sept 14/RUN

5.6 miles
the flats and back
62 degrees / humidity: 80%

Fall running. Still wearing my summer attire — shorts and a tank top — but it felt cooler, easier. I ran 3 miles, all the way down the franklin hill and into the flats, then turned around at the steps. Ran below, right by the river, on the uneven path until I reached 3.3 miles. Walked up about half of the hill. Put in Beyoncé’s Renaissance and ran most of the way back.

Fairly early into the run, I realized that my eyes were drawn to things in the bottom of my periphery. All things on the ground: changing leaves, bright blue tarps, wildflowers.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. a green glow
  2. slashes of red near my feet
  3. the strong smell of urine at a spot somewhere between the franklin and lake st bridges
  4. a big white tarp next the trash can near the WPA sign and the lake street bridge
  5. more goldenrod
  6. a lone goose up in the sky, honking
  7. an old car, puttering behind me, sounding like a rickity bike. I thought it was a bike, until it passed me
  8. Mr. Unicycle! As I neared the franklin hill, I saw him powering up the hill on his one-wheeled bike
  9. a runner ahead of me, running on the white line that divides the bike and walking paths. 2 fast bikers, speeding down the hill, swerving wide to avoid him
  10. 4 or 5 stones stacked on the ancient boulder. The top one bigger than the rest — nice balance!
a big boulder with several small stones stacked on it. The top stone, much bigger than the one just beneath it.
5, or is just 4?, stones stacked on the ancient boulder.

It’s not that much cooler than some summer days. And, I’m wearing my summer running stuff. Yet, you can tell fall is almost here (or is already here?). How? What makes the difference? I love this poem by W.S. Merwin that I first posted a few years ago for giving some answers:

To the Light of September/ W.S. Merwin

When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not

and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
endless summer
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground

but they all know
that you have come
the seed heads of the sage
the whispering birds
with nowhere to hide you
to keep you for later

who fly with them

you who are neither
before nor after
you who arrive
with blue plums
that have fallen through the night

perfect in the dew

Looked up mullein. It grows in Minnesota. Have I seen it? Possibly, I can’t quite tell.

a possible exercise: Go out for a run in early fall, when it still seems like summer. How do you know fall is coming/here?

  • quality of the light, a softer glow
  • slashes of red
  • kids biking to school
  • goldenrod
  • busy squirrels
  • geese

I feel a little stuck on the poem about my love of choppy water and the fun of punching the waves that I’ve been working on, without much progress, for the last week. Why do I like doing this? It’s not out of agression or frustration or grief. I’m not trying to hurt myself or break something. It’s about using/working my body, testing my strength, spending some energy. During the run, I had a thought: it’s not an expression of power, but of belief — belief in strong shoulders and my ability to hit a wall and not fall. Later, after I turned on the music, the song “Energy,” came on. Listening to the lyrics, I thought about how energy fits in with punching waves. I decided that when I got back from my run, I’d look up the lyrics and think about them some more. Beyoncé’s energy is a bit different than mine, but it is helping me to think more broadly about what the term could mean.

Energy/ Beyoncé

On stage rockin’, I’m stir crazy
Coco flow like 1980s
Come, let’s tell a drop lazy
None of that maybe energy (nah)
Just vibe
Votin’ out forty-five
Don’t get outta line (yeah)
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Pick a side
Only double lines we cross is dollar signs (yeah)
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh (hold up)
Wait, I hear you just got paid
Make it rain energy
She more Cancun, he more St. Tropez
Big wave in the room, the crowd gon’ move
Look around everybody on mute
Look around it’s me and my crew
Big energy
He was on stop mode, got froze
Froze front page Vogue, no pose
Chat too much, full clip unload
That’s that Kodak energy
Yeah, yeah
Gold links, raw denim
You know that we do it grande
You know that I’m gon’ be extra
When that camera go pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop
Keep ’em waitin’ like dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot
Ooh, la, la, la
That’s the way them boys sound when I walk through the block-block-block
Then I Uzi that doozy, shot-shot-shot
We was chillin’, mindin’ our business
Poppin’ our pain and champagne through the ceiling
Sippin’ it up, flickin’ it up
All this good energy got you all in your feelings, feelings
I’m crazy, I’m swearin’
I’m darin’, your man starin’
I just entered the country with Derringers
‘Cause them Karens just turned into terrorists
You was on stop mode, got froze
Froze front page Vogue, no pose
Chat too much, full clip unload
That’s that Kodak energy (go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go)
Energy (go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go)
Yeah, yeah

no maybe energy, vital, alive, extra, not frozen or stopped, less talk more action