july 31/RUNSWIM

5 miles
bottom of franklin hill and back
65 degrees

What a wonderful morning to be outside! Cooler, sunny, calm.

My new morning routine is to get up, feed the dog, make my coffee, and then sit outside on my deck. Sitting there, I noticed a few birds swooping down from our new gutters. Uh oh — they’re trying to build a nest.

I felt pretty good on my run. Relaxed for the first few miles. Running down the hill, my left hip felt a little tight. Not too bad. Last night, Scott and I talked about signing up for the Oct 2024 marathon, for our 50 birthdays. Can my knees and hips handle it?

Listened to birds, acorns falling from the trees, kids calling out for Dairy Queen for the first half of the run. Put in headphones and listened to “Camelot” on the way back.

At the bottom of the franklin hill, I turned around. As I walked back up the hill, I recorded a few moments from the run:

moment one

Running through the tunnel of trees
a few minutes ago
a wonderful silence
no cars
I could hear myself breathing
everything still
no wind.
I was mostly in the moment
every so often a wonder
about when a car would come
and break the silence
cut into my calm.

moment two

approaching the trestle
I heard some kids
yelling, yeah! dairy queen!
another camp group
a dozen kids in bright yellow vests
as they biked past me
one of them chanted, dairy queen! dairy queen!

moment three

as spoke about moment two into my phone
a runner passed me
looking relaxed graceful
his legs rhythmically bobbing up and down

10 Things

  1. a still river
  2. a black shirt dropped near the porta potty
  3. one acorn dropping to the ground from a tree, thud
  4. another acorn being crushed by a bike wheel, crunch!
  5. 2 roller skiers, or the same roller skier encountered twice
  6. the Welcoming Oaks wondering where I’ve been
  7. a person asleep under the bridge
  8. a regular — Santa Claus
  9. another regular — Mr. Morning!
  10. a woman ahead of me, a dark shirt strung through the strap of her tank top, flapping as she ran

On this last day of July, a month about water, I want to include this passage from Roger Deakin’s Waterlog:

The following afternoon, under a blue sky fringed white with distant clouds on the horizon, four of us swam in 360 feet of turquoise water in a sheer-sided quarry on Belnahua. The island encricled a huge natural swimming pool, raised above sea level, whose waters were so utterly transparent that when we swam, we saw our shadows far down, swimming ahead of us along the bottom. All around, only yards away, was the deeper blue of the open sea, and the Hebrides: Fladda, Scarba, Jura, Lunga, the Garvellachs (the ‘Islands of the sea’, St. Coumba’s favourite place), Luing, Mull and Colonsay. The light and the skies kept changing all afternoon: from bright blue with distant dazzling clouds to deepening red and gold. Diving from the rocks into the immensely deep, clear, brackish water, intensified the giddy feeling of aquatic flying.

Waterlog / Roger Deakin (237)

I would love to swim here (or near here)– some day in my 50s, I hope. Last week I mentioned possibly seeing my shadow in the water, but barely because the water in the lake is opaque. I remember seeing (and writing about) my shadow in the pool last winter, how it felt like I was flying above the deep end. I love the idea of aquatic flying and the rare times I feel like I’m actually doing it.

swim: 2 loops (4 cedar loops)
cedar lake open swim
83 degrees

Always grateful for another swim. Was able to swim on course, even without the buoys. My calves felt a little strange, my nose was a bit stuffed up, but otherwise, a great swim.

Instead of listing 10 things I noticed, here’s the coolest thing of the night: the vegetation stretching up from the bottom of the lake. How tall is it, I wonder? On the last loop, rounding the far orange buoy at Hidden Beach, I swam parallel to the beach, right above the vegetation — is it milfoile? Whatever it is, it’s wonderfully creepy — a pale green, ghostly, reaching up toward the light or my torso. So much of it! When I have more time, I do a little more research about these plants, and try to describe them more too.

july 30/SWIM

4 loops
open swim lake nokomis
69 degrees

Another great Sunday swim. Sunny and a calm. A little cooler, but not too bad. Felt very strong on the first loop, not so strong by the fourth one. Somewhere in the middle, I lost track of the number of loops I was doing. I entered the swimming area at the main beach convinced I had done 5, when I had only done 4. Oh well, that was enough for me. For some reason, today’s swim tired me out more than the 4 loops on Friday. I guess it is a lot of swimming. I swam more miles this week (10.5) than I ran (10). I think I swam more miles than ran this entire month. I did a rough check, and they were basically the same. Wow. I really cut back on running this month and increased my swimming!

Started the swim by being routed by someone with an orange safety buoy. No worries. I just stopped for a minute and regrouped.

Saw at least one plane, many minnows, the swimmer with green arms — I still can’t tell if it’s a wetsuit or a sun shirt (or whatever they’re called), pale legs under the water, sparkles on the water’s surface, a clear sky, then a cloud-filled one, shiny bubbles from my fingers.

I recited a few poems — lines from “A Nude Swim,” “Evaporations,” and “The Meadow.” Thought again about my body losing all of its loneliness.

Wow, this poem!

Glacier/ Claire Wahmanholm

It is everywhere. It is the water I am trying to teach my daughters to float in. It is the sky I tell them to keep their eyes on. It is the air I tell them to seal in their mouths should they slip underwater. I am a leaky boat, but I am trying to answer their questions. As deep as thirty Christmas trees. As deep as twenty giraffes standing on each other’s backs. There hasn’t been a sea here for seventy-five million years. I cannot explain that number. My daughters’ ankles are sinking into the beryl water. No one can float forever. On the map, pushpins skewer patches of icy green like rare moths. I am trying to say it’s too late without making them too sad. It’s like how you can’t take the blue out of the white paint, like how you can’t hear your name and not turn around. The calving of glaciers is the loudest underwater sound on Earth. I dip my daughters’ ears beneath the surface to let them listen. It’s like how you can’t put a feather back on a bird, like how the bird won’t fit back into its shell. We step backward into the house. I wring the glacier out of their suits. I wring it out of their hair. I wipe it from their faces, but it is everywhere. It is the storm, it is the drowned harbor, it is the current, it is the bathwater that the baby slurps before we can stop her. The horizon rises. It rains. The glacier hammers the roof, the glacier soaks a corner of the bedroom ceiling, which greens with spores. On the map, the pushpins hover over green air, the green air is a spreading shroud. The storm surges ashore, mercurial and summer-smelling. We are not accustomed to the sea, so we describe it like a sky. The waves are tornado green and loud. In the water, the polar bears look like clouds.

july 29/RUN

4 miles
marshall loop (to cleveland)
67 degrees

Ran with Scott on the Marshall loop, our new Saturday morning tradition. Passed by a chatting toddler with their parents — Hi! We’re taking a walk with our dog today! Half walked, half ran up the Marshall Hill. Talked about RAGBRAI and a few other things I can’t remember now.

10 Surfaces Run Over

  1. plywood (little bridges covering the water pipes on the sidewalk for the city construction project)
  2. grass
  3. mud
  4. a big squishy pile of muck on the sidewalk — yuck!
  5. cracked concrete
  6. asphalt
  7. dirt
  8. long, slender, brittle branches
  9. leaves
  10. acorns

Speaking of acorns, as Scott and I ran down the hill above Shadow Falls I heard 2 distinctive cracks on the pavement — crack crack. It was 2 acorns falling from the tree. Yep, the first signs of fall always come at the end of July and early August.

No rowers on the river, just little waves. Lots of runners, walkers, and one biking who sped by very close without warning us and another who was much slower and kind, gently calling out on your left as they approached. Oh — and someone hauling ass on an eliptigo. Excellent.

watched / read / said

Watched a replay of Katie Ledecky winning her 6th straight gold in the 800 at the World Championships in Fukuoka. She hasn’t lost this race in 13 years. Wow.

Read (with my eyes) the first few pages of Andrew Leland’s The Country of the Blind. He’s talking about how strange it feels to know that you will go blind. I can relate, even though his condition — retinis pigmentosa — is different than mine. I look forward to reading more of this memoir today.

Also read, this time with my ears: I’m finishing up the wonderful audio book, Symphony of Secrets. A bad title, but an excellent book.

Yesterday, Scott said something that I’ve heard before, but that I found particularly funny. Talking about how some program he was using broke or stopped working or something like that he said: it shit the bed. Then he said, who shits the bed? wetting the bed, I can see, but shitting in it?

Also said: Talking about how frazzled I would be if I listened to audio books at twice the speed, I hesitated and then said, I would be a basket case. As I used it, I knew there must be some bad origin story for this phrase. Yep. It involves WWI soldiers and lost limbs, and that’s all I’ll say.

july 28/SWIM

4 loops
lake nokomis open swim
71 degrees

Yesterday, it was very windy and HOT — upper 90s with feels like temp of over 100 — so I decided to skip open swim last night. I’m glad I did. I think I would have been sore and tired, having battled the wind and the waves. Instead today was a great swim. Calm water and not too crowded. I felt strong and fast and confident.

Again, I couldn’t see the orange buoys, but it didn’t matter. I was fine. I’ve been writing for years about how I can’t see those buoys. Slowly, what it means to “not see the buoys” has changed. It used to be, I only see the buoys every few minutes, not all the time, or, I only see the flash of orange or a small orange dot. But today, on the way to the little beach, swimming into the sun, I only saw the buoys out of my peripheral as I swam by them, never when I was trying to sight with them. Looking straight ahead, using my central vision, I only saw glare and water, trees, and sky. This did not worry me at all. The only time I could see an orange buoy with my central vision, and again, just barely, was after I rounded the second green buoy as I swam back to the start of the loop. Mostly I could see the green buoys as the idea of green or a small green dot. One time, as I got closer (but I was still 50+ yards away), I knew I was heading toward the second green buoy but I couldn’t actually see it. I paused, lifted my head high out of the water, then turned to look out of my peripheral. There it was. When I looked through my central vision again, I could see it because now my brain knew where it was. That’s one way my brain compensates for bad cones.

On the back half of loops 3 and 4, I recited A Oswald’s “Evaporations,” A Sexton’s “A Nude Swim,” and T Hoagland’s “The Social Life of Water.” Fun! I like reciting these poems. I thought about Sexton’s line, we let our bodies lose all their loneliness and Hoaglund’s lines, all water is a part of other water and no water is lonely water. Also thought about Ed Bok Lee and his idea of water as wise, ebullient, and generous in “Water in Love.” I tried to love like the lake loves, open and generous to everything and everyone. I gave attention to feeling not lonely — connected, entangled, beholding and beholden by the fish or the lifeguards, the other swimmers, the buoys.

10+ Lake Companions

  1. the woman who, as she neared the safety boat by the lifeguard stand on the beach to drop off her stuff, called out, I forgot my cap in the car! Then later, when I asked, pointed out the far orange buoy to me
  2. the lifeguard on the shore, speaking into her walkie talkie, instructing the lifeguards where to place the buoys
  3. the swan boat, far off to my left
  4. the plane sharply ascending above me
  5. the small piece of debris that I accidentally swallowed then felt as it briefly got stuck in my throat
  6. the small piece of debris that somehow got trapped in my googles, then in my eye until I blinked it out
  7. the swimmers with bright pink buoys tethered to their torsos
  8. one of the few swimmers wearing a wet suit on this warm morning
  9. the breaststrokers
  10. the women giggling and calling out to each other as they approached the first orange buoy
  11. the woman discussing her swim with another swimmer after she was done, I’m slow, very very slow

All of us, together, loving the lake and each other.

Before my swim, I read a great interview between two writers discussing illness and the writing life, Sick and Writing: Two Poets Converse. Here are some passages from it that I’d like to remember and reflect on:

detection, diagnosis, disease

poetry is not so much a means of healing as it is a method of detection, occasionally therapeutic but essentially diagnostic. Which of course implies that poetry is rooted not only in dis-ease but in causes hidden.

Jennifer Sperry Steinorth

to articulate what this singular life is like, in the thick of it

Not that we’re writing to solve the mystery of being; it’s more the need to see clearly. To look at the undersides of leaves, to watch butterflies emerge from their chrysalises. To be amazed. To look at the adventure of our infirmities, even. As Marianne Boruch said, it’s about detection.


I’ve wondered if I write them [emotions] to feel in control, to feel in connection with others who suffer, or simply to articulate what this singular life is like, in the thick of it.

Fleda Brown

on erasures

I like the idea of receptivity with regard to erasure. I have often used the metaphor of excavation to speak of that work, though I too balk at the idea that I am digging up something that already exists, something latent in the text. Rather, it is as if I am excavating the dead from a text that buried them—a kind of channeling.


trying to find the awe in awful

The word awful has awe in it, but when I feel awful it doesn’t feel like awe—maybe it should. Pain alienates us from one another, from ourselves, and from language. It disrupts connectivity. But through writing or other forms of making, we struggle against that disconnect.


on taking walks in order to face the lion

 I sometimes need multiple walks a day; movement outside in the ordinary splendor of the world allows me to enter the tragic spaces of the past and the ongoing darkness in the world and in myself, without being swallowed by it. Jane Hirshfield talks about this in her wonderful essay “Facing the Lion,” inspired in part by Allen Ginsberg’s poem “The Lion for Real,” “The trick then is to let the lion into the house without abandoning one’s allegiance to the world of the living: to live amid the overpowering scent of its knowledge, yet not be dragged entirely into its realm.” Moving my body out in the world—outside the intimate spaces where I write—being in conversation with others—all of these help me hold the dark and light together. That this work demands so much discipline—even when I feel otherwise stable—speaks to the toll our work can take.


the relief of a diagnosis

 Sometimes when I tell people my diagnoses they tell me they are sorry, and I understand they think the diagnoses are awful, and I get that, but I am so thankful for the diagnoses. It’s such a relief to know what’s wrong—even when nothing can be done to fix it.

Maybe knowing what’s wrong—the diagnosis—helps us—if not to fix what’s wrong, then to adjust our mind to new uncertainties—to let something go?


Discovered that Fleda Brown has a wonderful blog, The Wobbly Bicycle. I’ll have to keep checking it out!

Here’s the poem-of-the-day from yesterday. If I had swam last night, I would have posted it then. It’s fitting for my swim this morning, thinking about my love for/of others in the water. Also, it’s a nice nod to the swimmer I heard after I exited the lake who said she was slow, very very slow.

Romance/ Susan Browne

I swim my laps today, slowly, slowly,
reaching my arms out & over, my fleshly oars,
the water silken on my skin, my body still able
to be a body & resting at the pool’s lip,
I watch other bodies slip through the blue,
how fast the young are
& how old they become, floating, floating,
forgetting the weight of years
while palm trees sway above us,
a little wind in the fronds, children playing
in the fountains, one is crying, one is eating
a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, I’m hungry
& wonder, has everything important happened
& what is more important than this,
like a secret adventure, like an affair I’m having
with everyone I see, their soft or washboard bellies,
their flat or rounded butts, their rippling hair
or shiny domes, their fragile ankles,
their beautiful bones, all our atoms swimming, swimming
& making us visible & I shove off the wall,
reaching my arms out, embracing the whole
magic show, with ten more laps to go.

july 26/RUNSWIM

3.3 miles
trestle turn around
71 degrees
humidity: 94% / dew point: 67

Hot and steamy today. Went out for my run right after the rain ended. Everything wet, dripping, swampy. Headed north through the tunnel of trees. Noticed a tall, precarious stack of small stones on the ancient boulder. Was passed by a shirtless runner with a bright yellow baseball cap on backwards. For the next five minutes of my run, I watched as his bright yellow head slowly bobbed out of sight. Encountered another biking camp group — 20 or 30 kids in yellow vest on the bike path. Not sure how they were doing it, but they managed to get several cars to honk for them. Turned around at the stairs just past the railroad trestle.

For most of the run it was overcast, but at the very end, as I ran back through the neighborhood, some sun emerged and my shadow joined me. Hello friend!

Listened to 1 biker talking to another — most of it was just out of range, but I heard, I always slow way down there and look carefully, otherwise I keep going, the biking kids, and cars. After turning around, put in headphones. Started with Billie Eilish’s latest song for the Barbie movie, “What Was I Made For,” then was inspired to put on The Wiz and the Tinman’s song, “What Would I Do If I Could Feel?”

I started thinking about my desire to use my runs to help open me up to the world — to feel things deeply and generously. And now, as I write this, I’m thinking about Emily Dickinson’s poem about grief and the formal feeling that comes after it, “After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” which I first posted about on this blog in march of 2021.

10 Wet Things

  1. sidewalk puddles
  2. half my street for a short stretch
  3. the leaves on the sprawling oak tree near the ancient boulder
  4. the edges of the trail
  5. one branch leaning over the trail, brushing my face
  6. my face — from sweaty effort, running through rain-soaked branches, under dripping bridges
  7. the air — hazy, steamy, fog hovering just above the trail
  8. the tip of my pony tail
  9. wheels — bike, car, stroller
  10. mud on the dirt trail, mostly where the ruts are the deepest

This was the daily poem on poems.com. A great winter poem to revisit in January. I love Major Jackson’s poetry.

lxxxi. / Major Jackson

Pine shadows on snow like a Jasper canvas,
if only my pen equaled the downy’s stabbing beak
this January morning, her frantic
chipping, more resolve than frenzy, to make a feast
of beetle larvae, if only my wood-boring eyes
could interrogate the known like pillars of sunlight
through fast-moving clouds scanning the side
of Corporation Mountain where on a distant ridge
white plumes dissolve like theories. I cannot hear
through winter’s quiet what’s worth saying.
Saplings stand nude as Spartans awaiting orders.
The entire forest is iced-up and glistening.
Sealed in its form, the austere world I’ve come
to love beckons, earth runnels soon resurrected
into a delirium of streams and wild fields. Till then,
branches like black lines crisscrossing the sub-Arctic.

swim: 3 loops (6 cedar loops)
cedar lake open swim
92 degrees

A warm night with very little breeze. Not good for cooling Scott off on the shore, but good for me and swimming in calm water. For the first few loops it felt a little harder to breathe — was it the heat? Felt a little sore during this swim — just under my right shoulder.

The coolest thing about my swim: just heading out from shore, swimming over some vegetation, dozens of small fish (much bigger than minnows) swam right below me, almost as if I was acting out Anne Sexton’s poem, The Nude Swim, real — All of the fish in us had escaped for a minute. Were these all of my fish, escaping into the water? Or, were these Sexton’s real fish that don’t mind my fish having escaped? Either way, a super cool image! As I think about it some more, I like imaging these fish as escaping from me — swim free little Sara fish!

added the next morning: Just remembered something else about the swim. Mostly the water was warm, which felt nice when I first entered the water, but as I rounded the far buoy, the one at Hidden Beach, I swam through a few pockets of very cold water, which felt nice after swimming in such hot air.

july 25/SWIM

3 loops
lake nokomis open swim
90 degrees

Today, before open swim, I memorized parts of 2 more water poems that I’d like to think about and maybe attempt to recite as I swim: part II of Alice Oswald’s Evaporations and several stanzas from Anne Sexton’s The Nude Swim:

II / Alice Oswald

In their lunch hour
I saw shop-workers get into water
They put their watches on stones and slithered frightened
Into the tight fitting river
And shook out cuffs of splash
And swam wide strokes towards the trees
And in a while swam back
With rigid cormorant smiles
Shocked I suppose from taking on
Something impossible to think through
Something old and obsessive like the centre of a rose
And for that reason they turned quickly
And struggled to get out again and retrieved their watches
Stooped on the grass-line hurrying now
They began to laugh and from their meaty backs
A million crackling things
Burst into flight which was either water
Or the hour itself ascending.

The Nude Swim/ Anne Sexton

On the southwest side of Capri
we found a little unknown grotto
where no people were and we
entered it completely
and let our bodies loose all
their loneliness.

All of the fish in us
had escaped for a minute.
The real fish did not mind.
We did not disturb their personal life.
We calmly trailed over them and
under them, shedding
air bubbles, little white
balloons that drifted up
into the sun by the boat
where the Italian boatman slept
with his hat over his face.

Water so clear you could
read a book through it.
Water so buoyant you could
float on your elbow.

Very windy at the lake and choppy in the water. Lots of breathing only on one side. After one rough loop I thought I would only do 2, but I stopped after the second for 20-30 seconds and decided I could do one more loop. Glad I did. The final loop seemed easier, not sure why — maybe it was because it was a little less windy, maybe it was because I practiced reciting the Oswald and Sexton poems, or maybe it was because all my swimming this year is paying off and I’m getting stronger. Very glad I went back out for that third loop!

I found the Sexton a little easier to remember and recite in my head as I swam than the Oswald, but it was fun to recite both. Favorite lines: “and let our bodies lose all their loneliness” and “from their meaty backs a millions crackling things burst into flight which was either water or the hour itself ascending”

10 Things

  1. warmer water — but not too warm
  2. fluffy, shredded clouds in the sky
  3. crowded beach and swimming area
  4. breathing mostly on the right side
  5. traffic jams at the far orange and green buoys
  6. a canoe and some paddleboarders on the course
  7. light brown/tan water with a few streaks below
  8. more pink safety buoys than orange or yellow
  9. vegetation wrapped around my shoulder
  10. more vegetation poking up from below

july 24/RUN

3.1 miles
2 trails
73 degrees

And the week of heat begins. A few days ago, the high was expected to be 103 on Wednesday. Now just 98. Still too warm. I could feel the heat in my run this morning. Harder to breathe. Even so, running feels better. My knees and hips don’t hurt. Hooray!

Listened to kids and cars and birds for most of the run. Turned on “The Wiz” for the last mile.

10 Things

  1. the energetic din of kids getting dropped off for camp at Dowling Elementary
  2. “Uptown Funk” playing on the playground at Minnehaha Academy — I could hear “too hot” through the trees as I ran past. I wondered if it was the edited version or if some kid might go home tonight singing “hot damn”
  3. passing a woman walk-running with her dog on the short hill down to the south entrance of the winchell trail
  4. as I write this entry on my deck, I can hear one of the kids next door whining or whimpering non-stop inside of their house. I am almost positive it’s a kid, but could it be a dog? wow
  5. the water was a burning white
  6. haze hovers above the water’s surface — it looks so hot!
  7. calling out excuse me and thank you! as I passed 3 walkers spread across the path
  8. flying fast down the hill into the tunnel of trees, everything a blur
  9. up on edmund, farther from the river, hearing the faint voices of rowers
  10. no roller skiers or overheard conversations or regulars

july 23/SWIM

5 loops!
lake nokomis open swim
75 degrees

5 loops! The most I have swum this summer at one open swim session. I had to get out after 2 loops to go to the bathroom and then stopped for a break after loop 4. With those breaks, I finished 10 minutes before open swim ends. If I began right when open swim started and didn’t take any breaks, could I do 6 loops in the 2 hours? Maybe that should be an end of August goal?

The water was wonderful — calm, not too cold, buoyant. The air was hazy and I couldn’t see the orange buoys at all for sighting. I also couldn’t see the flash of the white boat that I use for sighting. Before starting, I lined up my path with the far shore and the white boat, then began swimming, trusting that my body — my shoulders, my hips, legs, feet, brain — knew the way to go. And they did. And I didn’t panic or wonder if I was off course. All these years of working on letting go of the need to know exactly where I was going, the need for confirmation with a clear view, is paying off. I can swim without needing to SEE.

The water was opaque, the color of brown lentils. I kept seeing flashes just below me. I wondered if they were big fish or just a trick of the light. None of the flashes bumped into me, so I didn’t care what they were.

As I swam, I devoted some of my time to listening to the different gurgling and sloshing and splashing sounds my body made as I moved through the water — the slosh past my ear, the gurgle of my mouth, the splash as my arm lifted out of the water near my leg then reentered above my head.

On the back end of at least 2 loops (the stretch from little beach back to big beach), I recited the Tony Hoaglund poem I just memorized — The Social Life of Water. I thought about the different types of water and then where humans fit in — aren’t we 98% water? I also thought about the last few lines:

But you, you stand on the shore
of blue Lake Kieve in the evening
and listen, grieving
as something stirs and turns within you.

Not knowing why you linger in the dark.
Not able even to guess
from what you are excluded.

I thought about how different it is to be standing on the shore versus being in the water, swimming through it, being rocked by the waves, hearing sounds underwater, feeling the cold. I don’t think I can understand like the line, all water understands, suggests, but I do believe that I witness the social life of water in a different way when I’m in it.

july 22/RUN

3.8 miles
marshall loop
70 degrees

Ran with Scott up to Cleveland, over to Summit, beside St. Thomas, down to the river. Stopped and hiked around the Monument before starting to run again. A nice, relaxed run — we talked about the difficulties of taking care of aging parents, terrible comments online, being able to still smell bland smells but not intense ones, swift carrots in Zelda, and whether or not a person who is completely blind (seeing no light) could run if they were tethered to a guide (pacer).

10 Things

  1. dodging sprinklers
  2. the sound of falling water
  3. wooden ramps covering temporary water pipes on the sidewalk making a dull thud when I ran over them
  4. rowers on the river — 2 8 person shells lined up like they might race
  5. a new favorite view of the river from the east side — under the monument on some jutting rocks, a wide view of the lake street bridge, the blue river, longfellow flats on the west side
  6. roots as makeshift steps
  7. mud on some limestone, small gravel and dry dirt on other limestone
  8. the shshshshuffle of a runner’s striking feet from behind
  9. a woman talking on a phone outside — I support all sorts of things in Minneapolis and I’m a SENIOR!
  10. small decals on the lower corner of an out-of-business restaurant: wine glasses and plates and beer mugs? — I can’t quite remember

While I drank my coffee this morning, I memorized a delightful water poem by Tony Hoagland — The Social Life of Water.

july 21/SWIM

3 loops
lake nokomis open swim
75 degrees

What a beautiful morning at the lake! Too bright for sighting, but nice for making each swimmer’s body glitter and glow. As I waded in water right by the shore, I noticed dozens of little minnows swimming just ahead of me. I walked slowly and watched as they scattered. Spotted a bird and a plane in the sky. Again, I couldn’t see the orange buoys until I was swimming past them.

The water started smooth and was buoyant. I floated on the surface and felt the strength in my triceps as I finished my stroke. A wonderful feeling — all the loops I’ve already done have gotten me to this point, able to power through the water.

Saw some ducks, but no seagulls. Several canoes and kayaks crossed my path. I don’t remember noticing any swans.

Swam 2 loops, got out to go to the bathroom, then did a 3rd loop. There were several dozen swimmers. The swimming area was mostly empty of kids — too early + no lifeguard on duty yet?

I wish I could have stayed at the lake, looking at the water and the buoys, maybe doing one more loop, but I didn’t have time.