june 29/RUNSWIM

2 miles
to falls coffee
70 degrees

49 today. A very nice birthday run to minnehaha falls then to the new coffee place called the falls with Scott. Walked back through the neighborhood with an iced vanilla latte. Fun to see all the new apartments being built on Minnehaha and to walk down some streets that I’ve never walked down before. The air quality is still not very good (140) with smoke in the air, but it wasn’t hard for me to breathe.

Hours later…My throat started to hurt like I was sick and I was feeling run down. I think it might be the smoke/air quality.

days later…No bad air. Somehow, even though I was barely inside anywhere or close to other people for the last five days, I got COVID.

swim: 3 loops
lake nokomis open swim
88 degrees

A beautiful night. The air quality is much better, the water is less choppy. What I remember most about this swim was: wearing a new suit that I just got and saying to Scott and the kids, want to see my birthday suit?, like I did when I was a little kid; barely ever being able to see any of the buoys and still staying (mostly) on course except for the first loop when I realized how far to the left the first green buoy was; feeling sore but still happy to be out in the water with the fish and the swan boats, the other swimmers and the planes up in the sky; and noticing a flash of the orange and yellow sail that is often out on the lake in the evenings.

Kept up the “one more loop” habit. Stopped for a break after 2, then did one more loop.

wordle challenge

5 tries:


I struggled to find inspiration with these words.

Today we feast with Diane Wiest.
Where‘d you go Bernadette? (a favorite book)
Money makes the world go around. (a song lyric that often gets stuck in my head)
You’re telling me the kids are lined up for a slaughterhouse? (a line from my favorite horror movie)
Tom’s diner — (one of my favorite songs to sing in order to irritate others)

I am sitting
In the morning
At the diner
On the corner

I am waiting
At the counter
For the man
To pour the coffee


bike: 8.5 miles
lake nokomis and back
75 degrees

Another day of bad air quality (165). Smoke from the fires in Canada. I felt it a little in my lungs while I was biking.

No worries about seeing as I biked. Relaxed. Just like on Monday, my left kneecap didn’t want to stay in the groove while I pedaled. The tendons around the left knee were aching. Pain, not sharp but dull discomfort.

Nearing the beach it got much windier. The wind! Suddenly I remembered what I had forgotten on my bike ride on Monday — in that entry, I wrote about how I had forgotten the thing I wanted to remember — the wind rushing or roaring or howling in my ears as I biked. So loud! Not quite as loud today, but still vigorous and noisy.

I could only catch a few quick glimpses of the river through the thick thatch of green, but what I did see was strange: a hazy, smoky, barely visible gorge. The smoke was even worse around and in the lake. I wonder what the visibility was there?

As I biked home, happy from my swim, I thought about something I’d mentioned to Scott last night: I’d like to be the poet laureate of lake nokomis. Is this a thing I could do? Maybe I could write a grant to do some sort of public readings/programs around my writing about lake nokomis? Maybe I should start with something less ambitious than poet laureate? Poet-in-residence for open swim?

swim: 1.5 loops (1 mile / 7 mini loops)
lake nokomis main beach
78 degrees

Lots of waves. Swimming north around the white buoys was much easier than swimming south with the waves crashing into me. I liked swimming into the waves, partly because it made me feel strong and partly for how the roughness heading north helped me appreciate the smoother water heading south.

I practiced my new habit (first tried out last night at open swim): when I think I’m done or want to be done or feel like I’m too tired to not be done, I’ll take a short break near shore, then swim one more loop. I did this last night by taking a minute break after 2 loops, and then swimming a third loop. Today it was stopping after 6, then doing a 7th. I’d like to swim longer during open swim — I’m sure I’m capable — so I’m hoping this habit can stick and will help me get to my ultimate goal: to stay and swim for the full 2 hours, from 5:30 to 7:30.

10 Things About the Kayakers

  1. When I first arrived to the beach, I noticed 2 (or maybe 3?) kayakers hovering near the white buoys, just past the swimming area. What were they doing?
  2. Also spotted: the silhouette of swimmer by the far orange ball buoys, only their head and shoulders poking out of the water and a dark buoy — a metal detecter guy?
  3. When I got in the water, the kayakers moved farther from the buoys out into the middle of the lake. Later they returned
  4. It was difficult to see them in the choppy water and the smoky air. I’m pretty sure they could see me, with my bright green and pink cap and yellow buoy tethered to my waist
  5. As I swam I tried to keep an eye on them, imagining scenarios where they ran into me. In one, I was knocked out when they accidentally rowed into me. My inert body floated in the water, held up by my swim buoy
  6. Mostly they appeared as hulking, dark shapes — was it color I just wasn’t seeing, or were they mostly dark?
  7. More dark, hulking shapes appeared in a line — 4 or 5? Was it a group? Were they plotting something?
  8. Near the end of my swim, 2 kayakers swam parallel to me, close to the white buoys. I raced them
  9. Another random kayaker, not looking as dark as the others, crossed right in front of me making me have to stop and wait for them to pass
  10. Even though the voiceless, hulking, hovering, strange shapes seemed menacing it was cool to see them appear as dark dots on the water in my peripheral vision

wordle challenge

3 tries:


twist & turn
tapioca treat
tiresome tract

I can’t remember how often she did it, but my mom made tapioca pudding for dessert when I was a kid. She also made chocolate pudding from scratch and homemade hot fudge sundaes. We had dessert almost every night. Why?

terrible twist
traitorous treaty
tract take over

The Mississippi River Gorge has a troubled history of stolen land, illegal treaties, and destruction of sacred islands. The Falls Initiative is trying to offer some healing.

june 27/SWIM

3 loops
lake nokomis open swim
85 degrees

The air quality was terrible this morning, but it felt okay during the swim. Very choppy and difficult to breathe on my left side. I didn’t mind; I like the choppy water and the challenge of swimming directly into the small swells. Crash! There was some chaos in the water as one swan boat pedaled right through the course. The water was filled with small particles that almost glowed. A cool visual effect. I felt strong and sore after 2 laps — mostly my back. I took a minute break then headed out again for my third lap. It would have been easy for me to stop after 2 loops — it was choppy, I was sore, I had already swam for 40 minutes — but I’m glad I did the final loop.

Found this beautiful poem on twitter this morning:

When You Learn To Swim/ Souvankham Thammavongsa

It will be different here. You can take a leap
off this ledge ten feet and never touch
ground. You can hover in what

could be air, lean back further and further a
and something that feels like faith
will lift, will hold you up. But it isn’t faith,
it’s some kind of ophysics, law, a rule of matter
put in place, set in place
as old and as constant as that sun:

that unsettled speck, that shadowless thing,
that thing to have

wordle challenge

3 tries:


I decided to do nothing with the rhymes treating them as one does the unfortunately frequent appearance of crafts adults require children to fashion from pipe cleaners and plastic beads.

When is it art, when craft?

Gotta dream boy
Gotta song
Paint your wagon
And come along

about: reasonably close to; almost; on the verge of; on all sides; around the outside; in many different directions — here and there; near; concerning


bike: 8.5 miles
lake nokomis and back
66 (to lake) / 69 (from lake) degrees

Hooray for new tires! The dappled sunlight was a little disorienting, but otherwise I could mostly see. There was something I wanted to remember about the bike ride but I had to take a few hours break before writing this and now I can’t remember what it was. Oh well. Encountered other bikers, walkers, runners, strollers, and one surrey.

swim: 2 loops (8 mini beach loops)
lake nokomis main beach
67 degrees

An excellent swim! Even with the wind and the cooler air temperature it was great. For most of the swim, I had the lake to myself. It was a little choppy and overcast. How wonderful it is to be able to bike to the lake and swim. No having to wait for someone to give me a ride. No worries about finding a free lane or making sure (and not being able to tell if) a lane isn’t occupied or needing to share a lane with two other swimmers. Free open water.

The rain yesterday must have stirred up the water. When I put my head underwater I could see particles suspended in front of me. I didn’t see any fish but after I was done I heard some kids calling out to someone on shore, the fish are chasing us!!

I counted my strokes from the far right buoy to the far right one: 130. I counted by fours. I counted my strokes from the far left buoy to the far right one: 120, counting by 5s. I like swimming every 5 better, but I like counting by every 4 better.

wordle challenge

5 tries:


A Primer of the Daily Round/ Howard Nemerov

A peels an apple, while B kneels to God,
C telephones to D, who has a hand
On E’s knee, F coughs, G turns up the sod
For H’s grave, I do not understand
But J is bringing one clay pigeon down
While K brings down a nightstick on L’s head,
And M takes mustard, N drives to town,
O goes to bed with P, and Q drops dead,
R lies to S, but happens to be heard
By T, who tells U not to fire V
For having to give W the word
That X is now deceiving Y with Z,
Who happens, just now to remember A
Peeling an apple somewhere far away.

Left-handed Sugar/ Jane Hirshfield

In nature, molecules are chiral—they turn in one direction or the other. Naturally then, someone wondered: might sugar, built to mirror itself, be sweet, but pass through the body unnoticed? A dieters’ gold mine. I don’t know why the experiment failed, or how. I think of the loneliness of that man-made substance, like a ghost in a ‘50s movie you could pass your hand through, or some suitor always rejected despite the sparkle of his cubic zirconia ring. Yet this sugar is real, and somewhere exists. It looks for a left-handed tongue.

new word: chiral — mirrors but can’t be super-imposed

from The Enkindled Spring/ D.H. Lawrence

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

Repulsive Theory / Kay Ryan

Little has been made
of the soft, skirting action
of magnets reversed,
while much has been
made of attraction.
But is it not this pillowy
principle of repulsion
that produces the
doily edges of oceans
or the arabesques of thought?
And do these cutout coasts
and incurved rhetorical beaches
not baffle the onslaught
of the sea or objectionable people
and give private life
what small protection it’s got?
Praise then the oiled motions
of avoidance, the pearly
convolutions of all that
slides off or takes a
wide berth; praise every
eddying vacancy of Earth,
all the dimpled depths
of pooling space, the whole
swirl set up by fending-off—
extending far beyond the personal,
I’m convinced—
immense and good
in a cosmological sense:
unpressing us against
each other, lending
the necessary never
to never-ending.

Passage / Barbara Guest

for John Coltrane

after all
are syllables just
and you put them
in their place
a painter using his stroke
so the spot
where the article
an umbrella
a knife
we could find
in its most intricate
slashed as it was with color
called “being”
or even “it”


For the moment just
when the syllables
out of their webs float

We were just
beginning to hear
like a crane hoisted into
the fine thin air
that had a little ache (or soft crackle)

golden staffed edge of
quick Mercury
the scale runner


C’est juste
your umbrella colorings

dense as telephone
humming down the line

Red plumaged birds
not so natural
complicated wings

Sweet difficult passages
on your throats
there just there
caterpillar edging
to moth

I’d like to think more about Guest’s use of just in this poem. I like the word just. As a teenager, whenever I called my best friend and her mom answered I’d say something like, this is just Sara. I remember her calling me Just Sara.

swim: 1 small loop (1/2 big loop)
cedar lake open swim
78 degrees

Swam with FWA at open swim. Cold getting into the water, then cold in every part of the body outside of the water. Brrr.

10 Things

  1. a gentle rocking from the small waves — I liked it, FWA did not
  2. a big bird — a goose? a crane? high up in the sky above the water
  3. lots of pot smells at the far beach — a huge whiff wafted our way when the wind shifted
  4. the far buoy was much farther to the right than it usually is — I think it drifted in the wind
  5. creepy, pale vegetation growing up from the bottom
  6. “swam” through a thick patch of vegetation — very difficult to get in a full stroke or to move
  7. the grating, sharp, piercing noise of 2 rocks being knocked into each other under water — Above water the sound was annoying, but not too bad. Sticking my head below water, it was almost unbearably irritating
  8. splashing and flicking water like I used to as a kid with FWA
  9. the haunting call of the mourning dove as we walked back to the car
  10. something shining through the break in the trees on the other side of the lake — what was it?

june 25/RUN

3.7 miles
marshall loop
70 degrees / dew point: 61

It started raining off and on around 8:30. I don’t mind swimming in the rain, but I wasn’t sure the lifeguards would go out on the lake in this weather. So no open swim. Instead I ran in the early afternoon. Sticky, but not too hot. No sun. Not too many people. Saw some rowers on the river. The surface of the water was a strange texture, roughened by the wind.

memorable moment

Nearing the 3 way intersection at the river road and 36th: a swarm of vespas — 15? One after the other. Not all of them were bright yellow, but at least one was. Wow.

wordle challenge

5 tries: bench / prose / lower / gored / rodeo

In her dream there’s always a bench.
Often the benches I run by have small plaques on them, dedicated to some lost loved one. I hope my family does this for me.

They shut me up in Prose/ Emily Dickinson

They shut me up in Prose –
As when a little Girl
They put me in the Closet –
Because they liked me “still” –

Still! Could themself have peeped –
And seen my Brain – go round –
They might as wise have lodged a Bird
For Treason – in the Pound –

Himself has but to will
And easy as a Star
Look down opon Captivity –
And laugh – No more have I –


maggie and millie and molly and may / e.e. cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

A few days ago, I read the book in The Odyssey titled, “Bloodshed.” Very gory. So many spears and arrows and swords and bloody, gored bodies.

I had probably heard the phrase before, but my first memory of this isn’t your first rodeo is from my physical therapist describing how my kneecap has probably slid out of its groove many times before without me fully realizing it.

june 24/RUN

3.1 miles
marshall loop
72 degrees / dew point: 59

It seemed warmer than 72 out there this morning. Ran with Scott. First Scott talked about Russia and Wagner, then I talked about the You and I and how we start as one and become the other as we acknowledge each other. This discussion was partly inspired by encountering one walker who called out good morning! and another who instead of offering a greeting ignored us and almost ran into me. What else do I remember? Rowers! Scott counted at least 6 shells on the river. Mostly I only saw them, but for one brief moment I heard the coxswain’s voice.

wordle challenge

4 tries: handy / drain / brand / grand
For the third day in the row I had to choose between equally fitting options. This time, brand or grand? I chose incorrectly.

a refreshing shandy
the pro cyclist Indurain
Rembrandt teeth whitening (brand)
Grand Old Days — the start of summer in St. Paul

She defeated him handily.

Yesterday I came across Annie Proloux’s book, Fen, Bog, and Swamp, and I’m certain that she disagrees with the phrase/metaphor, drain the swamp.

Mostly I don’t care, but I have 2 brands that I especially like. For swimming, TYR, and for running, Saucony. I used to mispronounce both of them. It’s tear (cry) not tire, and sock-a-knee not something that rhymes with Marconi.

Before I got into watching pro cycling or running and before my vision made it almost impossible to track the ball, I loved watching Grand Slam tennis. My favorite was always Wimbledon — Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and Roger Federer.

handy dandy notebook
down the drain
brand spanking new
you’re a grand old flag, you’re a high flying flag

Somewhere along the way, what is marketed as handy and convenient is not always user-friendly.

a drain, a sewer, a causeway, a sluice

I hate shopping at Target. Endless aisles, filled with only 1 or 2 brands. The illusion of choice.

In 2008, we almost moved to Grand Rapids, MI. We had already picked out a house to rent, almost signed a lease, told neighbors we were leaving. Then I was told I might be able to have a full-time position at the U. Scott and I walked along Lake Michigan and had a gut-wrenching talk. I decided to turn down a guaranteed job for the possibility of a preferable one.

Crossing Water/ Tony Hoaglund

In late summer I swim across the lake to the stand of reeds
that grows calmly in the foot-deep water on the other side.

It is like going to a florist’s shop
you have to take your clothes off to get to,

where nothing is for sale
and nothing on display

but some tall, vertical green spears,

and the small, already half-shriveled pale-purple blossoms
sprouted halfway up the sides of them.

Squatting softly in the cool, tea-colored water,
hearing my own breath move in and out,

leaning close to see the tattered, soft-edged
purses of the flowers,
with their downward hanging cones and coppery antennae.

—This is more tenderness than I had reason to expect
from this rude life in which I built

a wall around myself, in which I couldn’t manage to repair
my cracked-up little heart.

Each time I make the trip, I get the strange idea that this
is what is waiting at the end of life–

long stalks slanting in teh breeze, then straightening—
flowers, loose-petaled as memory, gray
as the aftertaste of grief.

Tonight, I’ll lie in bed and feel the day exhaling me
as part of its long sigh into the dark,

knowing that I have no plan,
knowing that I have no chance of getting there.

I will remember how those flowers swayed and then held still
for me to look at them.

Oh, I love this poem! And I love Tony Hoaglund. I know that he died several years ago (in 2018), but I didn’t know the cause. Looked it up: pancreatic cancer. Just like my mom.

june 23/SWIM

3 loops
lake nokomis open swim
80 degrees

Another amazing day for swim! Almost perfect. Felt strong and fast and relaxed. No anxiety about not being able to see. Who could, swimming straight into the sun?

Noticed at least one plane, but don’t remember any birds — no ducks or seagulls. No swan boats or sailboats. Saw something below me — either fish or milfoil reaching up from the bottom.

Between loops 2 and 3, another swimmer approached me. I’m sorry but I just have to tell someone about this: for the first loop my watch says 1000 yards, the second loop is 389!

Exiting the water, I walked past a group of young kids busy at work, building sandcastles and observing little fish in the moats they had made. What the — one kid kept repeating.

The lifeguards really have their shit together this year. Buoys always on course, and set up early. I’m impressed and grateful. I must add them to my “people with their shit together” list.

The only other thing I’d like to remember is that today was an ideal summer morning. The kind of morning I’ll remember and long for in late February/early march.

wordle challenge

5 tries: heart / spent / edict / comet / COVET

heart racing
limbs spent
an edict from body:
stop! rest!

Lost in the dream of motion — fuzzy head glowing arms
I become comet and glide across the watery sky.

a synonym of covet is crave:

An ear worm from last night — nostalgia for the 80s and childhood.

june 22/RUNSWIM

3.15 miles
2 trails
77 degrees
dew point: 61

So warm! Still glad I went out for a run, but it was hard. My knees are sore, my legs sluggish. Heard lots of birds, a roller skier’s clicking poles, talk radio blasting from someone’s car, faint voices from below, water trickling out of a sewer pipe. Encountered bugs — mosquitos? gnats? — near the ravine. Passed by a person on the folwell bench, reading. Was greeted by one walker: good morning! As I ran on the Winchell trail I thought about the importance of giving some gesture — a greeting, eye contact, a stepping over to make room — when nearing another person. Without it, you’re saying to them, to me you don’t exist.

When I finished my run, I pulled out my phone and recited Alice Oswald’s “A Short Story of Falling.” Only two mistakes: I gave it the wrong title and I said “in a seed head” instead of “on a seed head.”

“A Short Story of Falling” / 22 june 2023

wordle challenge

Bad luck with the wordle today. I almost had it in 3, but I had too many choices that could be correct. I had 4 tries but at least 5 options.

6 failed tries: slant / dates / waste/ haste / paste / baste

Even though I failed the challenge, I decided to do something with words: find connections to Emily Dickinson!

slant: Tell all the truth but tell it Slant

dates: I do not know the date of mine/ It feels so old a pain

waste: Just Infinites of Nought/As far as it could see/So looked the face I looked upon/ So looked itself on Me (Like Eyes That Looked on Wastes)

haste: We slowly drove—He knew no haste (Because I could not stop for Death)

paste: We play at Paste/ Till qualified, for pearl (We play at paste)

baste and taste:
Now You Too Can Bake Like Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson: A Poet in the Kitchen

swim: 4 loops
lake nokomis open swim
89 degrees

At the end of the swim another swimmer called out, these conditions are the best! (or something like that; I can’t quite remember). I agreed. Calm, pleasingly warm water, well-placed buoys. I could barely see the buoys, but I still swam to them without a problem. Lots of swans in the water, a few menacing sailboat — one with a bright orange and red sail.

I swam for a loop and a half then briefly stopped at the little beach for a quick rest. Swam another loop and a half and stopped at the big beach. Got out to go the bathroom, then one more loop. Taking a 5 or so minute break between loops 3 and 4 really helped. I should remember to do that more often.

I’m writing this swim summary the next morning. Can I remember 10 things?

10 Things

  1. at least one plane
  2. half a dozen swan boats lurking at the edges
  3. one swan stuck in the dead zone between buoys
  4. streaks below me — fish?
  5. irritating swimmers: 2 fast women that kept swimming past me, then stopping to get their bearings, then swimming again. With my slower, steadier stroke, I kept getting passed by them, then passing them when they stopped, then getting passed by them again when they restarted their swim
  6. both the orange and green buoys closest to the beaches (orange to the little beach, green to the big) were not that close to the shore
  7. no waves
  8. no ducks
  9. breathed every 5 strokes, sometimes every three, once or twice every six
  10. hardly ever saw one of my landmarks from the past few years: the overturned boat at the little beach

june 21/RUNSWIM

3.25 miles
2 trails
69 degrees

Ran earlier today, at 7:15. A little cooler, quieter. For the first few minutes, I recited Alice Oswald’s “A Short Story of Falling” which I memorized yesterday. Ran south on the grassy boulevard between edmund and the river road. Crossed over at Becketwood, then ran down to the southern entrance of the Winchell Trail.

Listened to the gentle whooshing of car wheels. the clicking and clacking of ski poles, and birds for most of the run. Put in a Bruno Mars playlist for the last mile.

After I finished my run, I recited Alice Oswald’s “A Short Story of Falling” into my phone. Only messed up one line (I think).

10 Things

  1. click clack click clack
  2. the rambling root spread across the dirt trail
  3. the steady dripping — more than a trickle, less than a rush — of the water falling from the sewer pipe
  4. the soft (not mushy) blanket of dead leaves on the winchell trail
  5. the sharp sparkle of the light on the water
  6. shhhhhh — the wind passing through the leaves on the trees
  7. the soft roar of the city underneath everything
  8. the leaning branches have been removed — thanks Minneapolis Parks People!
  9. an almost exchange of the You and I — me: right behind you, excuse me an older woman with a dog: mmhmm
  10. no bugs, no gnats, no geese

wordle challenge

3 tries: front / brine / crane

front runt stunt blunt hunt shunt grunt redundant
brine sign fine line shine dine design unwind spine twine
crane explain refrain detain rain insane




a: the principal front of a building
b: a decorated pediment over a portico or window


an illustration preceding and usually facing the title page of a book or magazine


Cliché/ V. Penelope Pelizzon

Its back and forth, ad nauseum,
ought to make the sea a bore. But walks along the shore
cure me. Salt wind’s the best solution for
dissolving my ennui in,
along with these protean
sadnesses that sometimes swim
as comb-jelly
a glass or two of wine below my surface.
Some regrets
won’t untangle. Others loosen as I watch the waves
spreading their torn nets
of foam along the sand
to dry. I walk and walk and walk and walk, letting their haul
absorb me. One seal’s hull
scuttled to bone staves
gulls scream
wheeling above. And here… small, diabolical,
a skate’s egg case,
its horned purse nested on pods of bladderwort
that still squirt
BRINE by the eyeful. Some oily slabs of whale skin, or
—no, just an
edge of tire
flensed from a commoner leviathan.
Everywhere, plastic nurdles gleam
like pearls or caviar
for the avian gourmand
and bits of sponge dab the wounded wrack-line,
dried to froths of air
smelling of iodine.
Hours blow off down the beach like spindrift,
leaving me with an immense
less-solipsistic sense
of ruin, and, as if
it’s a gift, assurance
of ruin’s recurrence.


The Crane Wife” parts 1, 2, and 3 from the Decemberists

swim: 1 small loop (1/2 big loop)
cedar lake open swim
88 degrees

First open swim with FWA at cedar lake! A great night for it: calm, clear, not too crowded. The buoys were up tonight. Hooray!


bike: 8.5 miles
lake nokomis and back
88 degrees

Yay for being able to bike without fear! The ride was hot but was fine. The key: don’t bike too fast. I noticed: no progress on the duck bridge that was removed a few months ago for repairs; hot pink tape or paint or something marking the cracks in the trail — the pink was very easy for me to see…nice! and a dude in an e-bike with a kid going way faster than the 10 mph speed limit.

swim: 3 loops (2.25 miles)
88 degrees

3 slightly choppy loops today. Definitely more difficult with the choppy water — how choppy was it? Not really that bad (compared to real chop in the ocean or a big lake), but it still made it harder to breathe. Saw 2 or 3 planes, some random woman floating in an inner tube in the middle of the lake (almost ran into her). Raced a swan boat, dodged flailing kids at the beach and breaststrokers mid-lake. Again this year, breaststrokers are my nemesis. Couldn’t see the green buoys at all; I used the glowing rooftop at the big beach as my guide. I couldn’t even see the green buoys when I was 20 feet away from them because of the bright sun. Didn’t bother me at all. I just kept swimming, only stopping to adjust my goggles and make sure my stiff left knee was okay. For just a flash, I thought about Tony Hoagland’s poem (below) and the way water speaks. I thought about how, because I’m in the water and not standing on the shore, I can listen and understand (at least a little).

wordle challenge

3 tries:

water / inert / frost

a winter morning

water inert
frosted glass
slicked up streets
endless and empty

water inert on morning window: frost

a description by Alice Oswald in her reading of “A Short Story of Falling” that I listened to this morning as I memorized her beautiful poem:

What I love about water is that it spends its whole time falling. It’s always, apparently, trying to find the lowest place possible, and when it finds the lowest place possible, it lies there wide awake.

Alice Oswald

Water is never inert
always falling searching
for somewhere else to be
even in rest
as frost on winter’s window
it watches waits wants
to find the floor

The Social Life of Water/ Tony Hoaglund

All water is a part of other water
Cloud talks to lake; mist
speaks quietly to creek.

Lake says something back to cloud,
and cloud listens.
No water is lonely water.

All water is a part of other water.
River rushes to reunite with ocean;
tree drinks rain and sweats out dew;
dew takes elevator into cloud;
cloud marries puddle;


has long conversation with lake about fjord;
fog sneaks up and murmurs insinuations to swamp;
swamp makes needs known to marshland.

Thunderstorm throws itself on estuary;
waterspout laughs at joke of frog pond.
All water understands.

All water understands.
Reservervoir gathers information
for database of watershed.
Brook translates lake to waterfall.
Tide wrinkles its green forehead and then breaks through.
All water understands.

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.