Leaning into the curves of an autumn tree lined highway can help you believe that all is right with the world. That your anxieties over politics and love are things , in different disguises, that the world has always known, and the world has always survived. And that problems, like curves on ancient roads, must be embraced, leaned into, if you’re ever going to come out safely on the other side. Trusting, letting go, embracing the unknown, getting lost, experiencing the dizziness of freedom are the only sure routes to new horizons. Otherwise, we remain where we are, as Yeats says, in that rag and bone place of our heart.
Reverberations: 11 Days after the Trip Ended
“We have a wacky theory for why people like to ride motorcycles, and it goes like this: The act of riding is a form of meditation, because the concentration that’s required to safely ride a motorcycle tends to focus the mind in a way that eliminates other mental distractions that might interfere with the mission. This creates a single-mindedness that, in effect, displaces the continuous stream of thoughts that normally flow through our consciousness” (WebBikeWorld.com, para. 1).
I definitely have been experiencing reentry problems after the cross country trip. Exacerbated I’m sure by the fact that my Jeep is still in the shop being repaired. So I’m still kicking up dust around town on the Harley. And I’m still frequenting fast food places; McDonalds for an afternoon iced tea and Krystal for their Over 55 breakfast ($2.99!). I love it when they ask for my ID!
Every morning when I wake up I feel as if I ought to suit up and head out some highway, lonesome or otherwise.
I rode Big Red up to Dalton for a job interview on Tuesday. These were the roads I’d practiced on before the trip. This time riding them I felt so much more confident and comfortable on the bike than I had before the trip. 5700 bike miles can do that to you. I passed the Harley dealership in Dalton and felt a magnetic draw, a pang of nostalgia given my frequent visits to Harley dealers for repairs while on the road. I almost felt compelled to stop by and just give them a couple hundred dollars, just out of habit. Fortunately, I resisted the impulse.
But I’m happy to report that Big Red is doing well. And when I ride her I have a sense of freedom, a letting go of the past and an immersion in the beauty of the present.
A poem by Yeats
I am content to follow its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing.
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look on is blest.