This week's training was negatively impacted by a lot of things.
Monday: 2 miles in 19. (Bad day.)
Tuesday: 8 in 60.
Wednesday: 4 in 38. Knee pain - figures, as I sent out entries to races yesterday.
Thursday: 3.5 in 31. Ow! Ow ow ow!
Friday: 9 in 71 (Stopped early due to an embarassing problem.)
Saturday: 24 in 4:14. Very icy. Knee problems from step one.
Sunday: 8, untimed.
Bill Holm died. His funeral's in two hours and I wish I were there. I've written a few times about authors, but I knew Bill and so this is different.
When you drive out highway 68 in southwestern Minnesota, you go from one small town to another, seemingly alike, but each started by a different immigrant group, so each has its own accent, food and architecture. After my favorite, Belgian-themed Ghent, one comes to Minneota, with its Swiss chalets on the flat prairie. Just north of there is a small enclave and that's where Bill was born, where he wrote, where he died. Like when a weathered grey barn with its swayback roof is finally fallen and cleared away, there's something missing on the prairie. Bill is gone.
I stood in the fallow fields with Bill, arguing. We both would argue anything the other posited, just to see if he'd thought his point through, if he really meant it. We stood in the fields, discussing the poetic Edda, because it seemed someone should. We looked like two scarecrows, as neither of us ever seemed to buy clothes and we looked, with our long hair and beards, like brethren, if not brothers. And we were. I turned out to be a puritan Bill Holm - he smoked constantly, drank liberally, ate gluttonously, loved immensely - an impossibility, but true; Bill and I were much alike and very very different.
Bill had a love/hate relationship with his home on the prairie and thought of all it could be, whereas I thought it was complete as it was and had the same love/hate relationship with my city. He taught at Southwest State, as he needed to make money and he switched from poetry to prose because he wanted to be read. He hated that his students didn't have a passion for his class, for any class, for anything, just wanted to get a degree and get out of town, just like he wanted to do at their age.
You probably haven't heard of him before. You haven't read his books. You are the poorer for it, but your world is much richer because it once had Bill in it. You would've liked him; everyone did.
It's the end of a chapter. Time to turn the page. So long, Bill.