brrr — ing it


“I will not be denied,” I say to myself and start piling on the outerwear.

The temp on the car dash registers minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit when I hit the lake.  I don’t see a soul outside of a car yet, but I will.

This is Minneapolis.

Soooo it is.  Yanking off my gloves to wriggle the earbuds of my vintage mini iPod underneath my hat, the first group of runners passes me.  Calhoun Beach Running Club die hards.  I take note of the frost on their caps.  Look down at my own breath making snow.  The music freezes, the battery deadened in less than 5 minutes.

But I feel good.  Dangerously good.

A guy with a dog — not even a Husky — clips straight for me, nods in passing.  I wrestle with my scarf, pull it up over my nose.  Thoughts go deeper with every crackling step. 

“Blowing off the stink” as my mother or her mother or somebody’s mother would say.  

The stink freezes mid air.  I zig zag around it.  Drop down a little deeper and let go, let myself touch what needs to be touched.  Water from my eyes freezes on my burning cheeks. 

Then, rounding the last finger of my beloved Isles, I hear blades scraping before I see the play.  The puck drops and sticks smack the lake, nylon breezers whiz by at breakneck speeds. 

I could go another mile, I think.

I will not be denied the sweet sting of being alive today.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

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