50% puddles and ice
Lots of stopping to hop over big puddles. Yes, spring is coming slowly. Windy, especially on the Lake Street bridge. For a minute, I had to hold onto my cap so it wouldn’t blow off and into the water. Felt mostly good, although my left knee and left hamstring were a bit tight by the end.
the little wet things of ordinary life
In my discussion of Schuyler below, I mentioned his line, the little wet things. Everything today was wet or about to be wet. The path was covered with puddles. The deepest ones were on the stretch of the east river trail near Shadow Falls. They were also bad at every sidewalk crossing heading south on Cretin. Some mud too. Yuck! Water was dripping down and through drainpipes, gutters, off the railing at the bridge. The river was open and rough with the wind making ripples and little waves. Some of the ripples were shimmery, caught by the sun. The bridge was a mix of puddles, streaks of ice, and narrow slashes of bare, wet pavement. When I was paying attention, I could hear my feet shuffling on the wet, but not too slick, asphalt.
- 1 pair of black running tights
- 1 long-sleeved green shirt
- 1 black running vest
- 1 gray buff around my neck
- my mother-in-law’s quick-dry baseball cap — pink and purple tie-dyed note: I originally typed the last word as tie-died. I think it was because I wanted to mention, bt hadn’t, that this is my dead mother-in-law’s hat. Or, as is often the case these days, it was just another one of my typos.
After finishing my run, I heard the loud knocking of a woodpecker. I tried to find its source, but couldn’t. It wasn’t the utility pole with a slight, but noticeable lean. Maybe it was in one of the far trees? How far can the sound of a woodpecker’s peck travel?
Schuyler, Hymn to Life, Page 6
Begins with And just before the snap, and ends with Old views and surges. Note: the themes of cat, lover, rain, laundry/chores, sun and sex continue. After I’m finished with each page, I might go back through and pull out these themes?
Strongly the pleasure of watching a game well played: the cue ball
Carom and the struck ball pocketed. Skill.
I love watching performances of skill, someone confidently knowing what they’re doing in a task — not arrogant, just performing something well. I call it “having your shit together,” and I keep an ongoing list — I hardly remember who is on it, but when I witness it with my family I say, that person is going on my shit-together list. My main source for this list is: 1. out by the gorge, watching graceful bodies moving confidently and 2. service workers who take orders and solve problems effectively — all the (often) invisible skill needed to keep the line moving without rushing, handle arrogant customers without them realizing it, looking out for others, caring. Oh my god — am I talking about Aristotle’s excellence here? I might be. I KNOW he distinguished between moral virtue and athletic skill — 20 years ago I almost devoted an entire chapter of my dissertation to it. I should find my notes!
Update, hours later: I found something I wrote in my dissertation prospectus on page 13 — passed less than 24 hours before I went into labor with FWA! I was interested in the distinction between virtues and skills (and tactics). I’m not as interested in that theoretical and practical distinction now, but a return to Aristotelean virtue ethics, to play with it of course, could be fun. Instead of making a sharp distinction between skills and virtues, I might want to entangle them. I love how my dissertation, again and again, has given me a guide for the rest of my life. It’s wild how much I’m following what I mapped out in it. I’m not following it exactly; maybe it’s more like a compass? Thanks Sara age 29! Also, thanks Sara age 38 for finding the digital file of my prospectus and creating an online archive for Sara age 48.5 to find easily!
FWIW, I prefer saying shit-together over excellence, much for fun and far less pretentious.
To continue this ramble: Last night I witnessed someone having their shit together during band rehearsal. She was a classmate of FWA’s and has been in the band with me since the year before COVID. She is neurodivergent. Last night I heard her talking about the order of music for next week’s concert so I asked her what it was. She told me that it was up on the board. When she noticed me get closer to the board, she could tell I couldn’t see it. She said, Oh, I’m sorry you can’t see. I’ll tell it to you. It’s possible she had overheard me talking about not being able to see well, but it’s unlikely. I think she is just more aware of people’s struggles and open to noticing and caring about those struggles, and then caring for people with them.
And still the untutored
Rain comes down.
I like this idea of untutored (undisciplined?) rain, but I’m trying to imagine it. Is it falling in all directions? In uneven bursts?
Open the laundry door. Press your face into the
Wet April chill: a life mask. Attune yourself to what is happening
Now, the little wet things, like washing up the lunch dishes. Bubbles
Rise, rinse and it is done. Let the dishes air dry, the way
You let your hair after a shampoo.
The little wet things of ordinary, everyday life? I love it.
All evaporates, water, time, the
Happy moment and—harder to believe—the unhappy. Time on a bus,
All evaporates — the happy and unhappy moments. I like the mention of riding on a bus. It seems specific in a vague way, like it is indicating some actual experience by Schuyler. I wonder, is the time on the bus a happy or unhappy moment for him, or both?
and the night with its burthen and gift of dreams. That
Other life we live and need, filled with joys and terrors, threaded
By dailiness: where the wished for sometimes happens,
Burthen = old way of saying burden. The dream life as the other life, threaded by dailiness. Does this dream life compare to Mary Oliver and her extraordinary “eternity” — the one she mentions in Upstream?
Change in everything yet none so great as the changes in
Oneself, which, short of sickness, go unobserved. Why watch
Yourself? You know you’re here, and where tomorrow you will probably
Be. In the delicatessen a woman made a fumbling gesture then
Slowly folded toward the floor. “Get a doctor,” someone said. “She’s
Having a fit.” Not knowing how to help I left, taking with me
The look of appeal in faded blue eyes.
You (should? shouldn’t?) look away.
Between these sharp attacks
Of harsh reality I would like to interpose: interpose is not the
Word. One wants them not to happen, that’s all, but, like slammed
On brakes—the cab skids, you are thrown forward, ouch—they
His general sense of not actually doing anything about bad things (other than accepting that they will come) fits with the story about the woman having a medical emergency in the diner. He’s not going to interpose, he’ll just look away.
Life, it seems, explains nothing about itself. In the
Garden now daffodils stand full unfolded and to see them is enough.
I love the idea of small things, like blooming daffodils, as enough.
They seem no more passing than when they weren’t there: perhaps
The promise when first the blades pierced the wintry soil
Was better? You see, you invent choices where none exist. Perhaps
It is not a choice but a preference? No, take it all, it’s free,
Help yourself. The sap rises. The trees leaf out and bloom. You
Suddenly sense: you don’t know what. An exhilaration that revives
Old views and surges of energy or the pure pleasure of
The Simply looking is part of the next page, but it seemed important to add it in here to my thought about looking and not looking. An interesting contrast between the pure pleasure of looking at the trees coming into leaf versus the discomfort of looking at someone else’s suffering. Also thinking about simply looking as only looking, not doing anything more to help or contribute.