Iowa Writes

JENNIFER RYAN
Where Is the Camera


My daily habit is to begin with exercise, preferably a walk/run outside.  Especially in an unknown town, it allows me to see the trees and flowers and sky and to get a sense of place.  It is a meditation of the best kind.
        It might be important to mention that I am old.  Sixty-eight years old to be exact -- in two weeks.  And although there are joggers around Iowa City, none of them appear to have been born in my decade.  I am not the unwrinkled cute young thing in short shorts with a pony tail slipped through the back of my Iowa baseball cap swaying back and forth in cadence with my alarmingly beautiful stride -- although you may assume that is me if you wish. 
        So this morning I leave the Iowa House Hotel, pass the construction site and head toward the Old Capitol building.  It is beautiful architecturally with its gold dome and placement on top of the knoll.  Surrounded by well tended landscaping there is a sidewalk on each side, sections of steps going this way and that and flat areas where we joggers can catch our breath.  The weather is cool and there is a slight breeze.  Perfect, I think.  Of course later I discover the River Walk but that is another story.

My daily habit is to begin with exercise, preferably a walk/run outside.  Especially in an unknown town, it allows me to see the trees and flowers and sky and to get a sense of place.  It is a meditation of the best kind.
        It might be important to mention that I am old.  Sixty-eight years old to be exact -- in two weeks.  And although there are joggers around Iowa City, none of them appear to have been born in my decade.  I am not the unwrinkled cute young thing in short shorts with a pony tail slipped through the back of my Iowa baseball cap swaying back and forth in cadence with my alarmingly beautiful stride -- although you may assume that is me if you wish. 
        So this morning I leave the Iowa House Hotel, pass the construction site and head toward the Old Capitol building.  It is beautiful architecturally with its gold dome and placement on top of the knoll.  Surrounded by well tended landscaping there is a sidewalk on each side, sections of steps going this way and that and flat areas where we joggers can catch our breath.  The weather is cool and there is a slight breeze.  Perfect, I think.  Of course later I discover the River Walk but that is another story. 
        I spend about an hour getting my heart rate up when suddenly I realize that I need to use the bathroom.  Like, NOW (this sometimes happens when you are older).  I begin to look around desperately (not that this has ever happened before) and find no appropriately secluded spot.  All of the trees have been carefully pruned to above head level eliminating any secluded places.  After stopping for a minute or two (you all know what that is about) I decided to take my chances and jog back to the Iowa House, which is, thankfully, now down hill.  I make it --- Yeah!!!  The crisis has been averted and, after showering, I spend a lovely day at the Arts Festival along the Pedestrian Mall and eating food that is very tasty and I do not want to discuss (not on the healthy eating menu).
        Later that evening, I am channel surfing in my room and come to 25.4 (which is not listed in the Guest Services Directory of the Iowa House Hotel).  On the television screen before me is a live video streaming of the Old Capitol.  There are people moving about.
        The next morning, on my way to the Eleventh Hour Lecture Series held in the Biology Building, I began looking up (rather than down at the vegetation) trying to spot THE CAMERA.  I think I have located it and all of a sudden my stomach cramps and my mouth goes dry.  I need a bathroom, NOW.

more

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


JENNIFER RYAN

Jennifer "Ginger" Ryan, until December of 2013, was the CEO of a network of community and migrant health centers along the U.S. — Mexico border.  After her retirement she traveled to Calabria, Italy to attend a three month long program at the Italian Culinary Institute.  She participated in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival during the summer of 2014 while working on a novel about her adventures.

This page was first displayed
on September 24, 2014

Find us on Facebook