Elm City Scrapbook is a column alternately written by Daniella Sanchez (MC ’25) and Catherine Kausikan (GH ’25), which each week reflects on a different artwork in and around New Haven.
On Sundays, I run 5… 6… 7… 8 miles in seemingly no direction. I switch from podcast to podcast and then from song to song, until I get bored and I’m forced to succumb to the sound of my heavy breathing and feet pounding the pavement.
Running makes me feel so close to my body. It makes me see myself and it as one whole entity. Except that the whole relationship becomes a paradox when I’ve gotten so “body” that I become hyper-aware of everything around me, and it starts to feel like I’m watching myself run from a drone flying overhead.
Strange art, surreal art, oddly grotesque inexplicable art makes me feel the same way. You look at it, and for a moment, it all seems so recognizable and personal—until you realize that it isn’t quite rooted in reality. Then you release some guttural feeling of discomfort unintentionally, moving under your skin or puckering your lips as if your eyes could somehow taste something sour.
Last Sunday, I passed a ceramic walrus sitting in a barren yard in the East Rock neighborhood. I looked at it for a while. I was already starting to feel strange at the four-mile mark, and now such a bizarre figure was staring back at me. Somehow it reminded me that I am here, present, just running. Not from anything, not towards anything, but just to feel something—anything at all.