Jen in Rome: A Month-Long Tour 1


My friend Diana’s post flickered past my awareness. I’ve been “too busy” to read blogs from my talented friends lately. But something about the photo, or the phrasing, something tickled the periphery and I stopped, for once, the incessant scrolling.

She’s challenging herself to 31 days of posts this month. I’ve been pretending I’m too busy, too disoriented, too focused on my family to write anything down. This, despite the sentences that stack themselves like bricks, one atop another, as I run through the falling leaves.

And so, two days late, as is my M.O., I’m jumping in, clueless and unabashed and without a full plan.

29 days of running through my new home.

Rome, Georgia

          Rome, Georgia

Running and training are two different activities and because right now I’m training, I work hard on skimming the dross out of my head while I run. The miles aren’t always the tough part; being stuck inside my head for mile after mile, though, that can be the challenge.

I cast my eyes about and try to absorb these spaces so that I can remember what I’ve seen, so that I can notice.

I see the humiliating girth of a giant fallen timber, the log spanning the breadth of the trail and then some.

I see motes dancing in the sunstream banking just so off the golden grass through an arch of green impossibly perfect.

I see a dazzling blue sky stretching out like spanning arms, reaching to all my loves who are far flung from this new place.

I see stairs ascending a terraced hilltop, at the top of which, no homes, no businesses. As Wallace Stevens would say, “the nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.”

And as I notice and observe and wonder, I am pulled into a past that I do not share, and about which I become curious. This city, tucked in the valley of three rivers, a miniature version of my favorite city (Pittsburgh), former stomping grounds and now resting place for Confederates, and likely some Unionists as well.

As we continue to find our footing in this new landscape, I take it in, hungry to ingest, to understand, to belong.


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