A late afternoon walk with Delia and Scott. Colder than expected. 38 degrees. Full winter layers. Winter coat, double gloves, hat. Lots of sun and long shadows leaving gnarled shapes across the sidewalk. A Bluejay screeching. A kid laughing, playing baseball with an adult (his dad?) at the Howe playground. Cars commuting home on the river road.

We talked about a new word I learned: nocebo (as opposed to placebo) and Scott’s work today. I mentioned that I’m feeling out of sorts with my writing practice. Too many directions, too many BIG concepts. I want to get back to writing my small poems.

earlier in the day

After 3 days of running in a row and a calf feeling much better but still on the mend, it’s time for a break. I decided to leave my watch off too. No stands or workout minutes or calories burned. No monitoring of my heart rate or my balance. I’m still moving — baking and cleaning and doing laundry and taking the dog for a walk — even if that movement isn’t making a sound.

Speaking of watches, 2 days ago I wrote about time and the clock. Here are some more references to time I’d like to remember:


That loneliness is just an ongoing 
Relationship with time. 
(Lake of the Isles/ Anni Liu)


Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.
(Let it be Forgotten/ Sara Teasdale)


When the big clock at the train station stopped,
the leaves kept falling,
the trains kept running,
my mother’s hair kept growing longer and blacker,
and my father’s body kept filling up with time.
(Big Clock/ Li-Young Lee)


Mosses, I think, are like time made visible. They create a kind of botanical forgetting. Shoot by tiny shoot, the past is obscured in green. That’s why we have stories, so we can remember.

The mosses remember that this is not the first time the glaciers have melted. If time is a line, as western thinking presumes, we might think this is a unique moment for which we have to devise a solution that enables that line to continue. If time is a circle, as the Indigenous worldview presumes, the knowledge we need is already within the circle; we just have to remember it to find it again and let it teach us. That’s where the storytellers come in.
(Ancient Green/ Robin Wall Kimmerer)


IN THE ANISHINAABE languages of Skywoman, our words for moss, aasaakamig and aasaakamek, carry the meaning “those ones who cover the earth.” Soft, moist, protective, they turn time into life, covering the transient and softening the transition to another state.
(Ancient Green/ Robin Wall Kimmerer)


Time is a circle reminded me of the tracking of the “wheeling life” that I did while running last year. I was inspired by Forrest Gander’s poem “Circumambulation of Mount Tamalpas”:

maculas of light fallen weightless from
pores in the canopy our senses
part of the wheeling life around us and through
an undergrowth stoked with the unseen
go the reverberations of our steps

the wheeling life: 10 things

  1. car wheels, near the road — relentless, too fast, noisy
  2. car wheels, below, on the winchell trail — a gentle hum, quiet, distant
  3. bike wheels, approaching from behind very slowly — a little kid biking to school with his mom who had a carrier with another kid behind her seat
  4. bike wheels, nearby, another kid and adult on the way to school
  5. the wheel of life as a loop: a favorite route, running south, looping back north, first on edmund, then on the winchell trail
  6. the wheel of life as transformation: red leaves decorate a tree halfway to the river
  7. the wheel of life as cycles: not the end of the year, but the beginning — school time: kids at the elementary school
  8. the wheel of life as constant motion: on the trail, below the road and above the river, everything is active: birds calling, squirrels rustling, wheels traveling, river flowing, feet moving, leaves and lungs breathing
  9. the wheels of life as cycle: always in late september, hot and humid and too sunny
  10. the wheels of life as transformation: thinning leaves, falling acorns, a small view of the river