Running. With Pigeon.

pigeon

Hundreds of pieces of lint bangin’ around upstairs, but none stretch into a fluffy middle or knit to a checkered flag at the end. Flash. Flash. Flash. Blah.  Nothing there. Nobody home. Nobody. Nothing.

When you bathe yourself in Mary Oliver poetry, her essays, her shorts – and when you waterboard your Blog followers with her Art, should there be any wonder of the source of the crippling doubt, the wellspring of inadequacy? Come on DK.

So here we go. In-n-out of her ethereal breezes to my…

Pigeon.

It’s daybreak, yesterday.  We’re on the way to Mianus River park for a trail run.  The gauge reads 27° F, and wind chill is knocking that down. We’re on a cross-street in Stamford, five miles out.  There’s no traffic. I stand at a red light. Anya‘s in the trunk, peeking between the head rests; outside, water vapor from the exhaust pipes spills into the cold and flurries of white smoke cloud the rear window.

My attention is pulled right. There he was.  A Pigeon. He’s sitting on a ledge on a wall of the building lining the street, at my eye level.  He’s looking at me, me at him.

Warm air blows through the vents, temperature set at 69° F in the cabin. His breast bone is puffed out and his wings are tucked in, sheltered from the cold.

He’s standing on a frigid concrete ledge, with wind gusts blowing along the wall – no hat, no socks, no long underwear, no boots, no leg warmers and no double lined goose-down winter coat. 10,000 feathers line his coat.

I glance in the rear view mirror, no traffic. And I see me, looking at me with my eyeglasses. He hasn’t broken his stare. He has no progressive, scratch resistant anti-reflective eyeglasses, yet, he can see over a 26 mile distance. He can hear wind blowing over mountains from hundreds of miles away.

The light turns green. He hasn’t blinked, he hasn’t twitched.

I pull away.

We’re 4 miles into the run, and I’m struggling to catch my breath. I’m gassed.  I stop, and sit on a rock to rest.  He beats his wings up to ten times per second, while maintaining a heart rate of 600 beats per minute up to 16 hours without rest. When he’s on a long flight, he reaches back and holds on to the short tail feathers with his feet in order to save energy.

I get up.  “Let’s go Anya. Let’s finish this up.”

That’s right. I’ve got nothing. Nothing here.

Nap time.

11,883 steps.


Notes:

 

Comments

  1. I’d say you have something here, DK. Even Mary O. would think so.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Definitely something here. You see the birds and they lead you to Mary-worthy pondering. That is just great. Very enjoyable read, DK.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I raised homing pigeons as a kid. But I didn’t try and outpace them. And I hope you’re only joking about MO – please, god(dess), you’re not setting the bar that high. She’s one of our best poets, ever. No comparison to any of us rowers in the back of the skiff. You do just fine. Hang in there, and enjoy the holidays, David! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Smiling. Yes Bela, I am joking. She is something special. We have to find our own unique way, no matter how difficult. Reminds me of another passage in her new book:

      I know a young man who can build almost anything— a boat, a fence, kitchen cabinets, a table, a barn, a house. And so serenely, and in so assured and right a manner, that it is joy to watch him. All the same, what he seems to care for best— what he seems positively to desire— is the hour of interruption, of hammerless quiet, in which he will sit and write down poems or stories that have come into his mind with clambering and colorful force. Truly he is not very good at the puzzle of words— not nearly as good as he is with the mallet and the measuring tape— but this in no way lessens his pleasure. Moreover, he is in no hurry. Everything he learned, he learned at a careful pace— will not the use of words come easier at last, though he begin at the slowest trot? Also, in these intervals, he is happy. In building things, he is his familiar self, which he does not overvalue. But in the act of writing he is a grander man, a surprise to us, and even more to himself. He is beyond what he believed himself to be.

      ~ Mary Oliver, from “Building the House” in Upstream: Selected Essays (Penguin Publishing Group. 2016)

      Liked by 3 people

  4. You’ve got and give more than you know David. ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh pal, you’ve got it – mega amounts of it. Your words almost dance on the screen, as I marvel how you can make a run feel like a thousand leaps.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I love your eye, DK…the things that you notice, the associations that you make, the disparate sources you piece together into a quilt that seems just right. I’m with Mimi, you’ve got it and lucky are we that you choose to share it with us. Here’s to many more runs….

    Liked by 2 people

  7. freddiegeorgia says:

    Dear DK…I love what you write…but perhaps YOU could use 10,000 feathers lining your coat?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. And I’m grateful for the way you pull our eyes and ears to the beauty all around us, causing us to pause and savor.
    Thank you for that, DK.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “…a grander man…”
    We should all become
    Become because we can…
    and should because
    we need to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. just you and the bird and mary and your words and your lungs and your legs. i’d say that’s a very full and wonderful plate to set on the table.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. David, I never really comment, but this Christmas Eve morning, and First Night of Hanukah, winter solstice-ish morning, I feel I must tell you that when I pause and take the time to read your writing, I am always placed in a better world.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. No comparison needed. You have definitely got your own “it” and it is awesome David 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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