feb 1/RUN

4.5 miles
minnehaha falls and back
13 degrees / feels like 6
75% snow and ice-covered

Warmer this morning. Even the feels like temperature was above 0. Sunny, not too much wind. Only slipped a few times, even though the path was an ice rink. Heard lots of birds — a few I could name, pileated woodpecker, black capped chickadee, a lot I couldn’t.

I ran south again today. A few winters ago, I ran north all the time. I wanted to avoid the double bridge near the 44th street parking lot because they never cleared it. Now I mostly run south, trying to avoid the uneven stretch between lake street and the trestle. Encountered a fat tire, some runners, and a few walkers, including a guy near the falls, blasting some loud, dissonant music that I couldn’t quite place.

Devoted a lot of time to staying aware of the icy path, looking out for hard chunks of snow or smooth, slick patches of ice. Forgot to look at the river, or forgot to remember I was looking at the river.

10 Things I Heard

  1. the loon-ish (at least to me) song of a pileated woodpecker
  2. the feebee song of a black-capped chickadee
  3. some strange high-pitched whine coming from the new apartment building across from the falls — the one they’ve been working on for way too long and that blocked the bike path in the summer so that FWA and I had to bike through the grass
  4. construction noise coming from that same apartment building — was it a nail gun? a truck backing up? loud pounding? I can’t remember anything about it but that it made me think, construction noise
  5. the loud, not quite heavy metal or hard rock but something like that, music coming from a walker near the falls
  6. the hard crunch of my feet on the month-old snow
  7. kids yelling and laughing and playing during recess at Minnehaha Academy
  8. a runner calling out some greeting after I waved at him
  9. the creaking and crunching of car wheels behind me from a truck driving over the lingering snow
  10. the faintest jingle of my house key in the pocket of my orange running shirt

Anything else about the path? The worst stretch, as in most uneven and icy, was right after 38th heading south. All slick ice. I wondered (and worried) about what will happen when it gets warmer and this ice melts. Noticing the shin-high wall of tightly packed snow lining the side of the path closest to the road, I imagined the water having nowhere to go and turning into a little lake.

Found this great passage by Roland Barthes from a poetry person on twitter. I want to collect it now, return to it later. It makes me think of passive attention, telling the truth slant, my peripheral vision, and distraction:

To be with the one I love and to think of something else: this is how I have my best ideas, how I best invent what is necessary to my work. Likewise for the test: it produces, in me, the best pleasure if it manages to make itself heard indirectly; if, reading it, I am led to look up often, to listen to something else. I am not necessarily captivated by the text of pleasure; it can be an act that is slight, complex, tenuous, almost scatterbrained: a sudden movement of the head like a bird who understands nothing of what we hear, who hears what we do not understand.

The Pleasure of the Text/ Roland Barthes

When I mentioned distraction above, I was partly thinking of an article about poetry and distraction that I posted here a few years ago. I found it again and discovered that this article begins with the quote from Barthes. Nice!

In Search of Distraction