Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something Beautiful

Something of the air tonight: stillness, early dusk quiet, cold and warm, freshness of about-to-rain. Woodsmoke. 

It's just a commute on a bicycle. I tell myself that. And yet. I get into my rhythm, hit the right cadence, find a perfect rapid circle to spin, and that mere ride home can feel like something beautiful. Ten minutes in and I feel like going faster. Fifteen and faster. But I don't shift gears, the smooth spinning and the sounds of the chain, the cogs, the chainring, it all sounds like music, and I am into it exactly as it is. I want to take a photo of something beautiful to post along with text describing this being-in-the-moment. One speed: go.

It's just a commute on a bicycle. I remind myself. Yet, the words are sounding in my head like some mantra being enunciated by a cross between Sir Laurence Olivier and Ozzie Osborn: FIND SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL, it is saying to me. I'm spinning and I can't hear anything else. It's getting dark. I'm into it exactly as it is. FIND SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL.

I scan the g00g1e map in my brain: what is beautiful around here that I haven't taken photos of yet? That mountain over there? Take a right, push hard, make it to the turnaround up top for a sunset shot before the dying of the light? Good idea, good idea, but not enough time. FIND SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL. The park. The clouds. That family skating together. The older woman on the bike waving at me. The guy behind her who also waved. What. Take a photo.

You zoned out spinning freak evaporating to happy nirvana nothing dust inside your head, FIND SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL. Look around. Listen. It's just a commute.

I hit a stretch of street with no cars around. Grabbed my brakes. Breathe. Breathe. Listen to the close world around you. Close eyes. Open eyes. What do you see? A cactus you ride past every day. Snap. A rock with a car blurring by in the dying light. Snap. FOUND SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL. Now can we complete this commute on a bicycle in peace?

Yes. Now just spin. A few miles till home might zero or a hundred. Just go. Just ride. I'm into it exactly as it is. It's all around.

Found it. Get up. Go ride



  1. I love the music of the chain and cogs when I am spinning those pedals smoothly.
    A brilliant description.

  2. Thanks for your comments, my far-flung cycling brothers! UK, Canada, Hawaii, I imagine you spinning down your own roads and paths today, hitting a happy pace, sharing something of a common experience, at different spots on our little globe. Peace!


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