Before Leaving

I look at my route on a topo map and part of my heart becomes quite still and my lungs start working overtime. There are no lines, there aren't even curves, just these schizophrenic marks, frantic and erratic, scribbled across the enormous Sierra Nevadas.

This opportunity thrills me, it really does, but the glory of the ride ahead is dampened and dulled by my worry of Others. Maybe reckless, maybe simply on a faster ride, I cannot stop questioning, wondering, analyzing: will someone coming up from behind me be able to keep from crashing into me if they come upon me suddenly in one of these innumerable blind corners? How split can a second get? And while I trust myself and trust the road, why can't I extend the decency of trust to other riders on other journeys, these individuals I know I will encounter while on mine?

Here is my cynicism (that humankind is an oxymoron); here is my need to control (that I can only stay safe if I am the one acting, that if I leave it in the hands of anyone else I may as well be toast). Here is my challenge - to believe that other people are around to help me, not to harm.


Anonymous said...

i want to thank ou for this entry. i just bought my first scooter, yes it's a Vespa. although i ride with my husband on his motorcycle, i have never driven a motorcycle or a scooter until 5 days ago. and although i practice riding every day, i still feel a bit anxious each time i get on the road. your outlook on riding a scooter has helped me to understand that i need to enjoy the ride while still remembering safety.

Anonymous said...

You amaze me. I've just started to read your blog, so I don't even know your name!! I found you yesterday when I came across the picture of Charlie and the kitty on CuteOverload.com. My friend quoted me something from your blog and I'm busy looking for it. But I started at the beginning and am totally in love with the way you think and write. Your journey is wonderful and I admire you so much for taking this ride.
I, too am facing the challenge of letting go of the "control" that I feel I need to have. It only hinders my life. But it's so familar...so easy...so second-nature. I'm still in the on-going battle of "getting rid of" the control, so that it may no longer be second nature.
I shall continue to read...and thank you so, so much!

Blessed Be,
Michele M., Buchanan, MI

joker the lurcher said...

this is why i gave up riding a motorbike! i loved the feeling of speed and wind but the other people scared me too much - now i have a kid i can't take the chance someone will be on the phone or lighting a cigarette instead of looking where they are going. luckily i know you got there in one piece as i found this blog from the daily coyote!