My Trickster Self

I wake in the dark and remember
it is the morning when I must start
by myself on the journey….
— W.S. Merwin

I ran this morning, first into the wind and then blown back by the wind: four miles total.

I run first thing in the morning so that I do not talk myself out of it. So early do I run — I wake at 4:00 am — that I head out before I have ideas for the day. Oftentimes I run discouraged, knowing I have no ideas for the day. Somewhere during the last two miles, though, my mind opens up and ideas flood in: I will weed the garden. I will write a letter. I will take some photographs. I will clean this corner of the house or another. I will read a forgotten novel. I will research a forgotten subject.

In the final two miles of the run, my mind is active with life’s possibilities. I see what my discouraged mind could not. I understand what my defeated thoughts have told me — I am nothing, I know nothing, I can do nothing. In the last mile-and-a-half, I realize today, as I realized yesterday, I am my own trickster. I am my own worst enemy…and my own best friend.

Goat’s Beard Preparing to Open

Merwin, W.S. “Rain Travel.” Migration: New and Selected Poems, 355. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press, 2005.


6 thoughts on “My Trickster Self

  1. You’re back! This was an inspiring read. I will go on solo hikes in the morning around 5, so I agree! The best time is right away in the AM before you talk yourself out of it. With all the beautiful mountains here in Colorado, I just don’t have an excuse. Thank you for your thoughts, and I look forward to future insights!


    1. Thank you, Shanice! Be safe at 5:00 am! I need only dodge wild turkeys, deer and the occasional grain truck. The sandhill cranes call from the fields, but don’t approach. And then Thursday, there was the skunk…but we didn’t tangle. Woke me completely up as I gave him/her a wide berth.


  2. Walking and hiking are great for clearing your head. Having a dog that needs daily walks has been the perfect excuse to spend time with Niecie or just find some time to think. Great to see you posting again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tobias! Great to hear from you, too! And, yes, walking and hiking are terrific ways to clear one’s head of the noise that goes on in there pretty much all the time. I am grateful that I have the freedom to open my front (or back) door and step out into the world. A knapsack, camera and good shoes —and a dog, too, if you have one — are the tools of the hiking trade. Cheaper than a therapy session; cheaper than a lot of things.


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