Friday, November 10, 2017

I just breathed in everything around me.

I suppose I'm getting to the point where I may have said what I can say about most things and continuing to say things will get into redundant territory. However, it has been quite a while since I posted, so here are some reflections perhaps worth sharing:

-In regards to "To What End," my last post, strangely, shortly thereafter I decided it seemed like a good idea to cycle to Chicago to play a show with my band. 300 miles in three days was the plan. It came from a moment of nostalgia looking through photos in the basement while organizing things. Seeing photos of myself in my young twenties when I was full of idealism and song lyrics like "power to the pedal, ride your bikes, GO!" perpetually swirling in my head, I was svelt and the future's imagined grandiosity was well ahead of me. Still, I proposed it to my wife, and she agreed, even after I explained I'd need a lot of new equipment for that sort of ride in late fall. I won't bore you with too many details but I'll give you this highlight. Day two, after realizing we weren't going to make the Muskegon Ferry in time like planned, we finally arrived on the Musketawa Trail between Grand Rapids and Muskegon, a paved trail of about fourteen miles where the two others in my group decided it was time to lower the intensity and all go our own pace and meet at the end. This portion of the ride was my kind of territory. The other two being stronger climbers, I thrive on flat surfaces and love to increase the RPMs and get as much out of the lesser resistance as I can. The trail was as #puremichigan as it gets, surrounded by open pastures periodically intermingled with tunnels of trees, the changing colors of fall, free from the feeling of responsibility to my guys, I just breathed in everything around me. I took some video, 'facetimed' my family to show them what I was seeing, connected my feeling of freedom within ride to those I love who're wishing me the best. We reached the end of that stint and I felt more revitalized than any other moment on the trip. Because of timeline complications we ended up with 243 miles for the trip instead of 300, opting for a train from Kenosha, WI into Chicago, which was just fine. We're calling it 250.

-Our beloved is now in the first grade. She's smarter, wittier, and more forthright with her words than ever. She says "Dad, I love you!" several times a day, which melts my heart every time. She's developing an awareness of others' opinions or thoughts about her, which I know is inevitable, but also a saddening reality. A couple weeks ago we were in Meijer buying Halloween candy and upon check-out she spotted Sandy, the mechanical pony, all kids can ride on for a mere penny. As the ride started she realized it was moving incredibly slowly and asked why that was so. I explained that Sandy needs to be tame enough for kids much smaller than her and that she's now been on bona fide roller coasters, so Sandy must seem a little simple these days. She continued, but I watched her scan the crowd nearby, seeing who, if anyone, was watching her. She whispered to me: "Dad, I feel embarrassed." As my heart broke internally, I tried to reassure her that she can have whatever sort of fun she wants with Sandy, regardless of what anyone else might think. She cordially accepted a second ride from the stack of pennies intentionally left behind by others for future riders, such a sweet gesture when sweetness itself feels so left behind sometimes. But I can see her blissful and innocent sense of freedom changing, something she'll likely deal with the rest of her life, as most of us do.

-I'm finding myself having a harder and harder time relating to people whose belief systems attempt to speak in universals about all people when it seems so obvious to me that they're really just expressing their own experience; their experience, which is the result of countless factors that gave them the belief system in the first place. And at the same time, I realize my beliefs about this, come from my experiences which have formed my outlook, which I'm then proposing as a universal understanding of sorts. Is a position of uncertainty also a position of certainty? How do we let go of these belief systems long enough to just be with others?

-As of this morning it is officially Low season. We awoke to a sunny, nineteen degree, crisp morning. The furnace is officially running regularly, the holidays are on their way. The soundtrack can and will now be primarily Low albums for the rest of winter. As always, I suggest starting with the album that roped me in for life, Curtain hits the Cast, it's hauntingly beautiful.

While I've been less active with this blog lately, know that I hope you're well, and as always, thanks for reading.


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