june 13/RUN

4 miles
marshall loop
64 degrees

planes sprinklers cicadas
shimmering leaves in trees interrupting hoses
dry dusty dirt
2 rowers — bright orange shirt — flickering like a bad signal
honking geese drumming woodpeckers crowing bikers
a steep hill
resting roller skiers panting runners hungry bugs
underwater in a sea of green
above water in a sky of blue
sweaty and stuffed up
alone together in a quiet early morning

Cooler today. Not an easy run, but a peaceful one. I love the early(ish) morning outside before most people are up.

Before heading out for my run, I read about the lobster diver who was swallowed and then spit out by a humpback whale. Woah. He dives in shark-infested waters, has lost many friends to great whites, almost died in a plane crash in Costa Rica where the pilot and several people were killed and he was stranded, half-dead in the jungle for days. He only had “soft-tissue” injuries and can’t wait to get back in the water and start scooping lobsters off of the sea floor again. He’s the last lobster diver left. Skimming through the article (Man swallowed by whale by Cape Cod, MA) again. He’s from Provincetown, the hometown of Mary Oliver and the source and inspiration for much of her poetry. If she were still alive would she have written about him? Probably not. More likely, she would have written about the whale:

The Humpbacks by Mary Oliver

Listen, whatever it is you try
to do with your life, nothing will ever dazzle you
like the dreams of your body,

its spirit
longing to fly while the dead-weight bones

toss their dark mane and hurry
back into the fields of glittering fire

where everything,
even the great whale,
throbs with song.

Most likely, the whale didn’t intend to swallow the man; they were blinded by their billowing mouth as they opened it to feed.

Here’s another poem I posted a few years back, but it’s too fitting not to post again:

Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale/ Dan Albergotti

Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.
Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires
with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals.
Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices.
Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way
for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review
each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments
of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you.
Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound
of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart.
Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope,
where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all
the things you did and could have done. Remember
treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes
pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.

jan 8/RUN

3 miles
43rd ave, north/32nd st, east/edmund, south/edmund, north
20 degrees

This morning, right after I woke up just before 7 it began to snow. Only a dusting, but enough to coat all the sidewalks and the street. Time for my yaktrax! A nice and slow run. Bright white, but without any sun. Heard a black-capped chickadee doing their 2 note call near the gorge. Also smelled smoke at the same spot on Edmund. I think it’s coming from someone’s fireplace–or backyard? Saw a few walkers–no skiers or bikers. Lots of cars on the river road. Was able to keep a very safe distance from anyone else. No slipping, only lots of crunching. I bet my legs will be sore tonight and tomorrow.

Halfway through my run, I stopped to record a moment of sound–mostly because I wanted to take a brief break. Happened to stop about 1/2 block away from someone railing against Trump. It’s heard to hear, but if you listen over the roar of the wind or traffic or city buzz or whatever is making that loud hiss, you can hear him say “Trump” “get them all” and later, “Melania.” What a strange, terrible, exhausting yet hopeful, promising, revolutionary time we are living in.

jan 8, 2021