Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Lone Bike at the Rack


At evening, there's only one

Everyone has gone home so it's a scene of quiet, just one pair of footsteps on the pavement, a fountain across the canal, a touch of wind rustling the trees. The footsteps are shuffling along slower than normal. The heart is not light. The mind is not clear. At the end of this day, the head is not held high, nor the shoulders pulled back. Still, there's movement, a direction toward home, and where there's movement, there's life; where there's home, there's hope. A bicycle ride toward home on a hot and humid day into the shimmering gloaming. It's truly the humidity, not the heat, which saps you.

The practiced, semi-conscious motions which unlock the bike, load the bag on board, and throw the leg over the seat happen without thought. The first few pedals are as slow as the shuffling feet. The energy is not there, and the ride is as slow as you might think it would be at the end of such a day.

But the motion. The life returning. The spinning revives the inertia of happiness. The movement of air awakens the solitude into a depth of dimensional thickness, moving through this familiar rustling air which touches the trees while your own motion gathers it in, as it gathers you together within the whole space that knows you and that you know well since you travel it each day and night with nothing between it and you: there's nothing more neighborhood than this.

A ventured thought to test the memory of the morning finds nothing at first. Memory aches to uncover that bright and promising string of words, but the work day has burned it out of you. Pressed and crushed it into dust. Hot fire of endless utility clicks: click click click click till the morning's poem has been erased clean out of mind, it would seem. But you cheated the endless hot clicking fire, you denied its ultimate erasing goal: from your pocket you pull the crinkled piece of paper from the morning, the one you wrote down the string of words that seemed poetic to you in that bright sunrising moment, knowing from countless previous days what the day would do to you, and determined to deny this particular day its poetic erasure, you wrote the words down.

Smudged and crabbed words across the crinkles. Evening you can barely read the writing of morning you. What was written there: "tonight I will remember you, who would have stopped by the water, and spent the morning talking with a friend." The paper rustles something in the mind, which recalls the writing now, and most of the thoughts that went with it, and why you wanted the evening you at the lone bike at the bike rack to remember what the morning you was like at the end of the ride, before work, before the clicking fire purged it all out. Remember. A gust of wind comes and you let the paper flutter away on it, a message to another, carrying the purging this time, and what was washed away by it to leave behind a smile and a lighter heart with which to ride home. Where's there's life. The inertia of happiness is stubborn, you have to give it that much, it is bullheaded and determined to drive your feet faster around their cycling circles. The motion and the life which the spinning revives. The poem from the morning that you remember now. 

You've been here before and this is more practice at it. You're getting good after so long. Good because the whole space knows you, and you know it, traveling it each day with nothing between it and you. Knowing this happens, has happened, keeps happening, there's one sight at the end of the day which gladdens even a heavy and tired heart moving on slow shuffling feet: the lone bike at the rack.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for that thought. I've always enjoyed the lone bike at the rack because it leaves me wondering who owns it, who are they?

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    1. This is one of my favorite posts. I would leave it up as the front gate permanently. On a better day, perhaps, I will stick around to chat with that owner. Go for a coffee. Discuss life and stuff.

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  2. Very nice. Well worth slowing down to read fully and carefully. Again, very nice.

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    1. Thanks, RANTWICK. I continue to strive to be him who wrote this.

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