Monday, October 23, 2017

Long Walks Good

"Feet on marble sound like spoons taping eggs." Vern Rutsala
This weekend I was feeling the letdown that comes from returning from an excellent and exciting travel. I was in that restless mood where being inside felt like slow aggravation. Outside was dark and rain.

I put on the raingear and resolutely went outside. When the winter months come, it's hard to find the motivation to just get out the door.

I tell myself that going on a walk won’t necessarily improve my mood, it’s merely a good thing to do until I feel better. Once out the door, my magical thinking kicks in, and I start to believe that something good, something special will come out of the experience.

I walk and my mind wonders where it will. I take different routes, but I like walking out of the West Hills of Portland, down to the river through the downtown.

Sunday morning, I found myself at a plaza where quotes are inscribed in the tiles. Glancing down, I found a quote by a favorite teacher at college, Vern Rutsala. He taught poetry and was a patient and inspiring professor. I purchased his books, feeling deeply the melancholy forests of Idaho and other points.

For the rest of the walk, I was back at Lewis and Clark college, writing poems, sharing them in class, listening to Vern talk about the rhythm and percussion of words.

I came home feeling pretty good.


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