jan 10/RUN

4.5 miles
minnehaha falls and back
28 degrees / humidity: 90% / mist
100% soft, slippery, snow-covered

Quiet, gray, dreamy. Disconnected from the world. Alone, but not lonely. Immersed in a slow, hard effort on a slippery trail. I’m ready for this soft snow to go away. I want a clear, solid path, please. My leg muscles are sore, but I don’t regret the run. How wonderful to be outside and moving beside the gorge in the winter!

No fresh, clean air. Instead, a poor air quality warning. I couldn’t feel it in my lungs, but I could see it in the sky. Everything was even fuzzier than usual.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. heard some harsh honks, then looked up in the sky. A vee of geese! I stopped to watch them flying low until they disappeared behind a tree
  2. the sky was a pleasing, soft gray
  3. running past a park kiosk, I heard some deep thumping. Could it be the knocking of a woodpecker?
  4. the falls were frozen, although as I ran by the bridge just above the falls, I noticed a dark open spot. I didn’t stop to listen for gurgling water. Would I have heard some?
  5. only one car and one person in the parking lot, standing near the machine where you pay for parking
  6. stopped to walk on the unplowed pedestrian side of the double bridge and heard nothing but a loud silence
  7. the path was covered in soft, slippery snow, with a few short stretches of packed snow
  8. the road (edmund) was slick and wet and had lots of streaks of brown, slushy, slippery snow
  9. kids’ voices drifting over from the school playground, mixing in with the geese honks
  10. felt a fine mist on my face — was it freezing rain? moisture in the air?

Found this poem on twitter the other day:

Lit/ Andrea Cohen

Everyone can’t
be a lamplighter.

Someone must
be the lamp,

and someone
must, in bereaved

rooms sit,
unfathoming what

it is to be lit.

jan 7/RUN

4.1 miles
river road path, north/river road path, south
10 degrees / feels like 10
100% snow and ice covered

I wasn’t planning to run outside today, but when I checked the weather and saw that the feels like temp was the same as the air temp and the wind was only 1 mph, I had to get outside. It was sunny and beautiful and not too cold once I got warmed up. But, it was hard, mostly on my legs, which are sore from yesterday’s run through snow. Still, I’m very glad to have been outside by the river. The dark shadows cast on the white path. The white river. The fresh air. Encountering dogs and fat tires and people walking and running. I heard the trestle beeping and wondered if a train was coming — nope. Also heard the faint song of a black-capped chickadee. Kids laughing as they played in the snow. A great morning.

layers

  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of black running tights
  • 1 bright yellow shirt
  • 1 pink thin jacket with hood
  • 1 gray thicker jacket
  • a buff
  • a black fleece-lined cap
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • yaktrax

the sun, the moon, the snow yesterday

Driving south to St. Peter, the clouds covered the sun strangely, making it look like a giant white disc. I actually gasped, Oh!, and pointed at it.

Later, driving north back to Minneapolis, I marveled at the moon. It was darker and the moon looked almost the same as the sun had, just rounder and more real. It hung in the sky like a flashlight, illuminating the dark fields.

Even later, now at home, I looked out the back window at the deck. Little sparkles everywhere! The moon was shining on the snow. Magical. I called to my daughter and she came down to look. She always comes to look and shares in my joy over glittering snow and marvelous moons.

jan 6/RUN

4.5 miles
minnehaha falls and back
14 degrees / feels like 6
100% snow-covered

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had a big snowstorm. 14.9 inches of snow in total. Schools went online — which is what they do now instead of snow days; students still have to show up, but just to their computers. Because it kept snowing, the city of Minneapolis didn’t declare a snow emergency and begin plowing side streets until it was over on Wednesday. The result: a mess. Today, they’re on day 3 of the snow emergency (plowing the odd side of the street) and walls of snow have appeared at the ends of sidewalks and where streets cross each other. These walls made for a slow start to my run as I climbed over them on my way to the river. The river road trail was plowed, but still covered with a hard pack of snow. I wore my yaktrax, which helped. I didn’t mind running on the snow and was able to sight and avoid all of the big, hard chunks of snow on the path. I didn’t slip, but once I almost rolled my ankle on some snow as I turned a corner at the falls.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. lots of soft ruts in the street — snow almost the color and texture of sand
  2. the river was completely white and still
  3. the dark, sharp shadows of bare tree branches sprawled across the white path
  4. kids having fun at the school playground — I couldn’t see them, but heard their exuberant voices
  5. a strange clanging, clunking, banging noise coming from the school –was it kids? — or Becketwood — a furnace?
  6. the falls weren’t falling, but frozen
  7. as they neared a tight curve by locks and dam #1, several cars slowed way down
  8. a smaller parks plow cleared off the walls of snow at the entrance to the trail near the falls
  9. the snow was so white, the sun so bright, that it all looked blue — the palest shade of blue
  10. a congress of crows calling out to each other. I remember thinking that they sounded much more pleasant than bluejays

overheard: Unfortunately, even though I tried to hang onto all of the words I heard as I ran by two walkers, I’ve forgotten some of them.

A woman to her walking companion: “Not all bosses are like that, Sheldon. My boss doesn’t do that…”

I wondered what her boss doesn’t do. Then, I thought about her frustrated tone and wondered if it was frustration over a boss who didn’t do things they way she wished, or Sheldon for assuming all bosses did things in the same way or for appreciating how his boss did things. The question became: for her, who is the asshole, the boss or Sheldon? All I had to go on were her words and her tone, which didn’t seem like enough. I imagined (but knew I’d never do) stopping to ask her: Excuse me, I’m not trying to be nosy, but what doesn’t your boss do? I thought about how not knowing was an opportunity to reflect on how we communicate and what clues we give with our inflections.

relying on my practice

A great run one day after my colonoscopy. A few days ago, I had mentioned that I was stressed out about the procedure. It went fine. In fact, there were parts of it I actually enjoyed — maybe “enjoyed” is too strong of a word? I’m glad it’s over, but it wasn’t that bad. Mostly because I’m healthy and they didn’t find anything wrong, but partly because I used the noticing skills I’ve developed from my practice of running and writing about it on this log to distract me. Is distract the right word? Maybe keep me focused on remaining present? Or occupied with something other than worry? As I waited in the crowded (but not too tightly packed) waiting room, I took notes of what I noticed. I kept paying attention (but without the notebook) when I headed back for preop and as they wheeled me into the operating room. Maybe I could turn it into a poem?

More than 10 Things I Noticed Before My Colonoscopy

  1. lime green chairs
  2. an older man, restless, tapping on the table like he was playing a keyboard or typing on a computer
  3. a nurse calling out, Sue
  4. the steady hum of the machine that circulates the air
  5. the sound of someone watching a video on a phone — the volume was low, so all I heard was a constant buzz of voices
  6. a woman with a mask below her nose walking by
  7. nurse: Sherry with Barb
  8. the hum of a copy machine or a printer
  9. Julia
  10. Tanika
  11. Isaiah (a little kid in pajamas walked by holding a woman’s hand)
  12. Mark
  13. Brandon
  14. the soft sound of someone folding a crease into a piece of stiff paper
  15. the rustling of a winter coat or nylon pants
  16. Scott’s keyboard keys clicking
  17. a deep rumbling voice
  18. a person walking by wearing bright red sneakers. I wasn’t sure if they were red or orange, so I asked Scott
  19. a cart with a blue cover being pushed by a nurse through the waiting room
  20. someone playing music — I could tell it was music, but not what kind or any of the words that were being sung
  21. a woman wearing a bright yellow stocking cap walked by
  22. Bridget
  23. Nancy
  24. the woman with her mask down coughing and sneezing and blowing her nose then making a call and saying something about 4%
  25. someone saying the phrase, Dad Bodies
  26. Wendy
  27. Travis
  28. feet shuffling, the low hum of murmuring voices

A few other things: 2 of my nurses were also named Sara/h — one was Sara, the other Sarah. My doctor’s sister is Zara. He told me the name means “flower.” When I was wheeled into the operating room, they were talking about how amazing air fryers are. As I drifted off to sleep I heard one of them saying, It’s the best appliance I have. Better than a microwave. I use it 6 or 7 times a week!

orange!

I’m continuing to work on my colorblind plate poem about orange. One key theme: I see orange everywhere. Here’s something to add to that: as the nurse (Sarah) was putting in my iv, she told me to look at the orange leaf (which was her way of saying look away so you don’t see me poking you and freak out). I turned and noticed a photograph of gray rocks with a bright orange leaf resting on them. Orange! Later, after I left the room I wondered if I had remembered correctly. Was it orange or red. But then I thought that it didn’t matter because I still thought of it as orange. This fits with my sighting of the red (which I though might be orange) sneakers (#18).

Found this poem on twitter this morning:

Blink/ Donna Vorreyer

A blur of movement where it does not belong,
a white floater in the window’s darkening eye.

A plastic bag, I think, caught in an updraft
or a bit of the dying yucca’s autumn fluff,

but I discover it is a hawk, all muscled breast
and feathered intent, settling to perch in the tree

outside my window, to survey the yard then
fly again, gone as quickly as it came, the same way

joy arrives. Without warning. Sometimes
unrecognizable. Never promising to stay.

Here’s what Vorreyer said about the poem: “If @MFiteJohnson hadn’t sent me the picture, I might have not believed it actually happened, but I have a poem keeping company with hers in the new issue of @pshares, something I thought I would never say. It’s a small poem about being in the moment, something I want to do more.

jan 2/RUN

5.25 miles
franklin hill turn around
22 degrees
35% ice

Winter storm coming this evening — ice and snow. I don’t mind the snow, but I could do without the ice. Will this be the last run I can do outside for awhile?

Today the sky was a grayish-white, or mostly white with a hint of gray. Hardly any wind. The path was icy and slick and I felt my feet slide a few times, but I never worried about falling.

Greeted Mr. Morning and a walker with hiking poles. Daddy Long Legs asked me if I was doing hill repeats because he thought he had seen me climbing the hill already. Nope, I said. Oh, you must be wearing the same clothes, he said.

Heard the drumming of a woodpecker, the chirping of a bird — a robin, I’ve decided.

Smelled some breakfast at Longfellow Grill as I descended below the lake street bridge.

2 miles in, I felt my body warm up, especially my legs.

Looked over at the gorge and noticed orange — the dead leaves still lingering on the oaks. Looked down into the gorge and saw a white river, completely covered.

Ran north with no headphones. Stopped 3/4 of the way up the hill to put in a playlist, then ran south.

a summary in minisons

  • drumroll please
  • my doppelgänger
  • eggs bacon toast
  • the color orange
  • impending gloom

On twitter, I encountered an interview with a local poet that I haven’t read, Michael Kleber-Diggs. So I found his site, and read a few of his poems, including this one that does a wonderful job of capturing the messy, ugly, beautiful complexity of Minneapolis:

Here All Alone/ Michael Kleber-Diggs

Raptors ride the thermals above Dakota.
Beyond them, the sun appears closer,
colder. Everything warm escapes, returns.
One-hundred nations assemble in congress,
this time for water, where water is life.
And I know this isn’t my song to sing,

but I wonder what god saves grace for hunters.

Water cannons, fire hoses, nunc pro tunc.
this land, once yours, was flooded and dammed
the same day our Rondo was cleaved for a highway.
And I know I’ve seen those attack dogs before
with the same blue force undoing brown bodies.
Foul water in Flint, good water in Bismarck:
bullets, bulldozers, bad pipes, hollow promises –
what birds are these still circling, circling

while god denies grace for the hunted?

Warm air sent rising makes gliding
seem easy, while shale beneath us fractures,
relents. Why then must earth grow colder then
harden, and leave us to shiver here all alone,
singing sad songs of foremothers, forefathers
while above the raptors exhort us to prey?

To pray to a god who saves grace for hunters.

dec 29/RUN

5 miles
franklin hill turn around
34 degrees / humidity: 87%
60% snow and slush covered

A nice run, even if it was a little too slushy and slick. After I was done, walking on edmund, I took out my phone and recorded my thoughts and the sounds of this wintery Thursday morning. Very cool to listen back to the recording: the steady crunch crunch crunch of my feet, car wheels whooshing through the slushy puddles, the hum of the city, birds chirping, melted snow drip drip dripping through the metal gutter, the brief moments when my feet go silent as I cross over bare pavement.

Ran north with no headphones, south with a playlist (summer 2014).

post run winter morning sounds

10 Things I Noticed

  1. a congress of crows, cawing loudly (congress, council, and consideration are J. Drew Lanham’s collective name for crows instead of murder)
  2. greeting Dave the Daily Walker, good morning Dave!
  3. the river is white, completely covered
  4. in some spots, the trail was 1/2 slush, with a few spots of ice
  5. in other spots, bare pavement
  6. a woman in a yellow vest, running fast in the road. I marveled at the steady rhythm of her feet and before I knew it she was way over on the other side of 36th. I spotted her as a bright yellow dot in the distance
  7. the scraping of ski poles to the side of me — not quick thrusts, but the steady drag of poles down a hill
  8. some of the snow was white, some gray, some light brown
  9. several runners, many walkers, a few fat tires
  10. 2 women walking in the middle of the trail, in the barest spot, stopping every few seconds to stare at something — what?

Here are a few passages about the wonder of winter from Dallas Lore Sharp and his book Winter. I originally heard about him on The Marginalia.

I love the winter…its bare fields, empty woods, flattened meadows, its ranging landscapes, its stirless silences, its tumult of storms, its crystal nights with stars new cut in the glittering sky, its challenge, defiance, and mighty wrath. I love its wild life–its birds and animals; the shifts they make to conquer death. And then, out of this winter watching, I love the gentleness that comes, the sympathy, the understanding!

you must see how close you had passed to and for all summer to the vireo’s nest, hanging from the fork on a branch of some low bush or tree, so near to the path that it almost brushed your hat. Yet you never daw it! Go on and make a study of the empty nests….Study how the different birds build — materials, shapes, finish, supports; for winter is the better season in which to make such study, the summer being so crowded with interests of its own.

When the snow hardens, especially after a strong wind, go out to see what you can find in the wind furrows of the snow–in the holes, hollows, pockets, and in footprints in the snow. Nothing? Look again, closely — that dust — wind-sweepings — seeds!

winter, when the leaves are off, the ground bare, the birds and flowers gone, and all is reduced to singleness and simplicity — winter is the time to observe the shapes, colors, varieties, and growth of the lichens.

What a world of gray days, waste lands, bare woods, and frozen waters there is to see! And you should see them — gray and bare and waste and frozen. But what is a frozen pond for if not to be skated on? and waste white lands, but to go sleighing over? and cold gray days, but so many opportunities to stay indoors with your good books?

You will see the fishermen on the ponds catching pickerel through the ice — life swimming there under the frozen surface! You will see the bare empty woodland fresh budded to the tip of each tiny twig — life all over the trees thrust forward to catch the touch of spring! You will see the wide flinty fields thick sown with seeds — life, more life than the sun and the soil can feed, sleeping there under “the tender, sculturesque, immaculate, warming, fertilizing snow”!

The air was crisper; the snow began to crackle underfoot; the twigs creaked and rattled as I brushed along; a brown beech leaf wavered down and skated with a thin scratch over the crust…These were not the voices, colors, odors, and forms of summer. The very face of things had changed; all had been reduced, made plain, simple, single, pure! There was less for the senses, but how much keener now their joy! The wide landscape the frosty air, the tinkle of tiny icicles, and, out of the quiet of the falling twilight, the voice of the quail!

dec 27/RUN

3.3 miles
under ford bridge and back
18 degrees / feels like 8
95% snow-covered, a few slick spots

And, goal achieved! In the middle of my run, I reached 1000 miles. Probably as I ran over the double bridge on my way back, maybe as I encountered another person who was stopped on the bridge. We did that annoying thing where we both went the same way, then shifted and went the same way again, then finally went in opposite ways.

A good run. It felt hard at the beginning. Difficult to breathe through a stuffed-up nose. I’m not sick, it’s just living inside in the dry air for too much of the day. As I warmed up, it got a little easier. The sidewalks were covered in packed, uneven snow, slick in spots.

I think I saw my shadow. I can’t remember if I saw them today, but a few days ago, driving on the river road, I admired the long, dark, twisted shadows the trees were casting on the completely white, completely snow-covered river road.

I heard some chirping birds, sounding like spring. As I started the run on my block, I heard a howl or a bellow. A dog? A coyote? A dog. Whining at the back door of a neighbor’s house. And I heard my feet striking the packed snow on the path. No pleasing crunch, or delightfully annoying grind. Only muffled thuds. Thought I heard some wind chimes coming from a neighbor’s deck. No headphones heading south, my “swim meet motivation” playlist heading back north.

Smelled the fire at the house on edmund that always seems to have a fire in the winter.

Felt my feet slip a little as I ran over slick spots. Enjoyed feeling the dry pavement — solid, secure — on the very rare and brief spots where the path was dry. Felt my burning, flushed face — was I overdressed? Felt a strong, sharp wind blowing in my face.

At some point in the run, I was interrupted by the sound of the wind rushing through some dead, orange leaves on an oak tree. What was I interrupted from? Maybe thinking too much about my effort or whether or not I would encounter another person or concentrating on the words to the song I was listening to. This interruption reminded me that one key way I use moving outside to pay attention is through passive noticing, answering when the world calls to me. Making myself open and available to the world. Yes! Before I went out for a run, I was working on the schedule for the class I’m teaching in the winter. I was trying to figure out how to tighten it up, rein it in a little, so I didn’t have too much (too many ideas, activities, readings) that might overwhelm students. I think this idea of passive attention and letting the world in, being open, is key to that. Cool.

Speaking of my class, here are some passages from an essay (Thinking Like a Sidewalk) on sidewalks and running in the winter that I might want to use in my class:

gradations of gray

My hometown of Carbondale, Colorado is buried in enough snow each winter to force most of us to become connoisseurs of concrete. Having spent the spring inviting peaking greens, all summer squinting across a singed expanse, and the fall celebrating the leafy explosion, each winter I relearn how to appreciate the gradations between smoke, cool ash, slate, pewter and pearl.

treadmill window

I realized what made me feel part of the wild was not physical proximity, but emotional. The intimate connections I formed with my wintery tableau from the treadmill felt as real and important as any experience on the trail. I became more familiar with that patch of snowy creekbed than many people ever would, and even worried when my nuthatch friend failed to report for pine-branch duty (If you’re reading this, please reach out). 

The treadmill window allowed me to become what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the “transparent eyeball” in his essay, “Nature.”

I am nothing, I see all. 

a practice

Similar to a new strength routine, or a pre-race visualization, cultivating the habit of noticing the confident posture of a rook on its telephone pole perch takes focus, intent and repetition.

This demands turning attention toward the rustle of grass that says you aren’t running solo or the shallow pawprint that shows you aren’t the only critter perfecting their strides. Each run offers an opportunity to broaden our understanding of what wildness is, and connect with it in and around ourselves. 

Perhaps the sidewalk doldrums are due less to the monochrome concrete as the decline in our ability to appreciate the wilderness that exists between the cracks, and that exists in us.  It’s one thing to value a majestic vista worthy of posting on Instagram, something more subtle to celebrate the subtlety of snowy sidewalk. 

Thinking Like a Sidewalk

Wow! I’m definitely going to use bits of this essay for my class. Love it. note: the title, Thinking Like a Sidewalk, is a reference to Aldo Leopold and his essay, Thinking Like a Mountain.

Other things I want to read that are mentioned in the essay:

dec 20/RUN

3.6 miles
trestle turn-around
0 / feels like -16
100% snow-covered

Last year I decided that my limit for cold was a feels like temp of -20. Since it was only -16, I went out for a run by the gorge. It was cold, but not too cold. It felt good to be outside, breathing in fresh air, moving in sunlight, being beside frozen water and snow-covered trees.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. checked out the river at the trestle: all frozen, white and gray, solid, stiff
  2. the steady crunch crunch crunch of my yaktrax on the cold powder
  3. solid chunks of ice littering the path, not boulders, but big enough to hurt my foot or twist my ankle if I ran into or over them
  4. a skein of geese! first I heard their honks, then I stopped to watch them fly across the sky
  5. the roar of a plane
  6. the shadow of a big bird
  7. one other runner, one or two walkers, no dogs, no fat tires, no roller skiers
  8. two walkers below me, walking through the tunnel of trees
  9. a snow blower up above, near longfellow grill
  10. the path was slick and slippery with stripes of ice glowing in the sun

layers

2 pairs of black running tights; 2 pairs of socks –1 gray, 1 white; a green long-sleeved shirt; a pink jacket with hood; a running belt for holding my phone; a gray Hot Dash 10 mile 2017 jacket; a gray buff; a black fleece-lined cap; sunglasses; black gloves; reddish pinkish fleece-lined mittens

Enough layers. The mittens were especially warm. Did it help that I had warmed up on the bike in the basement before heading out for my run? Probably. Neither my fingers or toes were too cold. Hooray?

feels like

It felt cold, but not cold enough to give me a brain freeze. I wore a buff over my mouth to warm my breath. My snot froze a little but not too much. After I took my sunglasses off, because they had fogged up, my eyelashes acquired a few bits of ice. The tops of my thighs felt cold and tingly by the end. No itchy legs or feet that felt like blocks of concrete. Dripping with sweat by the end. My braid, which had wicked all the sweat, froze again into a hard, twisted mass–or mess?

It feels like winter is here for good. Maybe the snow on the trail, too?

Listened to a playlist with only one headphone in, so I could hear the crunching snow and the gorge too. Did I hear any other birds beside the geese? I can’t remember.

I’m very glad I made it outside. I love these winter runs!

ongoing projects, dec 2022

Thought it might be interesting and helpful (for present and future Sara) to make a list of what I’m working on right now:

  • Reading through my entries from 2022 and adding to summaries of my runs, ideas and quotes, and a huge list of things I noticed. Right now I’m halfway through April.
  • Thinking about, reading up on color, especially orange. Trying to write a colorblind plate about orange, particularly how shifty and unreliable it is, and my obsession with seeing/not seeing orange buoys at open swim. Checked out Maggie Nelson’s Bluets for inspiration on how to write about color.
  • Planning my winter writing/creative process class for The Loft. Right now, I’m gathering poems and essays and thinking about my weekly lectures. As part of this, I’m reading/listening to Adam Gopnik’s Winter: 5 Windows on the Season.

dec 15/RUN

3.35 miles
trestle turn around
33 degrees / snow
100% snow-covered

It started snowing in the early morning. By the time I was ready for a run, a few inches of sloppy snow had already covered the sidewalks, the road, the trail. A winter wonderland. Everything white, not yet gray.

Decided to wear my yaktrak and go for a short run. Wow! Beautiful. Not too slippery or cold or crowded. Greeted Dave, the Daily Walker. He called out, Not the best day (or something like that), and I responded, I think it’s great. I love the snow!

Did I notice the river? I don’t remember.

Near the end of the run, I decided to take the walking trail through the tunnel of trees. I ran for a bit of it, but when it became too uneven and slippery I stopped to walk. Very cool. All the trees below painted in white. I could hear the soft sizzle of the wet snow hitting more wet snow. Such a quiet, peaceful sound.

A White City/ James Schuyler

My thoughts turn south
a white city
we will wake in one another’s arms.
I wake
and hear the steampipe knock
like a metal heart
and find it has snowed.

dec 14/RUN

4.5 miles
minnehaha falls and back
35 degrees
5% ice / 25% big, sloppy puddles

No big snow storm here in Minneapolis, just lots of sloppy, wet trails. Wore an old pair of shoes and got them soaked in minutes. A little bit slippery, but not too bad. Lots of wind, but never in my face. It almost knocked me over, coming in from the side. The falls were rushing and gushing. When I stopped at my favorite spot to admire them, I could see the water pouring off the limestone ledge. Heard the kids on the playground at the school. Lots of laughter, one ear piercing scream. The river was a brownish-gray and open. I nervously eyed a squirrel on the path, wondering if it would double-back and trip me (it didn’t).

a ridiculous performance

Haven’t posted one of these in a while. Near the start of my run, as I ran above the oak savanna, a walker ahead of me started singing loudly (and not very well). Why? Not sure. What was she singing? I couldn’t tell.

Encountered this poem on poetsorg’s Instagram account yesterday:

Dead Stars/ Ada Limón

Out here, there’s a bowing even the trees are doing.
Winter’s icy hand at the back of all of us.
Black bark, slick yellow leaves, a kind of stillness that feels
so mute it’s almost in another year.

I am a hearth of spiders these days: a nest of trying.

We point out the stars that make Orion as we take out
the trash, the rolling containers a song of suburban thunder.

It’s almost romantic as we adjust the waxy blue
recycling bin until you say, Man, we should really learn
some new constellations.

And it’s true. We keep forgetting about Antlia, Centaurus,
Draco, Lacerta, Hydra, Lyra, Lynx.

But mostly we’re forgetting we’re dead stars too, my mouth is full
of dust and I wish to reclaim the rising—

to lean in the spotlight of streetlight with you, toward
what’s larger within us, toward how we were born.

Look, we are not unspectacular things.
We’ve come this far, survived this much. What

would happen if we decided to survive more? To love harder?

What if we stood up with our synapses and flesh and said, No.
No, to the rising tides.

Stood for the many mute mouths of the sea, of the land?

What would happen if we used our bodies to bargain

for the safety of others, for earth,
if we declared a clean night, if we stopped being terrified,

if we launched our demands into the sky, made ourselves so big
people could point to us with the arrows they make in their minds,

rolling their trash bins out, after all of this is over?

dec 13/RUN

5.65 miles
franklin loop
33 degrees
sleet/rain

Just as the sidewalks and path get completely cleared, another storm moves in. This afternoon rain then snow. Oh well. This morning it was great to run on a dry, almost ice-free path.

A gray day. Not dark gray, but heavy. Difficult to see clearly, everything out of focus. Reviewing my entries from the past year for my annual summary, I came across this description of trying to see on a gray day from March 2nd:

This light/color really messes with my vision and lack of cone cells. Looking up, the sky was almost pixelated, or maybe it was more like static? Not total static, like when tv stations would end programming for the night, but static sprinkled into the image, making everything dance or bounce or just barely move.

log entry from 2 march 2022

I was able to greet Dave, the Daily Walker and notice that the river was open and full of ripples from the wind. I don’t remember hearing any birds, but I did hear something rumbling or buzzing, some sort of equipment for repairing the street.

I ran most of the way with no headphones. For the last mile, I put in Taylor Swift’s 1989.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. on the west side, the river was a dark gray
  2. on the east side, the river looked more grayish-brown
  3. hardly any color, almost everything gray, a few dead leaves in orangish-brownish-gold
  4. one panel of the black steel fence on the east side of the river is slightly bent and bows in the center
  5. several times dark, hulking shapes out of the corner looked like people approaching. They were trees
  6. tried to sync up my steps with a car horn that was honking repeatedly
  7. the wind was swirling, sometimes in my face, sometimes my back, helping me to run faster
  8. heard some dripping under the lake street bridge on the east side
  9. saw a tarp or a blanket on the ground under the lake street bridge on the west side
  10. noticed lots of leaves skittering across the snow, being pushed around by the wind

Completed a draft of another colorblind plate poem. I have 5 now. I’m pleased with all off the longer poems that fill the circle, but a little unsatisfied with the one word versions of the poems that are hidden in the colorblind test. It’s difficult to condense a poem into one 3-5 letter word!