here to here.