Hot and sticky. Sprinklers everywhere. Ran through one just before I reached the lake street bridge. Crossing, I glanced down at the rowers on the river. Rowers! I couldn’t hear them, and I could barely see them over the bridge railing, but they were there. Was it a nice day to row, or too hot and windless? The trails were crowded with groups of runners taking over the paths.
Listened to the sprinklers, water falling over the limestone at Shadow Falls, birds for the first 2/3 of the run. Put in my headphones as I walked up the steps of the lake street bridge and listened to Billie Eilish and Dolly Parton and Elton John as I ran (with a few walk breaks) home.
Now, after the run, I’m wiped and can’t think of much to write about the run or water or anything, really.
Just one more thing. Before I ran, I read through this Carl Phillips poem — not a slow, close reading, but a quick one. As I ran, I occasionally thought about rivers and what kind of subjects/selves they are and how loving them is different than loving lakes (which is something I focused on 2 years ago).
Sunlight in Fog/ Carl Phillips
Maybe what a river loves most
about the banks that hold it—that appear to hold it—
is their willingness or resignation to being
mere context for the river’s progress
or retreat, depending. And maybe how the cattails
and reeds flourish there means they prefer
a river-love—how the river, running always away
the way rivers tend to, stands as proof that reliability
doesn’t have to mean steadfast, how the river
itself would say so, if a river could say…I’ve forgotten
entirely what it felt like to enter his body
or to be entered by his. But not how he’d spend
long afternoons—as if to look away had become
impossible—just watching his face get routinely
blurred by the river’s motion, like an
inside-out version, psychologically, of a painting
where the model sleeps beneath a portrait
of himself not sleeping, if that makes
any sense…Not, I mean, that he wasn’t capable
of love, but that—like history already mistaking itself
for myth again—he loved a river.