|I've been here before:hi-brow, by colab studio see Bicycle Commuting Past Lift Station #53|
"At night, eight LED lights cast patterns on the slump walls in the dark," said the artist's web site. As Autumn, a time of harvesting and gathering, slips in, a night ride to go see the patterns on the slump walls in the dark felt necessary. When I arrived, though, after riding along the canal at night which still feels a bit like flying after all these years, I found that the LED illuminators were not casting patterns, not tonight.
Which, as it turned out, was perfect for my purposes: sometimes you find the light you need, other times you make it yourself. I have lights, and although I couldn't figure out how to get them on the other side of the steel plates (quad copter drone with bright LEDs, here I come!), I pointed my bike headlight up there to see what I could see.
|He looks even more like a brain lightning peyote shaman cap at night|
|Perhaps pressing the letters in different combinations unlocks a secret code which activates the illuminators...|
Autumn is a time of self-assessment for me. Reflection and contemplation. Sometimes some of it turns a bit dark, I guess, but it seems like a natural turn of mind for me, and when that happens, one alternative is a night ride flying along the canal to gather up what I need.
The last mile or so along the canal is a particularly quiet and nearly straight stretch of fine gravel which often induces me to put forth a maximal effort, in order to feel my lungs and heart doing their thing, to see what my legs can do, to feel what all-out flows through me like. There's a starting pole, and a finish line, naturally. If I finish that mile breathless and spent, then I'm happy, and I can ride the last couple of miles home in a peace that comes from trying really hard.
Just before the sprint, since it's a contemplative time of year, I was thinking, what would you have life be like? What is it that you want? And this word came into my head, "luminous," full of light, and honestly I'm not entirely sure what the means in precise or logical terms, but it feels emotionally true: I want a luminous life, clear and full of light, precisely like LED lights casting patterns through water-jet-cut steel cornice, or the same but illuminated by a bright LED bike light mounted on my bike which I lifted in one hand while taking photos with the other.
As I approached the start of the sprint start line, I kept thinking, "luminous, and..." and what? It had to be luminous and something. A Life Luminous and Amazing? and Loud? and Round? and Surprising? and Stunning? I rolled many words around and around as I flew along the canal, then slowed to take a last drink and prepare myself for the maximal effort. As I came to almost a complete stop and stood on the pedals to start (there's a bit of ritual to this thing), the other word of the life I want finished off the phrase: A Life Luminous and Breathless.
Breathless, as in the end of an all-out mile along the canal at night. Precisely that feeling. Of giving it everything, feeling lungs and legs burn a bit, but also feeling very good to be alive and speeding along. To be full of light, and feel like that, is all I need.
I feel it's time now for a fall blog break. To reflect and reassess, to ponder, and other adventures. Part of me wants to spill out some doubts about blogging, about what it is I'm doing here, along with questions that would reveal more of of the dark turn of mind I mentioned at the top, but I've always felt this exercise here, whatever it is, is not for that purpose for me, but rather it's opposite. Something of that tension, of trying to maintain the discipline of not going to that place here to any extent while still feeling it, has been a fascinating experience. I don't think overcompensation by way of excess wonder, curiosity, openness, or desire for understanding is necessarily bad, and it's kind of fun, but I do have doubts about the results sometimes. Perhaps it is just for itself and that may be enough.
But, before I go, just one more question: where to find this breathlessness and luminosity? This place, of course, this city I am in now, but also others, and not just on gravel paths beside canals at night, but along quiet lanes lined with trees, at seasides and also lands of thousands of hills. The world, in other words, is where I seek a life luminous and breathless. I have only to go, and gather up. Gather up.
talk to you after fall blog break.