dec 22/RUN

5.15 miles
bottom of franklin hill and back
38 degrees / 93% humidity

Misty with drizzle this morning before the run, misty and damp during it. Everything fuzzy and dreamy, muffled by the wet air. Wonderful weather for a run (rereading this bit an hour later, I realize that it might sound sarcastic. It’s not. I love running in the rain and the mist. There was no wind and it wasn’t too cold.) I felt strong and relaxed and glad to be outside moving.

2 Regulars to greet: Daddy Long Legs and Dave, the Daily Walker. Actually, it might have been 3. I’m not positive but I think I exchanged waves with the women I talked to one day who tried to fix me up with another runner — I called her Mrs. Fixer-Upper, or something like that. Anyway, I exchanged good mornings with DDL for the first time. And then Dave wished me a Merry Christmas — you too! Merry Christmas!

Listened to the dripping and the hum of far off traffic as I ran north. Put in an old playlist for the last mile.

a ridiculous performance

Haven’t made note of one of these for some time — just checked and the last time was last December (14th) and I wrote almost the exact same first sentence! Before getting to the performance, here’s something I wrote on 23 june 2020 explaining my use of the phrase:

This idea of a “rather ridiculous performance” is a line from Mary Oliver’s “Invitation”: “I beg of you/do not walk by/without pausing/to attend to/this rather ridiculous performance.” Maybe I’ll try to make a list of the rather ridiculous performances I encounter/witness?

Today’s ridiculous performance was a guy running up the franklin hill backwards. He was part shuffling part skipping part running up it with a hood on. As I ran down, I could see him ahead of me, but I assumed he was running down the hill. I almost ran into him before I realized he didn’t know I was there. Wow — that would feel strange, I think, shuffling backwards up a hill, unable to see anything you were approaching. I’ve heard of people running backwards for training or coming back from an injury. Was that what this person was doing?

10 Things

  1. a thin mist/fog hovering in the air
  2. new graffiti all over one of the franklin bridge support posts
  3. a walker and their dog crossing the river road then taking the steps down to the muddy Winchell Trail
  4. no chain at the top of the old stone steps, blocking the way down to the river — I bet it’s slippery today!
  5. ice on the edges of the river, below, near longfellow flats
  6. no stones stacked on the boulder
  7. all of the benches were empty
  8. halfway down the hill, I noticed some stairs on the other side of the road I’ve never noticed before. Were they leading to the franklin terrace dog park?
  9. June’s white ghost bike was hanging from the trestle
  10. bright car headlights cutting through the foggy mist

seeps

Before the run, I was reading about seeps and springs. Decided to think about them and why I might want to be one as I was running. In particular I was interested in how being a seep is different than becoming a boulder, which I’ve already written about. I recorded my thoughts after running up the franklin hill.

As I ran down the hill, I thought about how gravity pulls water down. A line: no need to navigate. Spilling over, onto, into. Always exceeding. Relentless. Opening up, making room, creating space. Never encased, contained, fully controlled. Slow, steady, drip drip drip. Saturates, permeates, soaks.

The author of article from 1997 I was reading — Along the Great Wall: Mapping the Springs of the Twin Cities — didn’t think too highly of seeps: little, inconsequential, too abundant for mapping. He focused on springs. I like the small, quiet, unassuming nature of seeps. More to think about and push at with that idea.

From a few poems I found after searching for seeps — things that seep: blood, sun, gas, chill, a seeping back in sleep to glorious childhood memories of baseball, water, light, an hour….and this, which made me stop my search so I could post this poem:

Louisiana Line/ Betty Adcock

The wooden scent of wagons,
the sweat of animals—these places
keep everything—breath of the cotton gin,
black damp floors of the icehouse.

Shadows the color of a mirror’s back
break across faces. The luck
is always bad. This light is brittle,
old pale hair kept in a letter.
The wheeze of porch swings and lopped gates
seeps from new mortar.

Wind from an axe that struck wood
a hundred years ago
lifts the thin flags of the town.

I like this idea of the past seeping from/into the present — like the wheezy echo of an old porch swing seeping from a new building.

dec 15/RUN

7.25 miles
lake nokomis and back
41 degrees

Ran to Lake Nokomis and back — a December goal achieved! A few weeks ago, I told Scott that I wanted to do that at least once before the end of 2023. Today was a great day to do it. Overcast, mild, hardly any wind. Everything brown and orange and calm. I felt relaxed and strong and only a little sore in my left hip.

Ran above the river, past the falls, over the mustache and duck bridges, by Minnehaha creek and Lake Hiawatha, then to the big beach at Lake Nokomis. I ran down the sidewalk that leads to the lifeguard stand and the water — the sidewalk I often take in the summer just before starting open swim. I thought about summer and swimming, then took this video:

Lake Nokomis / 15 dec 2023 / above the frame, a bird was flying

Ran on Minnehaha Parkway on the way back.

10 Things

  1. several spots in the split rail fence where the railing was bent or leaning or broken
  2. headlights cutting through the pale gray sky
  3. people walking below me on the Winchell Trail
  4. kids laughing on a playground*
  5. the parking lot at the falls had a few more cars in it then earlier in the week
  6. the creek was half frozen — thin sheets of ice everywhere
  7. a woman called out to a dog — liam or sam, I think? — or was she calling out to me, ma’am?
  8. a young girl testing out the thin ice on the edge of the lake — her name was Aubrey — I know this because a woman kept calling out Aubrey! Aubrey! No, don’t! and then, Let’s go Aubrey. I need to eat!
  9. the sidewalk was wet — in some spots, slick
  10. running north on the river road trail, in the groove, an older man on a bike called out, You’re a running machine! I was so surprised I snorted in response

*as I listened to the kids, I thought about how this sound doesn’t really change. Over the years, it comes from different kids, but the sound is the same. Season after season, year after year.

before the run

I’m trying to stop working on my poem about haunting the gorge, but I keep returning to it and just as I believe I have found the way in, another door opens, leading me in a different direction. When do you follow those doors and when do you stop? I worry that I’ll just keep wandering and never settle on/into anything. As I write this, I’m realizing that the question of when to keep moving and when to stop are a central theme of the poem. Here’s a bit of the poem that I wrote the other day that sums it up:

Stone is
satisfied
water
wants to be
somewhere
else. Sometimes
I am
water when
I want
to be stone
sometimes
I am stone
when I
need to be
water.

What to do with all of this? Maybe a run will help…

during the run

I kept returning to these questions of staying and leaving, moving and standing still. At one point, I started thinking about how nothing really stands still, the movement just happens at different speeds/paces/directions, in different scales of time. I’m interested in slow time, directionless time, time that seems to repeat, drip.

Then I thought about the value of solid (or stable or slow moving) forms in which to put my words. These forms aren’t forever fixed, but are solid enough to hold those words, to shape them into something meaningful.

after the run

Not sure what to do with all of this, but forms I’m thinking about: running form — the running body, breaths, feet; boulders; dripping, seeping, sloping water

Water! Now I thinking about Bruce Lee’s poem, be water my friend:

Empty your mind. Be
formless shapeless
like water 
now you put 
water into a cup
it becomes the cup you put
water into a bottle
it becomes the bottle you put 
it into a tea pot
it becomes the tea pot
now water can flow or it can
craaaaasshh
be water my friend

And all the different types of water I encountered on my run: river, dripping ravine, falls, creek, weir, lake, puddle, ice. Different forms with different properties — some flow, some stay

And also Marie Howe’s lines about learning from the lake in “From Nowhere”:

 think the sea is a useless teacher, pitching and falling
no matter the weather, when our lives are rather lakes

unlocking in a constant and bewildering spring.

And now I’m remembering some lines from a draft of my poem, “Afterglow”:

No longer
wanting to be water —
formless fluid — but 
the land that contains 
it. Solid defined
giving shape to the flow.

And finally, it’s time to post a poem I read from Gary Snyder in his collection, Riprap:

Thin Ice/ Gary Snyder

Walking in February
A warm day after a long freeze
On an old logging road
Below Sumas Mountain
Cut a walking stick of alder,
Looked down through clouds
On wet fields of the Nooksack—
And stepped on the ice
Of a frozen pool across the road.
It creaked
The white air under
Sprang away, long cracks
Shot out in the black,
My cleated mountain boots
Slipped on the hard slick
—like thin ice—the sudden
Feel of an old phrase made real—
Instant of frozen leaf,
Icewater, and staff in hand.
“Like walking on thin ice—”
I yelled back to a friend,
It broke and I dropped
Eight inches in

note: I just checked and I might have missed something, but I think the last time I ran over 7 miles was on September 21, 2021. I ran 7.2 miles to the bohemian flats. And here’s something interesting: I posted a draft, just finished, of “Afterglow,” with the lines mentioned above included for the first time. Strange how that works.

dec 13/RUN

4.5 miles
john stevens house and back
38 degrees

Sunny and warmer! Shadows! Clear, dry paths! A great afternoon run, even if my left IT band started hurting…again. I was able to run on all of the walking paths, even when they split off from the bike path.

Listened to kids, cars, chainsaws, and some guy with a DEEP voice as I ran to the Steven’s house and The Wiz on the way back.

10 Things

  1. the light was lower — it felt later than 2:30*
  2. a walker with a big white dog
  3. the falls seemed to be rushing more than on Monday
  4. a sour sewer smell near the John Steven’s house
  5. kids yelling and laughing on the playground
  6. a bird flying low in the sky, off to my side, almost looking like a fluttering leaf
  7. the soft whoosh of the light rail nearing the station
  8. the bells ringing as it left the station
  9. my feet feeling strange, awkward until I warmed up
  10. the buzz of a chainsaw echoing across the gorge

*the light reminded me of the line from ED:

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons – 

But this light wasn’t oppressive. It was warm and welcoming.

I’m continuing to plug away at my haunts poem, even though I was feeling burned out yesterday. I decided to read Lorine Niedecker’s “Lake Superior” and the translator’s afterword for Perec’s How to Exhaust a Place. It helped and I think I had a break through this morning. Now I’m looking to Sarah Manguso’s Ongoingness and 300 Arguments for inspiration. My focus: restlessness and stone and water. And, 2 mantras: 1. let it go and 2. condense! condense! condense!

dec 11/RUN

4.5 miles
minnehaha falls and back
25 degrees
50% snow and ice covered

Cold air! So wonderful to breathe in, to make me feel a little dazed and disconnected. More gloomy white sky. Flurries on my face. Listened to a few birds, the kids on the playground, and the rushing water at the falls on the way there, then Olivia Rodrigo on the way back.

10 Things

  1. the strong smell of weed from behind me — no one in sight, then an old white van with a ladder on the back drove by
  2. much of the walking path was covered in a thin layer of snow/ice — so thin that the dark pavement was still visible, making the snow look light gray
  3. a leaning split rail fence, bent in the middle — not quite broken but almost
  4. a walker with two dogs walking down the steepish trail just past the double bridge — was it icy?
  5. someone in a bright yellow puffer jacket walking with a dog on the winchell trail — they had just crested the short, steep hill right before folwell
  6. the tinny recording of the train bell echoing from across Hiawatha to the falls
  7. the heavy thud of my feet on the cold cobblestones in the park
  8. a walker with a dog emerging from the steps that lead down to the bottom of the falls. As I watched they crossed the bridge
  9. running up the hill at the edge of the park near the sledding hill, remembering my run here a month ago when I imagined it being covered in snow
  10. missing: a view of the river, turkeys, fat tires, orange, red

Stopped at my favorite falls viewing spot and recorded the bridge and the water falling:

minnehaha falls, still falling / 11 dec 2023

At one point on my run back, I suddenly felt a beautiful ache of emotion and thought: tender. Yes, I need to include a few lines in my haunts poem about feeling tender as I run — maybe in contrast with tough and the callouses I mentioned last week (6 dec 2023)?

dec 8/RUN

3.5 miles
trestle turn around
42 degrees

It didn’t feel as warm as it was because of the wind and the clouds. The sky, smudged white. Gloomy. Clear paths with a few chunks of ice still sticking around. How did they not melt yesterday when it was 49 degrees and sunny? A good run, even if my left IT band was sore.

IT doesn’t stand for iliotibial, it stands for:

  • Itchy Teeth
  • Irksome Toes
  • Incandescent Tonsils
  • Infatuated Trapezoids
  • Indigo Toenails (from Scott)
  • Inconceivable Tracheas (from RJP)

10 Things

  1. a noisy car speeding down the river road — don’t remember the color of the type of car or who was driving it, just remember that it was LOUD and FAST
  2. chick a dee dee dee dee
  3. the floodplain forest was roomy and deep brown and open to the river
  4. click click clack — roller skiers hitting their poles on the path
  5. bright headlights cutting through the tree trunks on the other side of the ravine
  6. can’t remember the color of the river — probably pale brown or gray or brown — just that it was soothing (looked at my video: blueish white)
  7. at the start of the run, the pavement was wet — why? melted snow?
  8. a regular — Santa Claus! we raised our hands in greeting
  9. overdressed — took off my orange sweatshirt at the turn around
  10. a mom on roller skis to her kids, also on roller skis — we’re almost there! I’m assuming she meant the big franklin hill

Listened to my breath, my striking feet, the cars driving by as I ran north. Put in a Billie Eilish playlist running back south.

Before turning around, I took some video at a favorite spot: the curved fence on the Winchell Trail before Franklin:

Not yet winter by the gorge. Listen to the sirens on the other side sing with the chickadees and the cars.

After I finished running, I recalled a line I had composed while running for a poem I’m working on about the bells of St. Thomas:

Have others
outside
forgotten
those bells? 
Or do they
hear them 
ringing still?

I like the double meaning of still here — both: continuing to ring and ringing until they become still/stop. I have to sit with it longer, but I think I’d like ring instead of ringing, but it doesn’t fit the 3/2 form.

As I write this I’m remembering another thought I had: getting rid of all of the longer poems that begin with I — I go to the gorge, I sync up my steps, I want connection, I orbit the gorge, etc. Those are the ghosts that haunt this Haunts poem — they are the traces/residue/palimpsest that is still there, but not fully. I think this makes sense to me, but I’m not sure if I can remove all of those words that I love and have spent so much time with…yet.

dec 6/RUN

4 miles
minnehaha falls and back
37 degrees

Warmer today. Almost all of the snow has melted. Sunny, bright, shadows. Chirping birds, sparkling water, shimmering sidewalks — melted snow illuminated by sun. I went out feeling a bit overwhelmed, needing a run. It worked. By the end of the run I felt so much better.

I listened to the world around me as I ran to the falls: the birds, kids on the playground, cars whooshing by, the gushing falls. When I turned around, I put in a Billie Eilish playlist on the way back.

At the falls, I stopped at the overlook right beside the falls:

minnehaha falls / 6 dec 2023

10 Things

  1. wet path, shimmering — is it just water, or is it super slick ice?
  2. most of the snow gone, only little ridges on the edges of the trail
  3. empty, open, iceless river
  4. more darting squirrels
  5. encountering a woman in pink running shoes twice
  6. the bells from the light rail ringing and dinging from across the road
  7. my shadow — sharp — running beside me
  8. a runner in a bright blue jacket
  9. an empty parking lot at the falls
  10. the potholes on the path were easier to see because they were filled in with snow while the rest of the path was bare

Thinking about the gorge and WPA walls and riprap and Gary Snyder:

Riprap/ Gary Snyder

Lay down these words
Before your mind like rocks.
placed solid, by hands
In choice of place, set
Before the body of the mind
in space and time:
Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall
riprap of things:
Cobble of milky way,
straying planets,
These poems, people,
lost ponies with
Dragging saddles—
and rocky sure-foot trails.
The worlds like an endless
four-dimensional
Game of Go.
ants and pebbles
In the thin loam, each rock a word
a creek-washed stone
Granite: ingrained
with torment of fire and weight
Crystal and sediment linked hot
all change, in thoughts,
As well as things.

I mention the limestone walls made by the WPA in the 30s and 40s in my poem. I’d like to expand on them just a little more. Each rock a word — something there to build on, I think.

riprap: loose stones used to form a foundation

dec 5/RUN

4.5 miles
minnehaha falls and back
32 degrees
10% snow-covered

It snowed last night. Less than an inch? Enough to cover everything, making it look like winter, but not enough to cause any problems running on the path. Wonderful! I love winter running. I started out a little cold, with my hood up against the wind, but ended over-heated: lots of sweat and a flushed face. My right IT band hurt a little, but not enough to end the run. I did stop at the halfway point — my favorite spot near “The Song of Hiatwatha,” admiring the falls from a distance. I took some video:

minnehaha falls / 5 dec 2023

video: Minnehaha Creek rushing over the limestone ledge, frozen water on either side of the rushing water, a bridge above, a bridge below.

10 Things

  1. the river: brownish-gray, flat, empty
  2. caw caw caw
  3. the snow is soft and not slick or clumpy, easy to run over
  4. a path winding through the savanna revealed by settled snow
  5. a leaning tree branch, dusted with snow. The snow making visible the trunks texture
  6. rustling in the brush — a squirrel
  7. the voices of kids laughing on the playground
  8. running near the overlook of the falls, not stopping to see the water, just hearing it rushing over the limestone
  9. beep beep beep beep beep beep then a few beats of silence on repeat — a service truck near the roundabout
  10. rabbit footprints all over my driveway — such big footprints!

before the run

This morning, while doing the dishes, I began listening to Chris Dombrowski’s The River You Touch. Here are a few passages I’d like to remember:

What does a mindful, sustainable inhabitance on this small planet look like in the Anthropocene? is no longer an academic question but rather a necessary qualifier to each step we take. For answers, we who have proven ourselves such untrustworthy stewards of our home might look to what Barry Lope called “myriad enduring relationships of the landscape,” to our predecessors, in other words, whose voices are the bells that must sound before any gritty ceremony of community can truly being.

The River We Touch/ Chris Dombrowski

bells — I like this idea of bells as signaling the start of a ceremony. Each loop around the gorge, or run beside the gorge is the start of a ritual, a ceremony, both sacred and mundane. What else do bells signal? I want to review my notes and weave other meanings into my poem.

“listening,” refers to direct contact, engagement, what the forager Jenna Rozelle calls the “primacy of immediate experience.” Callouses on palms formed by friction between human skin and oar handle. Shoulder muscles straining to pull oar blade through current, the oar stroke negotiating with the wave train’s brute liquid force.

The River We Touch/ Chris Dombrowski

The mention of callouses reminds me of Thoreau and his essay on walking:

Living much out of doors, in the sun and wind, will no doubt produce a certain roughness of character—will cause a thicker cuticle to grow over some of the finer qualities of our nature, as on the face and hands, or as severe manual labor robs the hands of some of their delicacy of touch. So staying in the house, on the other hand, may produce a softness and smoothness, not to say thinness of skin, accompanied by an increased sensibility to certain impressions. Perhaps we should be more susceptible to some influences important to our intellectual and moral growth, if the sun had shone and the wind blown on us a little less; and no doubt it is a nice matter to proportion rightly the thick and thin skin. But methinks that is a scurf that will fall off fast enough—that the natural remedy is to be found in the proportion which the night bears to the day, the winter to the summer, thought to experience. There will be so much the more air and sunshine in our thoughts. The callous palms of the laborer are conversant with finer tissues of self-respect and heroism, whose touch thrills the heart, than the languid fingers of idleness. That is mere sentimentality that lies abed by day and thinks itself white, far from the tan and callus of experience.

physical dialogue (contact…encounter between feet and land)…sensorial empathy

The faculty of wonder—which, in this context, is simply the unsentimental ability to identify with astonishment the earth and its inhabitants as relational—is diminishing as quickly as any endangered species. If it vanishes as an inevitable byproduct of decreased direct encounters with the physical world, so, too, may go the instinct to protect the very places that sustain us.

Concluding a story about kayaking with his son, encountering a sea otter, attempting to capture the moment with his phone and then dropping the phone in the ocean, Dombrowski writes:

I scanned our ambit for further sign of the otter, weighing the value of what I’d beamed in on 4G versus the salt drying on the hand Luca had dragged through the water. I sensed the latter would form a more lasting kind of knowing.

The River We Touch/ Chris Dombrowski

Before heading out for my run, I wanted to think about some of these ideas, especially: touch, physical dialogue, and sensorial empathy.

during the run

I recall thinking about my feet and rough ground and how much I enjoy feeling the ground as I move. The snow today was fun to run over/through. It wasn’t hard or crusty or sharp or too soft or thick or soggy or slick. It felt almost like running over a carpet of grass. A nice break from the hard asphalt. I also thought about breath and air and how much they are a part of touching/experiencing the gorge.

Near the end of my run, a song came up on my playlist: Breathe (2 AM)/ Anna Nalick. I’ve had it on a running playlist for over a decade now. As she sang, breathe, just breathe, I breathed. Maybe more than feet, lungs and breathing and breath have been central to my writing on this log.

I also thought about the gorge as an emptiness, a void, mystery, the ineffable/inaccessible, that I return to when I run because I want to encounter this void. I want to face the mystery.

after the run

Sitting at my desk now, I’m hungry. After I eat, I’d like to think more about the Thoreau quote and feet and callouses and the physical impact of running around the gorge as part of this haunting experience.

nov 28/RUN

5.5 miles
franklin hill turn around
15 degrees / feels like 2

The coldest day of the season. Brrr. Extra layers: 2 black tights, yellow shirt, pink jacket, purple jacket, 2 pairs of gloves — black and pink/white, buff, hat with ear flaps, hood. Difficult to breathe for the first mile. Sunny, lots of shadows. Greeted Dave, the Daily Walker. He was in his warmest attire, even had a stocking cap. There was ice near the shore of the river and sheets of ice on the surface of the water.

The surface of the mississippi river, up close. Thin slabs of ice, cracked with strips of cold water visible, cover the surface. Near the bottom of the frame, the ice looks dark gray and blue. At the top, it's white with a hint of brown.
Brr. River surface starting to ice over / 28 nov 2023

For the first 4 miles, I listened to my feet striking the ground, cars driving by, the wind. For the last 1.5 miles, I put in Olivia Rodrigo.

before the run

Still working on my haunts poems, adding more to the ones I wrote 2 years ago. Yesterday I spent a lot of time working on the first section, trails, and thinking about paths and feet and my interest in following, connecting, learning new stories. As part of that work, I started rereading Wendell Berry’s excellent essay, “A Native Hill.” This morning, before my run, I’m still reading and thinking about it. While I run, I’d like to think about this passage:

Looking out over the country, one gets a sense of the whole of it: the ridges and hollows, the clustered buildings of the farms, the open fields, the woods, the stock ponds set like coins into the slopes. But this is a surface sense, such as you get from looking down on the roof of a house. The height is a threshold from which to step down into the wooded folds of the land, the interior, under the trees and along the branching streams.

“A Native Hill” / Wendell Berry

As I run, I’d like to think about these ideas of threshold and surface, and what it means to be above, always, looping around the gorge, rarely entering it. Is this only surface level? What is at the surface, and is the surface always superficial? What does it mean when the gorge is not a thing to enter, but an absence, an emptiness/void that is still present and shaping the land but is inaccessible?

during the run

Did I think about these things at all? Maybe a little as I looked down at the floodplain forest or the water. At one point, I thought about how I’m not completely inside of this place, but I’m still much more in it than if I were riding in a car.

In a related but different direction of thought, I remembered the lines I had just written this morning:

It begins
here: from
the ground up
feet first,
following.
I want
to go where
others
already
have gone.

I thought about this following and how the others include past versions of me, the Saras that have already, day after day, year after year, travelled these same trails.

after the run

Sitting at my desk after my run, looking out at a mysterious pile of dirt left right in front of my sidewalk by workers for some unknown reason, feeling wiped out from the run, I’m not sure what to do with Berry’s passage. Maybe I’ll read some more of the essay?

Beyond the gate the land leans always more steeply towards the branch. I follow it down and then bear left along the crease at the bottom of the slope. I have entered the downflow of the land. The way I am going is the way the water goes. There is something comfortable and fit-feeling in this, something free in this yielding to gravity and taking the shortest way down.

“A Native Hill” / Wendell Berry

I love this line: The way I am going is the way the water goes.

Berry talks next about human-made erosion and how he laments the loss of land “before the white people drove their plows into it.”

It is not possible to know what was the shape of the land here in this hollow when it was first cleared. Too much of it is gone, loosened by the plows and washed away by the rain….The thought of what was here once and is gone forever will not leave me as long as I live. It is as though I walk knee-deep in its absence.

“A Native Hill” / Wendell Berry

The slopes along the hollow steepen still more, and I go in under the trees. I pass beneath the surface. I am enclosed, and my sense, my interior sense, of the country becomes intricate. There is no longer the possibility of seeing very far. The distances are closed off by the trees and the steepening walls of the hollow. One cannot grow familiar here by sitting and looking as one can up in the open on the ridge. Here the eyes become dependent on the feet. To see the woods from the inside one must look and move and look again. It is inexhaustible in its standpoint. A lifetime will not be enough to experience it all.

“A Native Hill” / Wendell Berry

Love it: Here the eyes become dependent on the feet. I’m finding a place for this line in my poem! Even when I am on the edge of the bluff looking down at the gorge, my vision isn’t very good. Everywhere I run, above or below, I’m dependent on my feet, and not just to get me to new places to see; sometimes I see with my feet.

Berry’s last lines about it being inexhaustible and how a lifetime will not be enough to experience it all brings me to another definition of going beyond the surface: to do more than briefly visit, to stay somewhere (to haunt it), to return to it again and again, each time learning something new, or encountering something slightly altered. This returning to the gorge day after day and giving attention is my way of connecting with it and attempting to experience as much of it as I can.