sept 9/RUN

4 miles
marshall loop to prior
65 degrees

Keeping up the weekly tradition of running with Scott. Today we added a few blocks before turning off of Marshall. A great run. My IT band didn’t hurt at the end of it — hooray! 65 felt almost hot, but only in the sun. In the shade it felt like fall. The leaves by the gorge are already starting to turn — a little red, some yellow.

Scott and I didn’t talk much as we ran, which I think helped us to not tire out too soon, but I do remember one conversation. Scott was talking about trying to focus on those brief moments when neither foot is touching the ground and he’s flying. Of course I had to bring up my Haunts poem. The first lines —

I go to
the gorge

to find the
soft space

between beats,

one foot strikes,

the other
lifts off.

When I float.

Running on the bridge, 2 bikers kindly alerted us that they were passing —

on your left…there’s 2 of us…
thank you!
have a wonderful day!
you too!

Such a small thing, but so generous and thoughtful. I hope their bike ride was as good as our run was.

10 Things

  1. running over the bridge, a cross wind — hold onto your hat!
  2. the river was blue and empty — no rowers this morning
  3. continued construction on lake street — a blocked sidewalk, orange cones
  4. running around, sometimes over the little wooden bridges protecting the hoses/pipes/yellow tubes that the entire neighborhood is using to get water while the city is working on the sewers — almost done, Monday we get our water back!
  5. standing in a temporary trench at Marshall and Cretin because the sidewalk is being redone, waiting for the light to change
  6. a grand old plum-colored house on Marshall — I thought it was red, but Scott told me it was plum
  7. another, even grander house on the corner of Prior and Summit — we encountered the giant backyard first. I could see a net for a trampoline just above the fence line
  8. deep voices rising up from the ravine near Shadow Falls
  9. flowers placed next to the railing on the hill just above the lake street bridge — was someone else killed by a car, or is this in memory of someone who died years ago?
  10. Walking through the Minnehaha Academy parking lot at the end of the run — a girls’ soccer game — penalty kick — thwack! Hooray! some boys watching from the parking lot were impressed

reading with ears and writing without eyes

After reading her article in The New Yorker about Dickens and finally writing a historical novel, I put a hold on Zadie Smith’s new novel, Fraud. I started listening to it yesterday. Zadie Smith is reading it, and she does an amazing job — so much fun with her accents for the different characters.

Speaking of audio books, I just finished listening to A Marriage Portrait. Excellent. I loved Hamnet too. I’ll have to read more of Maggie O’Farrell’s work.

In my recent round of requesting books using the Libby app, I’ve been choosing mostly audio books. Reading with my eyes is getting harder. It really doesn’t bother me that much because audio books are amazing. So many choices, with highly skilled narrators.

Gradually over the last several years, I’ve been building up my listening skills, learning to read with my ears instead of eyes — but only through audio books and podcasts. Reading for fun. I have spent very little time learning how to read with my ears in practical situations. I’m not using a screen reader. I don’t listen to my text messages. When I’m writing on this blog, I only use my eyes to proofread what I’ve written. This eyes-only approach has led to an increasing number of typos.

Every so often I worry about how I’ll use this blog, which has so many words, when I can’t read what I’ve written. Over the years, I have experimented a little with dictation — dictating my log entries into my phone — but these experiments have been limited and don’t usually last that long. I think it might be time to step up my efforts, to experiment more, to start developing new habits that can ease me into life without central vision, both practically and creatively, helping me to navigate the world better and to create art that better reflects/communicates how I see and don’t see.

I’d like to return to this book excerpt from Andrew Leland and The Country of the Blind soon, taking up some of what he discusses about Borges, dictation, and writing with screen writers.

A few things I have been thinking about which translate practically, but are about my art, one is about seeing in new ways, the other about not relying on sight.

seeing while writing in new ways: Instead of keeping my writing style the same but accessing it with new technology, like a screen reader, I’m changing my writing style: shifting to the sparseness and blank spaces of poetry, dramatically reducing my word count, experimenting with how many words I can take out and still convey/create meaning.

writing without seeing: In addition to memorizing poetry, I’m interested in exploring/pushing at the sound of poetry and thinking about/studying oral traditions. I’d like to try to find some resources for this. In a quick google search, I found out the oral tradition of cowboy poetry.