june 5/RUN

3.1 miles
2 trails
79 degrees
dew point: 62

Hot, thick, very poor air quality. There’s a warning about the bad air until midnight: “fine particle pollution” from wild fires in Quebec. I don’t think it really bothered me as I ran.

I ran south on the dirt trail in the grass between edmund and the river road, crossed over to the trail, then headed down to the southern entrance of the Winchell Trail. Ran north until 38th, took the steps up, returned to trail past the ravine, through the tunnel of trees, then crossed over the edmund at 33rd.

Listened to cars whooshing by, kids heading to school, water sprinkling out of the sewer pipe for the first 2 miles. Listened to a Bruno Mars playlist for the last mile.

Before the run, I was thinking about water and The Odyssey — I was reading it all weekend — and how much Odysseus and his men ache for home. And I was imagining how restless they’ll be if and when they get home and stay for too long. Restlessness and staying reminded me of a few things:

Mary Oliver’s restless water and her satisfied stones in The Leaf and the Cloud:

It is the nature of stone
to be satisfied.
It is the nature of water
to want to be somewhere else.

Faith Shearin and the ones who stay, including Penelope:

Odysseus spent years trying to come home
but Penelope never left. He was seduced

by women with islands and sung to by sirens;
he held the wind in a bottle. But Penelope
slept differently in the same bed, weaving

and unweaving the daily details while men
she did not love gathered in her kitchen.
Her face grew thinner, her son grew taller.

And my own thoughts and words about restlessness in the wordle experiment for today:

details: 5 tries, trend/plane/neigh/skein/ENNUI, 2 poems

The latest trend
among those trapped in a post-pandemic plane
is to neigh with horsey impatience
softly scream into a skein of restlessness

The Horse Girls
on the plane between child and young adult
wild neigh and reserved whinny
they skein obsessions
out of their edgy ennui OR out of their ennui

So, I started the run with all of these thoughts still lingering. Within a mile, I started thinking more about restlessness and water. At the end of the run, I pulled out my smart phone and recorded some of those thoughts:

june 5, 2023

transcript: June 5. Just finished my 2 trails run, a 5K. Today I was thinking about restlessness and water and the idea that usually water is restless, constantly moving. But today, in this thick humid morning with haze and poor air quality, it is everything else that is restless, and the water that refuses to move. The river stills. The sweat hovers on my chin, refusing to fall, to bring relief. We are restless: the cars, impatient, as they move past me on the road. Even my legs, as I try to run down hills, refuse to move with any speed. Contrast between the restless and the still.

I remember looking at the river and seeing haze. The only water that was moving at all was the water steadily dripping out of the sewer pipe.

Another thing I just remembered from before my run: I briefly thought about a vision poem I encountered last week and have wanted to post here. Today’s the day!

Motion/ Jessica Goodfellow

Because my husband is going slowly
blind, the lights in our house have motion
sensors. As I walk through the rooms
I am the star of the show, lit one-by-one by
spotlights as I go. Desiring the dark,
I must sit motionless. One itch, one twitch,
and up come the houselights, rendering
me suddenly—again—audience of me.

Tonight we are sitting in the dark
beside the Christmas tree. Its strands
of blinking lights remind my husband
of his childhood, when he could see.
I find it funny they don’t remind him of
the blinking lights that ring the edges of
his eye field, proof of his rods and cones
one-by-one dying. Not ha-ha funny, the other kind.

There are things ha-ha funny about going
blind though. Like that time he walked
wearing a three-piece wool suit into the deep
end of a swimming pool in a hotel in Italy.
I wasn’t there—he told me later.
I was at home, turning lights on and off
through only my anxious pacing.

Sitting by the Christmas tree, I squeeze
my husband’s hand—squeeze and release,
squeeze and release—my hand blinking
in his. It’s such a tiny motion the sensors
don’t detect it. Someday my husband will
sit in the dark and wave his arms wildly
and still be in the dark. One-by-one every-
thing happens, every disappearance appears.