trestle turn around plus extra
5° feels like 4 below
50% snow and ice covered
A only slightly edited transcript of my notes about the run, dictated into my notes app on my phone.
A lot of slippery spots. Very sunny this morning. It felt really cold. About a mile in greeted Dave the daily walker. Almost yelled out to him, “it’s cold today!” He is hard-core–no coat again but some gloves. Running right before I got to the trestle I heard a beep beep beep beep beep beep beep sound. I wondered if it was the train and then after I crossed under the trestle and was still heading towards downtown, I heard the rumbling of a train. It lasted a long time. I thought about turning around and running back so I could see the train but I decided against it because I wanted to keep going north. I listened to the rumble and I couldn’t quite tell if it was coming from Saint Paul over to Minneapolis or from Minneapolis over to Saint Paul. I experimented with chanting in threes when I turned around and headed south again. Uppercut/ bowling ball/ sweaty brow Then I started chanting in triple berries: raspberry/ blueberry/ red berry/ green berry pink berry/ orange berry/ blueberry/ raspberry/ gooseberry/ mulberry I chanted them over and over again to try and keep a steady rhythm. I saw a couple other runners, a few walkers. I thought I heard some kids yelling in the gorge but then I realized it was geese honking.
thoughts about dictating running notes
- Not sure if I like the notes app for this. It was a bit awkward and I think (at least I hope) it added in some random words.
- I write much better than I speak.
- I need to stop feeling so self conscious doing this. I also need to be more deliberate and thoughtful in what I say.
- I still have to add in periods and capitals, which is irritating.
- This is a good exercise for me. I need to get used to doing something that someday might be necessary.
The Blink Reflex/ Rick Barot
I have this notion that if you live long enough,
there are three or four great stories that you will have in your life.
A story of a journey or a transformation.
A story of love, which will likely mean the loss of love, a story
of loss. And a story of spiritual illumination,
which, for many, will probably be the moment of death itself,
the story untellable, its beginning and middle
and end collapsing with its teller into a disappearing conclusion.
I have believed long enough in my notion
to know that it is a romantic notion, that it erodes each time
I realize that the shard and not the whole
comprises a life, the image and not the narrative. Otherwise,
there’s no reason why all I remember of the airplane
I took as a child from one country to another
is the moist towelette packet we were given with our meal,
the wonder and absurdity of it. Or that, in love,
high in a tree in the dark, and high, he and I sat in the rain-damp
branches and ate 7-Eleven donuts. Or this, this piece
of a story that isn’t even mine, that isn’t even a story
but a glance of an experience, of the friend who held the stray
dog after it was struck by a car. Not knowing whether the dog
was dead, my friend called a friend
who worked for a vet. Poke the dog in the eye, this friend said.
Because if the animal no longer has a blink reflex,
it probably means the animal is dead. Decades after
college, when you could do such a thing, I typed his name
into a search engine to find out what became of the 18-year-old
boy from the tree. Like dozens of old keys
in a drawer, so many of the wrong people with the right name.
The child dead from leukemia, with a school gym
named for him. The wrestler who had a perfectly square jaw,
like a cartoon police detective in a fedora.
When I arrived at a page that was certainly
about him, I no longer knew the face, but I recognized the life
that he had had. He had transferred to
another college, gone to film school, and become a producer
of TV documentaries. A film about fishermen, the harsh fishing
season in Alaska. A film about Abraham Lincoln
and a film about the last days of Adolf Hitler.
A film about the Sherpas who go up and down the Himalayas.
What a beautiful poem. I love the title and the way the stories/fragments are woven together and the sweet, soft rhyme of “and high, he and I” and the playing with the romantic notion that we each only have 3 or 4 great stories.