|All these clouds|
My head's in the clouds but my wheels are on the ground. I'm struck dumb lately, silent, by the silly ideas people offer seriously: that bike riding is hard, that a handful of miles is too far to move under your own power, that sweat is some kind of evil fluid which destroys all that it touches, that it is better to be cooped up inside an air conditioned car than out riding in the free air beneath all these clouds in the blazing August sun.
This August sky is my favorite sky, this August heat is my favorite heat. The morning doesn't know what the night might bring. It's best to slow down a bit when it's this hot, and what's the hurry anyway? Where are you going? What's the rush? Do you know the count of the minutes? Are you able to predict with certainty what waits for you at the end of the ride? Not what you want, not what you hope, but what actually will be? No. The ride is the ride. Go with it.
What is important is often not what we think is important. What we look so hard to find is often right there in front of us. As I waited at the stoplight for the green arrow, I looked up into the sky and beheld the mosaic of clouds and light in the photo above. I tilted my head way back, and looked straight up at the pattern which was dappled all across the morning sky, as a car pulled into the lane next to me. I looked slowly down into the driver's window, and she was looking at me, smiling, and I thought, I hope she caught me being carried away staring at all these clouds while waiting at this light, the guy on the bicycle looking up and allowing himself to be swept away.
I hope she thought, I wonder what goes on inside his head, what's he looking at, what's he thinking, who is he, why is he sitting on his bike on a workday morning staring up at the sky? What does he see? If I could make one other person curious about the clouds, just one, just curious enough to look up for one moment, that would be enough for me. Did she look? I don't know, but she did smile, which is something in itself.
|Be calm, adrenaline junky, rest easy, drama queen: we're going to just stare at the sky for a moment here and now.|
I've found that quiet energizes me now far more than chaos. Calm gets me higher than crazy drama. I've tired of repetitious mini-dramas that play out like set pieces from old bad commercials that run on a worn tape loop over and over. Been there before. The sun-drenched cloud eel dragon attempting to consume the steel pillars above, swimming in sunlight blazing cloud fire, that grabs my undivided, single-tasking attention. My head's in the clouds, but my wheels are on the ground, I've lost track of time and I'm just going to ride around for a while. It's not like you can really keep track of time, anyway. You cannot. You cannot hold the count of the minutes in your hand. You can guess at them, you can wish for how many they might be, but they will never be enough anyway, you know it, and hoping otherwise seems like where we begin to go wrong.
One minute, five, I let the clouds grab my undivided single-tasking attention. The cloud eel dragon blazed fire into my wheels, and I rode like there was no tomorrow.