dec 4/RUN

2 miles
ywca track

Back at the end of October, we rejoined the y so that I could swim in the winter and Scott could run and hot tub. With Scott’s busy schedule and my desire to run outside, today was the first day we finally went. The hot tub is closed indefinitely. We decided to cancel our membership and run outside — fine by me. I’ll miss swimming a little, but I’m feeling like 2024 is a serious running year.

I didn’t mind the track, it was fine — not crowded, warm — but it’s not the same as being outside above the gorge. I forgot my headphones so I listened to the sounds around me as I looped the elevated track: a guy lifting weights and muttering to himself, high schoolers playing basketball and dropping a few f-bombs, my own breathing. The people I passed: an older man walking with a cane, a young-ish woman walking then briefly running, an older woman walking, a guy in a red shirt reading a book on his phone as he walked.

added a few minutes later: I just remembered that I was running on the track, feeling my feet bounce on the springy track, I thought about how my feet connect to the ground. Then I thought about how I connect/am connected to a place also through breath — lungs inhaling, moving through air. Wind/air/breath are unseen and less noticed than feet striking the ground, but air is there and we possess/are possessed by it through our breaths.

This morning I woke to the wonderful news that 2 of my mood ring poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. This is a big deal and makes me very proud and pleased that my strange poems are meaningful to others. I’ve worked hard for 7 years, writing almost daily, trying to develop ways to express what it feels like to be losing my vision.

Today A.R. Ammon’s Tape for the Turn of the Year came and I’m excited to read it and be inspired by it. In anticipation, I checked out Ammons’ collected works. Here’s a poem I ‘d like to remember and put beside Mary Oliver’s ideas about writing and language in The Leaf and the Cloud:

Motion/ A. R. Ammons:

The word is
not the thing:
a construction of,
a tag for,
the thing: the
word in
no way
the thing, except
as sound
as in whirr,
the relation
between what this
as words
is and what is
is tenuous: we
agree upon
this as the net to
cast on what
is: the finger
point with: the
method of
defining, limiting:
are fingers, methods,
not what is or was:
but the music
in poems
is different,
points to nothing,
traps no
realities, takes
no game, but
by the motion of
its motion
what, moving, is—-
the wind
underleaf white against
the tree.