dec 25/ RUN

3.2 miles
Austin, MN
42 degrees

Ran in Austin with Scott this afternoon. Warmish. The streets were clear, the sidewalks had lots of puddles and ice and snow built up at the ends. We ran a mile, walked a minute, three times. Then walked another mile.

Observations

  1. Slick, wet pavement. Be-puddled sidewalks.
  2. Running over the crushed up, light brown gravel on the sidewalk where they had been doing sewer work
  3. Wonderfully tacky inflatable nativity scene in front of someone’s house
  4. Big stretches of bare ground–mud, green grass.

dec 8/RUN

3.1 miles
trestle turn around
32 degrees
5% ice and snow covered

Ran straight into the wind on the way north. Met up with Scott just past the trestle and ran south with the wind at our backs. Was able to introduce Scott to Dave the Daily Walker. Heard some geese. Admired the river, looking like it was on fire, bursting through the bare trees. Gray sky, humid air. Counted to 4. Had to wipe my eyes repeatedly–very annoying. Walking back through our neighborhood, pointed out a small circular hole in the street to Scott. Not big enough to mess up a car or a bike but maybe a foot? After asking why there wasn’t a cone over it, Scott noticed that there had been a cone but it was jammed down into the hole. Wow. Who does that?

one more thing: After posting this entry, I remembered something else about my run. As I started, I noticed my ponytail brushing up against the back of my jacket. I don’t recall noticing it for the entire run. Did I just get used to it, or did it stop brushing my jacket?

What Would Root
BY KATIE FARRIS

Walking through a cathedral of oak trees
and bristlecone pines, scolded by squirrels
in their priestly black, their white collars
wagging with the force of their scolding, I
was struck, simultaneously, in both eyes,
by some sort of flying detritus—pollen or seeds—
and stopped to lean against a rock
to scrub it (I thought) away. It was May,

it was May, it was May, and the air was sweet
with pine and Island Mountain lilac. The squirrels,
I mentioned them already, etc, and the lizards
ran down the spines of rocks like a bad feeling. I
could see everything: red-headed hummingbirds
dipped their beaks into the little red hoods of penstemon,
and I, a redhead, could hear everything: a red-crested
woodpecker, who was not offended I did not know his name.

And I could see everything: it was all green, really;
even the red was anti-green, and though my eyes
ached from everything-seeing, I could taste the granite
in the spring (oh yes, I drank water from the ground; I
was wild, even then, though the squirrels scolded
me and tried to convince me I was not). Soon I crested
a rise; the land spread itself greenly for me and I
wished I had seed to toss into that green, just to see

what would root. My right eye would not close to this
view; why would it; but when I reached up to touch it, I
felt that there was a twig emerging, and another from my
other eye; that they were a part of my body I could not doubt;
they were living and enervated and jutting out. I
sat down, feeling the hairs on the back of my neck,
understanding for the first time they were not hairs, but roots.
I could see everything; it was all green; the twigs in my eyes

tasted sunlight with my mouth; the roots drew the salt
from my sweat into their vacuum, and I was no longer hungry:
my metamorphosis had rendered me perfectly self-sufficient. I
could see everything; the roots in my skull shifted and I
lay down beneath my own branches. I had to wiggle a bit to
find a place to lay my head; the rock was very hard,
and I needed softer ground—yes, a place for the top
of my head to come off, to nuzzle into the earth, to drink.

Wow! I love this green poem. So good. So green. So wild. So wonderful to imagine rooting in a field. Love this line: “even the red was anti-green” I want to spend more time with this poem and add it to my collection of green poems.

dec 2/RUN

3.25 miles
us bank stadium

Scott and I ran inside the stadium for the first time this season. The Minnesota Distance Running Association no longer manages it so it was a little more expensive and lot more fiddly–purchasing tickets, taking 2 separate elevators. I strongly dislike elevators. Maybe because of the change or the increase in price, there weren’t that many people there. We had a nice run. Not sure how many times I’ll do it this season but it’s always cool to get to run inside the stadium, especially in the evening. Not much I remember about the run except the music: every song sounded like Selena Gomez…excerpt the brief respite when they played Lizzo.

December
David Baker

Instead, there is an hour, a moment,
a slight fading of the light like a loss of power

in the neighborhood. Then it’s dark. You can’t see
the trees any more, the old snow, the dog that barks

from the door of his shed because it’s night now
and time to be fed. Is he huddled now, over his paws?

—And one Canada goose so low in passing
above the barn you still hear the shadow.

This weekend I heard a lot of geese over head. Too high in the sky to hear their shadows passing, but I did hear their honks. Such beautiful, haunting sounds! This season, my favorite. I really like this poem and what it captures. and how it de-privileges vision–hearing the dog bark, the shadow of the goose, feeling (when unable to see) the tree, the old snow.

nov 28/RUN

3.2 miles
lake harriet
25 degrees

Ran around Lake Harriet with Scott on Thanksgiving day. Some ice and snow but hardly any wind. Not too cold. The water is still open–no ice skating yet. Lots of people walking and running. A few bikers, some fat tires. Driving over to the lake on the parkway, it looked like a winter wonderland with all of the snow-covered trees.

Tonight for dessert, I am making an apple crumble. It is baking in the oven and smells delicious as I write this entry. Looked up “apple” at the poetry foundation site and found this wonderful celebration of all things A:

The Letter A
BY DARREN SARDELLI

The letter A is awesome!
It simply is the best.
Without an A, you could not get
an A+ on a test.
You’d never see an acrobat
or eat an apple pie.
You couldn’t be an astronaut
or kiss your aunt goodbye.
An antelope would not exist.
An ape would be unknown.
You’d never hear a person
say “Afraid” or “All Alone”.
The A’s in avocado
would completely disappear
and certain words would be forgot
like “ankle”, “arm”, and “ear”.

Without the A, you couldn’t aim
an arrow in the air.
You wouldn’t ask for apricots
or almonds at a fair.
Aruba and Australia
would be missing from a map.
You’d never use an ATM,
an apron, or an app.
The arctic fox and aardvark
would be absent from the zoo,
and vowels, as you know them,
would be E, I, O, and U.
There wouldn’t be an A chord
on the instruments you play.
Let’s appreciate, admire,
and applaud the letter A!

nov 14/RUN

6.5 miles
river road, south/falls/minnehaha creek/lake nokomis
30 degrees
30-40% snow-covered

Ran over to Lake Nokomis for the first time in a while. Ran straight into the wind for most of it. The path was slick in spots. Will this small bit of snow ever go away or it will just keep melting during the day, then re-freezing at night? Some annoying squirrels almost got in my way. Pretty sure I spotted an albino squirrel on the creek path between the duck bridge and the echo bridge. No ice on the creek but the lake was covered with snow. When I reached the lake, I met Scott and ran around it with him. He pointed out how the snow illuminated a narrow crack in the ice that spanned the entire lake. Strange looking out at the water as we ran, so many trees have been cut down–the view here too clear, too exposed. For most of the day it was sunny, but during my run it was gray. Felt like January.

Hardly a month left in this decade and I’ve been thinking about what I’ve done in the past ten years. So much of it is documented on my many virtual spaces and in my notebooks. Might be fun to read through it all.

I love Maggie Smith’s poetry. So many beautiful ideas and images. The hum as an appliance inside of us, then as the soul. So cool.

The Hum/maggie smith

It’s not a question
without the mark: How do we live
with trust in a world that will continue

to betray us. Hear my voice
not lift at the end. How do we trust
when we continue to be betrayed.

For the first time I doubt
we’ll find our way back. But how
can we not. See how the terminal

mark allows a question
to dress as statement and vice versa.
Sometimes if I am quiet and still,

I can hear a small hum inside me,
an appliance left running.
Years ago I thought it was coming

from my bones. The hum
kept me company, and I thought
thank god for bones, for the fidelity

of bones—they’ll be there
until the end and then some.
Now what. How to continue.

I’ve started calling the hum the soul.
Today I have to hold
my breath to hear it. What question

does it keep not asking
and not asking, never changing
its pitch. How do I answer.

oct 5/RUN

3.5 miles
top of franklin hill and back
52 degrees

Rainy in the morning so our 10K race was cancelled. Ran after the rain, in the afternoon. First mile, then last 1/2 mile with Scott. The rest by myself, partly with no headphones, partly listening to a playlist. Don’t remember much but seeing streaks of fall colors and lots of cars driving on the parkway. Why so many cars?

oct 3/RUN

3 miles
trestle turn around
48 degrees

Ran with Scott in the afternoon. Still wore shorts, but it’s getting colder. A great run. Relaxed, not too fast. Getting ready for the 10k race on Saturday. Haven’t raced a 10k in almost a year. Noticed more leaves have fallen from the trees. The Welcoming Oaks are now a goldengrove unleaving. When did that happen? Everything is changing too fast.

Spring and Fall
BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

september 1/RUN

3 miles
austin, mn
60 degrees

Another run through Austin, this time in the opposite direction. Started with a few “hills.” Ran through a neighborhood without sidewalks. Don’t remember much–I do remember telling Scott a story and having trouble talking while running.

Today’s mannequin is “please find my hands!”:

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Please find my hands!

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august 31/RUN

3 miles
austin, mn
61 degrees

Ran in Scott’s hometown. Here you can see a lot in 3 miles. Downtown, the fairgrounds, a creek, river, a few parks, the library, the almost built fitness center.

After seeing all the creepy, wonderful mannequins at the state fair last week, I’ve decided I want to write about them. For a few years now, Scott’s been taking pictures of them for me. Today’s mannequin is “sassy no arms”:

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Sassy No Arms.

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