dec 22/RUN

5.15 miles
bottom of franklin hill and back
38 degrees / 93% humidity

Misty with drizzle this morning before the run, misty and damp during it. Everything fuzzy and dreamy, muffled by the wet air. Wonderful weather for a run (rereading this bit an hour later, I realize that it might sound sarcastic. It’s not. I love running in the rain and the mist. There was no wind and it wasn’t too cold.) I felt strong and relaxed and glad to be outside moving.

2 Regulars to greet: Daddy Long Legs and Dave, the Daily Walker. Actually, it might have been 3. I’m not positive but I think I exchanged waves with the women I talked to one day who tried to fix me up with another runner — I called her Mrs. Fixer-Upper, or something like that. Anyway, I exchanged good mornings with DDL for the first time. And then Dave wished me a Merry Christmas — you too! Merry Christmas!

Listened to the dripping and the hum of far off traffic as I ran north. Put in an old playlist for the last mile.

a ridiculous performance

Haven’t made note of one of these for some time — just checked and the last time was last December (14th) and I wrote almost the exact same first sentence! Before getting to the performance, here’s something I wrote on 23 june 2020 explaining my use of the phrase:

This idea of a “rather ridiculous performance” is a line from Mary Oliver’s “Invitation”: “I beg of you/do not walk by/without pausing/to attend to/this rather ridiculous performance.” Maybe I’ll try to make a list of the rather ridiculous performances I encounter/witness?

Today’s ridiculous performance was a guy running up the franklin hill backwards. He was part shuffling part skipping part running up it with a hood on. As I ran down, I could see him ahead of me, but I assumed he was running down the hill. I almost ran into him before I realized he didn’t know I was there. Wow — that would feel strange, I think, shuffling backwards up a hill, unable to see anything you were approaching. I’ve heard of people running backwards for training or coming back from an injury. Was that what this person was doing?

10 Things

  1. a thin mist/fog hovering in the air
  2. new graffiti all over one of the franklin bridge support posts
  3. a walker and their dog crossing the river road then taking the steps down to the muddy Winchell Trail
  4. no chain at the top of the old stone steps, blocking the way down to the river — I bet it’s slippery today!
  5. ice on the edges of the river, below, near longfellow flats
  6. no stones stacked on the boulder
  7. all of the benches were empty
  8. halfway down the hill, I noticed some stairs on the other side of the road I’ve never noticed before. Were they leading to the franklin terrace dog park?
  9. June’s white ghost bike was hanging from the trestle
  10. bright car headlights cutting through the foggy mist


Before the run, I was reading about seeps and springs. Decided to think about them and why I might want to be one as I was running. In particular I was interested in how being a seep is different than becoming a boulder, which I’ve already written about. I recorded my thoughts after running up the franklin hill.

As I ran down the hill, I thought about how gravity pulls water down. A line: no need to navigate. Spilling over, onto, into. Always exceeding. Relentless. Opening up, making room, creating space. Never encased, contained, fully controlled. Slow, steady, drip drip drip. Saturates, permeates, soaks.

The author of article from 1997 I was reading — Along the Great Wall: Mapping the Springs of the Twin Cities — didn’t think too highly of seeps: little, inconsequential, too abundant for mapping. He focused on springs. I like the small, quiet, unassuming nature of seeps. More to think about and push at with that idea.

From a few poems I found after searching for seeps — things that seep: blood, sun, gas, chill, a seeping back in sleep to glorious childhood memories of baseball, water, light, an hour….and this, which made me stop my search so I could post this poem:

Louisiana Line/ Betty Adcock

The wooden scent of wagons,
the sweat of animals—these places
keep everything—breath of the cotton gin,
black damp floors of the icehouse.

Shadows the color of a mirror’s back
break across faces. The luck
is always bad. This light is brittle,
old pale hair kept in a letter.
The wheeze of porch swings and lopped gates
seeps from new mortar.

Wind from an axe that struck wood
a hundred years ago
lifts the thin flags of the town.

I like this idea of the past seeping from/into the present — like the wheezy echo of an old porch swing seeping from a new building.