march 9/RUN

4.5 miles
minnehaha falls and back
32 degrees / light snow
99% clear path!

Hooray for slightly warmer weather and finally having a clear trail. This winter has been especially bad for icy, treacherous paths. Today there was some wind and snowflakes flying like daggers in my face, but there was also sizzling in the trees (from dead leaves shaking in the wind), a gushing waterfall, and a flowing creek. I don’t remember looking down at the river even once, but I do remember listening for the sewer pipe at 42nd (more gushing water) and glancing down at the sledding hill at the park (empty of sledders but not of snow). I thought about how this felt like a late winter, early spring snow: not likely to last. I appreciated how the new flakes covered the old ugly gray snow that’s been accumulating since december. Yesterday I noticed it too, while walking and thought it looked like powdered sugar on a cake with a cracked crust.

On the second half of my run, I recited the poem I memorized last night, Listen by Didi Jackson. Not in my head this time, but out loud. Quietly, but more than a whisper. The poem was easy to speak as I moved. Maybe I should road test all of the poems I write? If it’s not easy to recite while moving, it needs to be revised! It can’t be too easy, though.

my body doing strange things

Yesterday after my run, I had something strange and unsettling happen. All of a sudden, without warning, my ears plugged up, my head felt full or stuffed up or about to explode, and I could feel the vibrations of sounds. Everything felt (not just sounded) loud. So loud! Not painful, just uncomfortable. And there was constant noise. Sometimes it sounded like a dryer with something thump thump thumping in it. Sometimes it sounded like I was standing next to the engine of a plane. And sometimes it sounded like the inside of a seashell. My ear often gets plugged up, but never like this. It lasted the rest of the day and until I went to bed (around 12:30 am). I woke up today, and it was gone.

What happened? My best guess is that it was an intense episode of tinnitus, possibly brought on by something that happened Tuesday night during band rehearsal. Whoever was playing timpani decided to hit the drum as hard as they could. BOOM! The noise was so loud it made me jump in my chair.

Before my run, I revisited a poem I first posted on this blog on feb 16, 2019: Hymn to Life by James Schuyler. Wow, is this poem long! Too long for me and my failing vision. But so good. Here is a passage I’d like to remember (and maybe use someday):

The turning of the globe is not so real to us   
As the seasons turning and the days that rise out of early gray   
—The world is all cut-outs then—and slip or step steadily down   
The slopes of our lives where the emotions and needs sprout.

Hymn to Life/ James Schuyler

I especially like the idea of early gray as a time when the world is all cut-outs. That’s my world a lot of the time. Flat, not quite real, only forms, cut-outs.

An idea: I think I’ll print out this poem and put it under the glass on my desk to read and reread all month! I haven’t read much James Schuyler, but what I have, I like. Linda Pastan talks about him somewhere (in an interview? a poem — I’ll look it up later) and I can see his influence in this poem. Not too long ago, I found out about his diary and I’ve wanted to get it. It’s out-of-print, with only expensive, used copies available, at least where I’m looking.

update on the previous paragraph:
First, I did print it out and am slowly making my way through it.
Second, Linda Pastan talks about William Stafford, not James Schuyler. Maybe I was thinking about this discussion (A Day Like Any Other: A Discussion of James Schuyler’s “February”)of Schuyler that I listened to at the same time I was reading Pastan?

In case I decide to study Schuyler some more, here’s something to read: Some James Schuyler Resources