Archive | February, 2011

“and it looked like a painting I once knew”

24 Feb

Snowy winters suit Drohobych, if not my Prague Marathon training.  The dirty yellow haze of a sun looked this morning as if painted in abstract.  No warmth comes from it, no rays fall on the cold morning floor, the world has become dove grey, yet the snow seems to dance with the otherwise absent light.  Each object is blanketed, the sidewalks merely compressed, not cleared, snow.  Even the trodden streets look an oddly pleasing shade of cappuccino as if the color was created with purpose, not just an adulteration of the blinding white bordering the roads.  I feel comfortable in this world, nestled in the grey.  The texture of the snow covering the streets resembles creamed butter and sugar, the first step of home-made cookies, and the vision is just as comforting as the cookies of which I’m reminded.  Fresh snow has twirled and spiraled to the ground for a solid four days as if nature had a great blizzard in store for our sleepy town, but decided there was no need to rush.

Although getting myself out the door to run is an endeavor, gratification always accompanies the effort.  I have my own personal lane in the field of white barely recognizable as the sports school track.  The crisscross pattern worn into the snow by my YakTracks after each run is gently blurred in the continuously falling snow, yet somehow detectable when I return.  In a town big enough to grant anonymity, my runs identify me.  The same early morning cross-country skiers share the stadium with me, our breath-clouds looking less forlorn for the company.  Though gawking, familiar faces accompany my runs, I create for myself a duel world.  The daily commuters and I share this time, the worn familiarity, while I simultaneously cut myself off.  In for three, out for two – there’s just my breathing, the falling snow, and the opera I play on my ipod.

*Music: “I Can Feel a Hot One” -Manchester Orchestra

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“when the storm comes, will you reject the rain?”

24 Feb

ready the models

Enjoying some final sun and warmth our last day in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.  Our friend Hassan wanted us to all pose together, but I prefer the relaxed candid.

*Music: “Bend” -Ben Sollee

“eight miles a minute for months at a time”

12 Feb

I haven’t written a blog entry in quite a while, and that is most likely an understatement.  Journaling in general seems vapid and frivolous to me these days.  Running on full speed 7-11 each day has worn me thin to the point where I don’t have independent thought outside my minute to minute schedule, let alone find the little that passes through from time to time worth anyone else’s time or energy.

The only thing I’ve had to be thankful for in some time was moment of complete silence walking back from the grocery store two days ago (a three mile round-trip).  Along a major road, nonetheless, the only sound was the crunching of gravel under my shoes as I crossed one of the torn apart intersections.  It lasted for perhaps 20 seconds, but it was a glimpse of a break and rest I hadn’t gotten in over two weeks.  My emotional exhaustion has surpassed anything but vague, hazy notions of emotions and most of the time I feel unenthusiastic and generally sub-par.

I’ve started a journaling project at one school through which the senior students are consistently writing “letters to Linnea.”  Though the amount of work I have each night has skyrocketed as a result, the project is what I’d tentatively call fulfilling and a success.  Personalizing the attention I give each student through our letters back and forth has already achieved marked improvements their writing and participation.  Students I never thought would say a word in class are openly sharing their lives with me through these journals and I’m thankful for that step forward even if it means more sleepless nights of grading past 3 am.

Other than that, I’m regretting my luck of being out of the country for the release of such a ground-breaking book as Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes.  Most of you are well aware of my literary fixation, so I’m only going to say that this is the biggest step in melding literary art and visual art since the release of Tristram Shandy (in my humble opinion).  I’m jonesing a copy and tearing my hair out over Amazon not having it.

The daily grind keeps going day in and day out, though I’m enjoying a weekend of running, watching “The Wire,” and reading Gone With the Wind.  My next rest will be on International Women’s Day, a holiday I’m in full support of America finally adopting.

*Music: “Against the Wind” -Bob Seger