More spring-like weather. Above freezing. Sun. The sound of snow melting everywhere, especially under the lake street bridge. I checked and the last time I ran the franklin loop was on December 13th. It’s nice to get this view of the river again.
Felt relaxed. My knees ached a little — not an injury, just grumbling over the month of uneven, icy paths. Speaking of paths, the trail on the east side of the river was rough — ice, deep puddles — between Franklin and the trestle. I had to stop and walk a few times.
10+ Things I Noticed
- a V of geese above me. When I first noticed them through my peripheral vision, I thought they were a plane
- a white form up in the air. A cloud? No, a plane. It took me a minute to finally see it in my central vision
- crossing the Franklin bridge, the river was covered in a steel blue ice
- the bridge trail was mostly clear. The part shaded by the railing was not
- everywhere the moisture on the path shone so bright that I couldn’t tell if it was only water or slippery ice. (it was mostly water)
- crossing under the railroad trestle on the west side, I heard the beep beep beep of the alarm. I wondered if a train was coming. (I never saw or heard one)
- heard some bike wheels behind me, then voices calling out Ice! I moved over and stopped to let them pass, then watched as they slowly navigated the ice on their thin wheels
- lots of whooshing wheels and noises that sounded like sploosh! as cars drove through the puddles collecting on the edge of the road
- a favorite late fall spot: right before the meeker dam, there’s an opening in the trees and a clear, broad view of the river and the other side
- the river down below the trestle on the east side looked like an otherwordly wasteland. Brown, riddled with broken up ice
- crossing back over the lake street bridge from east to west, the river looked like an ice rink that had been skated on for too long and needed a Zamboni
- running down the hill from the bridge to the path, a woman crossing the river road called out, Oh! As I neared her, I stopped and she said, It’s slippery!
When I stopped running to walk up the lake street bridge steps, I could hear and see the water gushing down through the pipe under the bridge. I had to stop and record it.
Here’s my Pastan poem for the day. I found it before I went out for my run. My goal was to try and listen for voices out there by the gorge, and I did, somewhat. The woman who cried out when she almost slipped. 2 women walking on the bridge above, when I was below. The biker calling out Ice! A tree, its dead leaves rustling in the breeze. The soft not quite gushing of the limestone seeping melting snow. The drip drip drip of water off the bridge.
For Miriam, Who Hears Voices/ Linda Pastan
If the voices are there
you can’t ignore them,
whether they come up through the floorboard
on a conduit of music
or in a rattle of words that make sounds
but no sense.
They can be messages from the sky
in the form of rain at the window, or in the cold
silent statements of snow.
Sometimes it’s the dead talking,
and there is comfort in that
like listening to your parents in the next room,
and perhaps it’s the same parents still talking
years after they’ve gone.
If you’re lucky, the vowels
you hear are shaped like sleep–
simple cries from the thicket
of your dreams. You lie in bed.
If the voices are there, you listen.
I am always looking for poems about love (not necessarily “love” poems). This one popped up on my twitter feed this morning. As a bonus, it’s about winter and fits with my theme of layers for next week AND it has wild turkeys in it!
How to Love/ January Gil O’Neil
After stepping into the world again,
there is that question of how to love,
how to bundle yourself against the frosted morning—
the crunch of icy grass underfoot, the scrape
of cold wipers along the windshield—
and convert time into distance.
What song to sing down an empty road
as you begin your morning commute?
And is there enough in you to see, really see,
the three wild turkeys crossing the street
with their featherless heads and stilt-like legs
in search of a morning meal? Nothing to do
but hunker down, wait for them to safely cross.
As they amble away, you wonder if they want
to be startled back into this world. Maybe you do, too,
waiting for all this to give way to love itself,
to look into the eyes of another and feel something—
the pleasure of a new lover in the unbroken night,
your wings folded around him, on the other side
of this ragged January, as if a long sleep has ended.
As a bonus, this poem also has another thing I’m always trying to find: a reference to the idea of looking into someone’s eyes and really seeing them as (one of) the key metaphors for being fully human. I’m collecting these examples because they bother me. With my failing central vision, I can’t really look into a person’s eyes and see them. Does this mean I can’t be fully human?