10.7.18: Mile 22 Chicago Marathon

Letters

It is somewhat of a weird miracle how memories resurface.

How they are remembered, retold, rehashed.

How biking or walking or running or sitting in one place can have the kind of magic that lures and pulls you back to another time, another place, another person— a glimmer of Orion’s belt, the snap of a wine cork, a faint whiff of toasted hazelnut.

In French and Creole cultures, this kind of remembrance encapsulates the magic of déjà-vu— the sense that what you are experiencing au présent, you have already experienced au passé.

The sense that you are living in this shadowy yet glimmering place between past and present.

A Chicagoan’s Letter to Chicago

Letters

Today marks my one month “move-iversary” to Chicago.

As in, one month ago, I unloaded all of my books and tchotchkes and ate more pizza than my body could handle to call Chicago “home.”

Or whatever “home” really means these days. 

I have been thinking a lot about what this means and how to celebrate this– one month of making new friends! One month of attempting to understand public trans! One month of reading and talking and listening and reading some more!

But this has also made me acutely aware of how much work and understanding I still need to do to really–truly– call Chicago home.

Made me realize how much of this city I don’t know, don’t understand.

Bon Voyages and Beginnings

Letters

“So when do you think you’re going to start missing New Orleans?”

We’re in the car, riding on a high of McDonald’s french fries and almost 900 hours of summer camp. The music is pulsing, reverberating, through the bones of the car. Mississippi pine trees go by in a blur, the sun as well.  My fingers tap against the window, feet slung up onto the dashboard, head bopping from side to side. I’m humming along absentmindedly to some summer anthem, making up words, picking at my split-ends, dotting mosquito bites with my fingernails.

9 AM EST//Goucher Woods

Letters

To the Goucher College Woods:

If you’re here, meandering or sprinting or sleeping amidst these trees, hopefully you find the same sense of calm, the same sense of respite, the same sense of connection I found here, everyday, for four years.

I still come back, once every few years, tracing my fingers over the Heart Trees, feeling my legs tense up at the sight of Rocking Chair Hill, sensing myself calm down seeing the waves of buttercups laughing and bobbing in the breeze of the Back Jump Field.

7 PM//Streets of New Orleans

Letters

To the Krewe of the 504th:

This is how I feel when I get to run with y’all:

smiley

This is how I feel because of the impact you’ve had on my life–

each and every one of you crazy runners:

blessed

This is how I feel, knowing now the power running has to ignite change and to bridge the gap between different people, places, and communities:

pow

And this is how I feel leaving y’all after this final crew run before heading North for a while:

triste

 

Thank you thank you thank you for welcoming me into the BTG Familia and for somehow always *magically* sending out some crew love whenever I need it most.

See y’all in Chicago for Marathon Sunday!

❤ ❤ ❤ Kat

5:57 AM// Steamboat Natchez

Letters

Sometimes I wish I could take what I’m seeing– the exact curvature of the sky, the faint rippling of the water, the line of light casting shards and shadows– and be able to record it.

Not with a camera or binoculars or a video– but real time.

Exactly through my eyes.

Through the squinting of my pupils.

There are certain moments where I find myself pausing and thinking to myself, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be great if I could remember this moment, right now, for the rest of my life?”

Watching the sun rise over the Mississippi was one of those times.