Relevant to What?

It is an odd project – to sit down in this little room every day and write. No matter what. What comes, comes. Like dipping a bucket into a well and hoping you pull up a little container filled with clarity. Reflection. That’s a shit metaphor. Sorry. Some days nothing comes on its own. Some…

Workplace Injuries

Some injuries don’t show up on MRIs. Those deep wounds that sever psychological/emotional muscles – like torn tendons. And the only thing to do is leave it alone. Give it time. Get on with life, but move with more caution for a while. Sometimes I think working so closely with teenagers creates a kind of…

What I Need to Hear

This morning things seemed to edge into a familiar groove. E. is home again, and Leonard stuck his cold nose in my face just before the clock went off. Dog bladders make the most urgent alarm clocks. I let Leonard out to pee, E. and I pull on wool clothes and running shoes and head…

Twisted Friday

An evening run. Because the morning slipped between a coffee cup and God-knows-what. And I need to run. I’ve showered now and pulled on a wool bra and cashmere lounge pants. There’s nothing like cashmere lounge pants. I own one pair because I stumbled over them – misplaced in rack in an H&M- marked down…

Running Through It

I’ve been uneasy running alone in the mornings lately. It’s odd how this fear pops up now and then. I haven’t kept track of when this happens, and think it may well be that it always happens this time of year when it seems the world is suddenly dark at 6 am. Maybe it’s instinctive,…

Forcing the Morning

Parkinson’s Law. Tuesday mornings I have a late start at work, and when the alarm goes off at the usual time, and when E. isn’t here with his own obligations, I find myself negotiating with myself. My morning routine takes 2 and a half hours, and I start counting backwards to see if I can…

What You Find in the Forest

Or what I find in the forest; I’ve been trying to speak for myself only. The pine smelled so sweet and sharp this morning. Somewhere near my solar plexus I felt a heaviness like guilt. I know it must smell this pronounced because the trees have been freshly cut. It’s not the smell of death…

Easing Mornings

The world is changed by your example, not your opinion. PAUL COEHLO With all the words of wisdom printed and spoken among us, it’s easy to forget that words are not wisdom – are not whole incantations. They are abstractions, shadows and lures. We stand on ceremony. Recipes must be followed: eye of newt obtained…

Routine

It’s mild today, but the bridge was sure to be slick with ice, so we kept to the trail west of the lake. E. got me up from the computer and out the door. And Leonard Edgar seems to finally have his mojo back, while I lagged behind taking pictures, effectively running intervals to keep…

Running East

towards the west coast of England. We’re running castle to castle again come February. But still a long way to go before that. The dog is staring at me. We’ve both grown soft on this side of summer and I believe he feels a similar ambivalence facing the prospect of leaving this warm little library…

Stuff I Dug Out of the Mud

Dear Richard,  That you should quote Dylan Thomas! Last night I watched Set Fire to the Stars. In it, Thomas says something about liking humanity more when it sleeps. I don’t know if he really said that, but I’ve been thinking about it since then: before bed last night, on this morning’s run. It’s too late now…

Of Singing and Selfies

And I think there might be even more to it than that. When we glimpse ourselves in that way, we are unaware that we are seeing ourselves. We are looking objectively at the world (in the best sense), and seeing with the compassionate – or even admiring – eye that we look at others with. When we recognize ourselves, we turn on ourselves. With the conscious “posing” comes the conscious judgement. Or vice versa. We wilt under judgement.

Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

This is why I need running, too. The warrior-poet me moves (and does not think). Like you, she gets out of her head, presses against the earth – gives and takes in a space of quiet. It is time-out from self-analysis, conversation, and the mental struggling I do too often with other people. A rock is a rock, and it has no intention that I feel necessary to root out and interpret. The patch of snow, slick instead of crusty, had no intention to make me fall on my ass. I should probably learn to treat people as I do nature.

Into the White

Isn’t there a culture that conceptualizes the future as something that comes at us from behind to overtake us? Maybe they are the only ones to have it right. All this planning, all the mirages we see ahead of us. The clump of earth that should be frozen, but that rushes suddenly from behind to slip into the present, under your foot, in the form of soft and giving mud. And there you have it: the irretraceable moment that is a wet sock.

A New Year’s Letter to Theodora

This is a season of quiet. I want to retreat to a cabin in the valley for a few weeks. I want to pull away, and observe. Morning runs through the rustling, frozen underbrush.

Not to be talked to. Talked at. Fixed.

I want to reemerge into a world of details that have worked out their individual spats, sighed with relief, and gotten on with it all.
Without my well-intentioned interference.

Post Script

(And my apology to email subscribers for the premature publishing of a draft yesterday.)   Carolee, Last night I read the day’s poem from A Year With Rilke before bed. Since your letter last week, I’ve been reading them aloud. This poem was actually a letter: [..N]ow at last I can breathe. Now everything is…

The Stars Hovering Around Our Ankles

It brings me to Orr’s phrase to describe poetry: “the eros of langauge”. I think poetry is necessary because it bridges the gap between the corporal and the intellectual in a way no other writing can. Why we say novels that tell the truth are “poetic”. When we speak poetry, sing it, it becomes corporal. It’s funny that when we sing the word “love”, we are not supposed to sing “luhv”, with its stingy and clenched vowell, but we’re supposed to open the mouth, sing “lahv”- with a wide-open palate. Because it hits us in the gut with its beauty then. Openness.

The One That’s all About the Space Heater

I dragged myself out of bed this morning and ran 6K on a sore ankle. The marathon is in 11 weeks. At this point, I really need my mind and body to make friends. Although right now, in the bibliotekette, with the space heater blowing on my ankle, the rosemary oil burning, and the red curtains pulled, I am peaceful. Optimistic, even. The sun will be up soon, and the skies are clear. There is a sparrow calling outside the window now, actually. Which reminds me that I need to check the feeder on the porch. The magpies eat from it. Greedy bullies.