oct 15/RUN

3.3 miles
edmund, south/river road trail, north/edmund, south
35 degrees

It felt warmer than 35 degrees to me. Was it because I warmed up on my bike in the basement before I left? Maybe. Listened to Beyoncé and Renaissance as I ran. Favorite song today: “Plastic Off the Sofa.” My right kneecap, the one that’s been slipping out of the groove seems okay today. To be safe, I ran all the way home instead of walking the last bit. I’ve found that it’s mostly okay when I run, but starts to shift more when I’m walking after my run. Why? Bodies are strange and so hard to figure out.

My view to the other side is getting wider! More leaves leaving everyday. I don’t remember noticing the color of the river, just that it was bright and shiny and beckoning through the trees. Saw two roller skiers skiing side by side, the swinging of their poles in sync. I didn’t hear the poles clicking because I was listening to music. Also watched the graceful gait of a runner as they passed by me. Beautiful to watch their feet lift off — so high, so bouncy, so rhythmic!

Near the start of my run: one wild turkey in a neighbor’s front yard, looking a little frantic or wary of me running by. Did they hiss? If they did, I didn’t hear it.

As I neared the old oak tree that stands next to the ancient boulder at the top of the tunnel of trees, I noticed that it was golden — not a bright, vibrant yellow, which is sometimes what I call golden, but like gold leaf that’s slightly tarnished, past its prime, a glow that’s fading.

The Beginning of the Beginning/ Phuong T. Vuong

Who decides where a river starts? When are there enough
sources, strong currents and water wide enough for its name?

In Colorado, the Chama begins in smaller creeks and streams,
flows into New Mexico to form the Rio Grande, splitting Texas

and Mexico (who decided?) and moves deeper south. I think
a few of these thoughts by a creek on a beaming hot day,

as water rips by in rapids propelled, formed in mountains far above.
The water icy even in this summer heat. People grin

some false bravery. They sit in tubes and dip into the tide
and be carried away. I think of drowning. Of who sees water

as fun. Who gets to play in a heatwave. Who trusts
the flow. Migrants floating in the Rio Grande haunt me, so

I think of families tired of waiting, of mercy that never comes,
of taking back Destiny. The rivers must have claimed more

this year. Knows no metering but the rush of its mountain
source’s melt. A toddling child follows her father into water’s

pull. Think of gang’s demands, of where those come from. Trickles
of needs meeting form a flow of migrants. Think of where

it begins. Think of the current of history—long, windy, but
traceable and forceful in its early shapes.

This question of the first line, who decides when a river starts, makes me think about the origins of the mississippi and Lorine Niedecker’s discussion of Henry Schoolcraft’s naming of lake itasca in her poem “Lake Superior.” It also makes me think of Diane Setterfield’s discussion of rivers and springs and their origins in Once Upon a River.

I also like the lines:

Of who sees water

as fun. Who gets to play in a heatwave. Who trusts
the flow.

Not always, but often, when I’m swimming across lake nokomis in the summer, I think about the people who have drowned in this small, shallow lake. Water has always been something I love and trust and can move through easily. I try to remember how that’s not true for others.