july 12/RUN

3.5 miles
47th street loop
67 degrees

Cooler this morning with a lower dew point–in the upper 50s or low 60s, I think. As I write this at my upstairs desk, a few hours after my run, I can hear chickadees and it reminds me of the birds I heard as I ran: lots of black capped chickadees doing their feebee call, several cardinals pew pew pewing. Very crowded on the road this morning. Even so, I made sure to keep my 6 feet of distance. Saw many runners, bikers, walkers both be-dogged and dog-less. I think I saw a blue sliver of the river at some point. Ran down past turkey hollow but forgot to check for turkeys–are they here in the middle of the summer? do they hide during the heat of the day and emerge at night?

Recited the entire “The Meadow” a few times through. Such a beautiful poem with wonderful last lines: “Bedeviled,/human, your plight, in waking, is to chose from the words/that even now sleep on your tongue, and to know that tangled/among them and terribly new is the sentence that could change your life.” 3 years ago I encountered that line not too long after reading Mary Oliver’s “Invitation” and her final lines, “It could be what Rilke meant when he wrote/You must change your life.” I started thinking about this idea of you could/must change your life and how it works, what it might look like. And then, all of this wondering became the inspiration for my chapbook, You Must Change Your Life.

I’m interested in revisiting those ideas now for many reasons: I’m not entirely happy with my poems and how I worked through the ideas; having dedicated 3 more years to studying poetry and thinking about these ideas, I have new insights to add; it’s fascinating to see how my perspective has/hasn’t changed in these 3 years (for example, in one of the poems I wrote, “Anyway, who cares about the birds?” This year, I do, quite a bit); and I’d like to explore this in relation to the radical change that has happened in 2020 due to the pandemic–but, is it a change/transformation or merely a disruption? I hope it’s a transformation.

Here’s a recording of me reciting the poem after I returned home:

The Meadow, July 12