Monday, March 21, 2011

reddish / purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy / stuff (thanks, WCW)

Almost a year ago to the day, John, my friend Barbara, and I ran the L.A. marathon. I wore my burgundy-brown Nike via Thrift Town shorts even though Barbara and I called ourselves Team Capris during our training. (Our alternate name was Team Velveeta, reflecting our love of post-run grilled cheese). In the race, I wore my water bottle fanny pack, removing the bottle for a baggie of pretzels and Cheez-its. (Why can I not write about running without also writing about food?)
The 2011 L.A. marathon was yesterday. I spent most of the day on the couch at John's parents' house, winnowing down a stack of grading and staring at gray sky, glad we'd picked the right year for that race.
The truth is that I probably haven't run 26 miles total this year. I hope to come out of hibernation, get some new running shoes, pick a race, buy some Teddy Grahams, get moving.
In one of my classes recently, we read William Carlos Williams' poem "Spring and All." One of the things I appreciate about this poem is its un-Hallmark look at the season. In place of daffodils or Easter grass is the "reddish / purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy / stuff of bushes and small trees / with dead, brown leaves under them / leafless vines--"
Before spring erupts, Williams suggests, one must face winter's brush. In the clutter, "[l]ifeless in appearance, sluggish / dazed spring approaches--" Spring is a resurrection, but not much to look at when it first shows up. Spring is here, especially in the green folds of Malibu. It's spring break, after all (I hope I never outgrow spring break). Although I look to Williams' poem as a reminder that spring's is a slow approach, I'm also struck by how signs of spring do show up overnight. Just last week at my school in Spokane, one day the courtyard was mulch. The next day, crocus.

OK, there's some shopping and thrifting to do in L.A. I'll ease up on the kum-ba-yah about the seasons and get back to business.

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