Words for Wednesday

Despite my dispersed friends (and family) that keep telling me to move wherever it is they live, I live in a pretty cool place. And about a month and a half ago, I moved to an even cooler place: the same city, only four blocks further from everywhere I go.

Why is this a cooler place? Because where I live, the sidewalks have poems on them. And it is just about the most refreshing thing to be inspired to think or dream or smile or do when you had just a minute ago been staring at your feet.

At first I thought that this might be a neighborhood thing, as I live in a kind of hoity-toity affluent area that might be inclined towards this sort of thing. But some googling has revealed that it is an ongoing city-wide project

I know I just gave you a link there, but I’m going to encourage you not to go read through all the poems, because I’m going to bring them to you, with some thoughts, as I find them (on Wednesdays).



The sky / fell on / my / toes/ and / I was / a fast / runner.

The sky / fell on / my / toes/ and / I was / a fast / runner.

Chicken Little, anyone?

This always brings to mind the kind of vast blue sky you see in children’s book illustrations. I never quite know how to take it, though, because of the ambiguity of the “and.”

Originally, I read the “and” as a sort of “even though” — as fast as I ran, I could not avoid the sky falling on me. Furthermore, for something to fall on one’s toes, especially while running, it would have to fall in front of you. This would make it truly unavoidable. Such is the inevitability of so many aspects of our lives.

This, however, implies a sense of negativity to the sky. What if, on the contrary, for the sky to touch you, to fall on you, is a great gift? The “and” then is either neutral or possibly even causal. The sky falling on you can give you wings — a much better alternative than Red Bull.

I love “I was a fast runner.” I love it because this is the type of language we associate with children — children are fast runners, good readers, loud singers. As we frame and speak about childhood, to do is to have an identity, and there are no pretenses about this.

I want to be a fast runner.  A loving helper.  A constant learner.  A wild dreamer.


2 thoughts on “Words for Wednesday

  1. You ARE a fast runner, compared to me anyways.
    I definitely interpreted this as a sort of “wind beneath your wings” kind of thing. The sky fell on my toes is like the sensation of you rising up to meet the sky (the feeling you get when you are moving so fast you’re “flying”), except it was so effortless that it felt like the sky fell down to meet you. Because you’re so fast.
    Also Denton might not have poetry on its sidewalks but we do have the kind of skies that are like the ones in children’s books. So. Take that.

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