Monday, February 14, 2011

Journal entry, February 9, 2011, Red-Winged Blackbirds and Robins!!!

Five fast miles.

I’m gonna try not to judge today’s run by its cover. It is still in the upper 20’s/lower 30’s, stone gray and cold, and ponds remain frozen in their own stone gray cold. Bare branches are stark, and cattail stems try their best to stand tall although they are seriously broken, having taken a serious winter beating. I am thinking that I do not want to read this cold and stone gray run, unlike the book I just finished, purchased ‘cause I simply judged it to be a good book by its cover of white and its title Room, letters in orange, red, green, and blue. And it was a good book as I inhaled its contents in almost one night, staying up way too late. However, I am getting back into ReadingReadingReading after my six weeks of breathing, reading, and studying mental health/interpreting/Deafness research articles in preparation for my week last week spent in the Deaf unit of Montgomery’s mental health hospital, so I decide I am gonna go ahead and open the gray covers of this run and read…

Although I don’t wear them today, my YakTrax remain at the ready as it has been an icy season, and once again, I zip up tight my purple Adidas jacket as I open this gray book. I remind myself that there have been parts of this Winter volume that I have loved, like the crows and crows and those Canada geese who zip above me, whip around, change their mind and turn back once again. I can actually hear their wings whipping up the air as they fly the sky airways, and I always think of Mary Oliver when I see them and tell myself, You do not have to be good./You do not have to walk on your knees/for a hundred miles through the desert repenting./You only have to let the soft animal of your body/love what it loves…(hey, lower back and hamstring, thank you for having taken me this far…I will always speak gently and kindly of and to you…)

I decide to run the same five mile loop today that I ran yesterday and two miles in, I head into the marsh of Hazel’s Creek. It wasn’t necessarily silent yesterday as sparrows and quails burbled and gurgled like Spring creeks and Winter-cranky quarrelsome squirrels scolded as they zipped up tree trunks to branches, but it still felt Winter-cranky, and it still feels Winter today. But I am wickedly wicked surprised as I SEE and HEAR two red-winged blackbirds toss trills from wire above to cattail stands, and orange robins abound…red-winged blackbirds and robins!!! One day they are not here, the next day they are, busy in their business as though they have never left…and in early February, too! These red-winged blackbirds and orange robins make me wickedly wicked happy and leave me feeling totally glad that I didn’t judge this run by its cover.

Robins and Red-Winged Blackbirds and Other Things that Make Me Wickedly Wicked Happy

The Shakespeare Festival/Bount Cultural Park in Montgomery, Alabama. I adore this park, with its white great egrets, posing black double-crested cormorants, robins, and interesting ducks, and its Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, as much as I adore New York City’s Central Park with its street artists and acorns, and Manito Park with its lilac garden and duck pond where Oliver the great blue heron fishes and ducks take off and land in fabulous splashes.

Tomato juice with ice on my flights. Despite the fact that I love tomato juice, I drink it only on a plane. Go figure. Maybe I should go to the market tonight and buy some!

E. Annie Proulx’s latest book, Bird Cloud, a brand new hardcover, purchased at full pop at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport bookstore…‘cause my brain and heart, completely filled to the brim with research stuff, my whole self emotionally and completely spent, saw and impulsively wanted only this book…that I devoured while drinking that tomato juice on the airplane.

Those Canada geese and their contrails and the contrails of airplanes. The air skyways…

Crows STILL make me feel wickedly wicked happy. Saucy and smart, gorgeous black crows that play (I swear they are playing!) in strong wind gusts. I simply adore them.

Getting back to my books and books and books…and my purple Xmas tree that I haven’t taken down in the midst of research…but I’m thinkin’ I am gonna keep it up until Mardi Gras…a month’s measuring cup of time from now…(a month ago, I was visiting the Picasso art exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum…)

Orange. Red robin’s orange.

Judging a book by its cover…especially when it is a fantastic read. Room, by Emma Donoghue, has moved into my top ten favorite books, which includes To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (the best book ever written, in my humble opinion), A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg, Plainsong by Kent Haruf, The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx, and Housekeeping, (a novel not a how-to, by the way) by Marilynne Robinson. Oh, and anything by Mary Oliver.

And those red-winged blackbirds, their gorgeous red shoulders standing tall, and robins in their beautiful orange that weren’t here yesterday but are present today…and, despite Winter-cranky gray, totally surprise me into some serious wickedly wicked happiness.

GL, 2/9/2011. Prevail.

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