Warm, but low humidity. Ran later, at 11:30. Some shade, mostly sun. Ran south on the dirt trail between edmund and the river road. Yesterday it was mostly wet and muddy, today dry and dusty. Crossed over to the river road trail, then down to Winchell just before 44th. I don’t remember much about the river except that it was white and very bright. The trees were green and thick. No leaning trunks today. Also no sleeping bodies passed out on the path.
Listened to more acorns dropping — clink clunk thump — and kids yelling as they biked or played at the playground for most of the run. After ascending the 38th street steps, I put in Taylor Swift’s 1989 and she welcomed me to New York.
- right before starting to run: a dark brown, almost black, squirrel sitting up on its hind legs — did it have an acorn? I couldn’t tell
- pale, dusty dirt on the boulevard path
- the squeaky groan of the bed of a big truck tilting down to drop off some type of giant machine on the road
- passing by a walker on the narrow winchell trail — right behind you! — as water dripped dripped dripped out of the sewer pipe below
- running on the tips of my toes as I traveled up the short, very steep grade near folwell
- 3 or 4 small stones stacked on the ancient boulder by the sprawling oak tree
- passing by the old stone steps that lead to the river, the flash of an idea: why not take these steps down to the river? another flash: bugs, heat, no time to stop. So I didn’t
- another groups of kids in yellow vests biking on the trail, the leader/adult calling out, stay on your side of the lane!
- doing quick steps to avoid the tree roots just barely sticking out of the dirt on the trail at the top of edmund
- listening to the line in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”:
Did you have to do this?
I was thinking that you could be trusted
Did you have to ruin what was shiny?
Now it’s all rusted
and thinking about shiny vs. rusted, and rust in the fall, then I noticed some rust on one of the big metal tubes all around the neighborhood that the city is using for their sewer work — Scott says these tubes get placed vertically in the ground and the workers stand in them as they do their work
The World / Marie Howe
I couldn’t tell one song from another, which bird said what or to whom or for
The oak tree seemed to be writing something using very few words.
I couldn’t decide which door to open—they looked the same, or what would
I did reach out and turn a knob. I thought I was safe, standing there, but my
its date: only so many summer nights still stood before me, full moon, waning
October mornings: what to make of them? which door?
I couldn’t tell which stars were which or how far away any one of them was, or
were still burning or not—their light moving through space like a long late
and I’ve lived on this earth so long, 50 winters, 50 springs and summers,
and all this time stars have stood in the sky—in daylight when I couldn’t see
at night, when most nights I didn’t look.
This idea that stars are there all the time, even in the day when we can’t see them, seems to be (at least in my limited experience) a favorite of poets. Also: the moon!, the fact that stars are dead by the time we see them, so we’re looking at ghosts, and the realization that ponies are not baby horses (I encountered this revelation, sometimes with the annoying phrase, I was today years old when I realized that ponies aren’t baby horses, from poetry people). All of these, sources of wonder and delight. I suppose they are for me, well maybe not the horses/ponies thing.
Currently I’m reading Andrew Leland’s The Country of the Blind and it’s amazing. His descriptions of becoming blind, or being in this state of living while losing sight, not living with lost sight, resonate a lot for me, especially the idea of doubting your own vision loss and his experiences with eye doctors:
(note: I didn’t have time to transcribe this page, but I will come back to do it and put in alt text for others who already can’t see the image, and for me who will soon not be able to.
swim: 3 swell loops
lake nokomis open swim
So many swells in the water today. For most of it, I felt like I was being pulled down into the water. Not very buoyant. I wondered if I would able to do 3 loops. But as I got deeper into the swim, I felt stronger and more able to keep going.
- little minnows near the shore — hello friends!
- being rocked — not roughly or gently but in a way that made it difficult to push through the water
- getting stuck behind a woman swimming backstroke and getting way off course — is she swimming backstroke? is that the green buoy, way over there?
- racing a wetsuit on the back end of the first loop. Did he realize we were racing, or was it just me? I won
- the far orange buoy was much closer to the little beach than it has been all season
- spotted one swan, no sail boat or wandering canoes
- sighting other swimmers by the bubbles their feet made under the water
- the orange buoys looked like they had white patches as I got closer to them — the sun was shining extra bright on them, I guess
- no birds or planes that I remember but one zooming dragonfly
- felt like I was on a people mover for the last stretch between the last green buoy and first orange one — swimming so fast, pushed along by the swells behind me
Recited Mary Oliver’s “Swimming, One Day in August” in my head as I swam the last loop and realized something. She writes:
Something had pestered me so much
that I felt like my heart would break.
I mean, the mechanical part.
The mechanical part? I realized that her heart breaking is a good thing here and that her mechanical heart is the one that follows the beat of organized, tightly contained time, broken down into hours and minutes and seconds so we can be as efficient and productive as possible. Yes! Swimming in the lake can break me open and out of time’s rigid boxes.