edmund loop, starting south
20 degrees/ feels like 14 degrees
95% clear sidewalks and streets
Hooray for wonderful winter runs! Today was an especially good one. Sunny, clear, lots of birds. Before I left, I couldn’t decided which way to run: turn right and do the north loop or turn left and do the south one. Asked my son to pick one, left or right. He said left. Excellent choice. Stepping outside of my house, this was what I heard:
The black-capped chickadees were really chatting this morning. Hard to believe it’s February and 20 degrees, with several inches of snow on the ground. These birds and the sun made it feel like spring.
I thought about sound a lot this morning as I ran. Right before I left, I had been rereading my January experiment, especially the poem by Steve Healey: 2 Mississippi. In it, he writes about recording the sound of the river “in an attempt to represent that sound more accurately” than his previous words could. Then the poem plays around with at least 5 different versions of the sound of the river: 1. the sound as described by his words, “shhh”, 2. the recording he makes of the sound as he stands next to the river, 3. the sound of the river as he hears it, while listening to it and his recording of the sound at the same time, 4. the recording of the sound of the river when he is home and at “a safe distance from the river” and 5. the sound of the river, independent of his hearing of it. Very cool to think about all of these different version of sound and layers of listening, which I did as I ran near the river, but not close enough to hear it. I want to spend some time with this poem, and more time thinking about my recordings and listening and the difference between sounds first heard, sounds never or not yet heard, and sounds heard later in a recording.
So many random thoughts occurred to me as I ran, most of which are lost. I recall thinking it might be cool to compare sounds for different seasons: (how) can you tell the difference between bird sounds in the winter versus the spring? Also thought about how often I’m trying to find the balance between knowing things and not needing to know things, and between attention and distraction–when is it good to be distracted? when is it good to give attention? In terms of the knowing/not knowing balance, I was just thinking: knowing just enough to make it (or keep it?) interesting. I also remember thinking, as I quickly looked down at the river through the trees from high up on the edmund hill, that when the river is completely iced over–and covered with snow–it does not shimmer or sparkle or reflect. It’s flat and matte. And, while it can still be blindingly white, it’s dull, not dazzling.
What else? So many cars at Minnehaha Academy; they were spilling out the parking lot and onto the side streets. Heard 2 runners on the river road talking as they ran, but couldn’t hear any of what they said. A work crew at a big house on edmund with one guy high up in a bucket, just about to trim (or cut down?) a tree. The wind in my face heading south, at my back returning north. Don’t remember seeing any dogs or fat tires or cross country skiers or big groups of walkers or runners. Didn’t hear the river—but I did hear a siren from the other side, the sound traveling across the gorge. Also heard a woodpecker drumming on some dead wood and a few robins, sounding like rusty tin whistles. Ran by Cooper Elementary but forgot to look out at the field–I was distracted because I was slowly passing a runner who was on the other side of the street. Heard a big nail gun clicking away as workers re-roofed a house.