Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Simple Living

I took a slightly longer route home this evening from work, one that would take me away from the frantic traffic longing to get home. Car upon car, truck upon truck, SUV upon SUV all queued to get to the freeway entrance to hurtle north, east and west. The Vespa took me another path---one that is slow and deliberate, no hurrying. In one small village I was happy to see new asphalt finally smoothing the road surface and placing the manholes at road level rather than four inches above. I cruised along slowly until approaching the line painting truck applying double yellow to the black road surface. I hung back a considerable distance not wanting any yellow over spray coating my Vespa. I was content to just enjoy the air and scenery until such time the truck stopped painting and pulled over. I'd get home when I would get there. I was throwing slow back at a day that often wants fast. Our whole culture prompts us to rush and be impatient. The scooter is definitely a step off that roller coaster if you want to revolt.

The light glowed yellow as it lowered in the west sky. The foliage is beginning to change and I just love the smell of fall in the air. I had to stop and take some pictures. Again, the scooter seems to keep showing up. I promise that I will start posting some non-scooter pictures for those of you who may be more interested in photography.


Gary said...

Steve! You actually wrote "take some pictures".

Good for you! In this digital age, we don't always have to "make photographs", do we?

They are beautiful images, btw. As always...

I really like this entry. It serves to remind me that speed and dominance in traffic are a ridiculous substitute for harmony with life.

I love your blog for making the peaceful perspective fascinating. Thanks, Steve.

Ride well,

irondad said...

I echo Gary. Riding gives us the chance to make choices. Mainly to be different from the cager commuters. Are you saying that velocity is no substitute for quality, Gary?

That opens up a whole new topic of discussion, doesn't it? If I ride fast do I miss out on quality and harmony?

Better not get into it here on Steve's blog, huh?

Great post, Steve!


hrw115 said...

I would imagine that one is not a subsitution for the other. The experience of riding fast cannot replace the experience of being able to enjoy your surroundings - IMHO.

Steve Williams said...

gary: I spend a lot of time "taking" pictures---quick reactions to things going on. All others are more deliberate. Both modes are satisfying.

The more I ride the more pronounced I find the rush on the road to get somewhere. People fly by me but I always seem to catch them at the next light or stop sign. The time actually saved, even on longer trips can be measured in minutes. The risk isn't worth it to my body or spirit. For me, if I can keep my ego in a good place, the ride or drive is best when it is done at a more humble pace.

irondad: Quality is a sticky issue. There is something satisfying about speed but it has limitations. It is one thing to speed down an isolated stretch of road but quite another to speed through traffic.

hrw115: Without a doubt speed (and lack of exposure) robs us of experience of the world. A scooter or motorcycle is better than a car. A bicycle is better than a motorcycle (for experience). And walking is better yet. As irondad said it is all a matter of choices. In our relentless consumer culture we often are hypnotized to race---on the road, to the store, to the TV, to slogans, to beliefs. We are under the influence of not so benevolent forces to conform.

Getting off my soapbox now....

Eldercattus said...

I used to ride a Vespa P200E, back in the 1980's, but unkind people (mostly my family and employers) said I looked like a grizzley bear riding a silver roller skate. There was possibly some truth to that, as I stand nearly 6' 8".
Right now, at age 64, I ride a Suzuki Burgman AN650, which is still a scooter, but truthfully is a "wolf in sheep's clothing." Nevertheless, I have recently toured in the Milford and Jim Thorpe PA area, and into northern New Jersey.
The photographs are wonderful. A hand tremor keeps me from doing much of this any more, but I do appreciate fine work and artistry.
Looking forward to another trip north--with heated vest--and perhaps breakfast in Unionville.


PB2 said...

Wow. 3 days and no new posts! No, seriously, you've been so faithful about updating your blog to the enjoyment of your readers. Hope all is well. Keep it coming.

Steve Williams said...

eldercattus: The Burgman is a nice scooter. I saw several at our local scooter rally and I was impressed. If you ever decide to ride up this way let me know and I'll treat you to breakfast in Unionville.

pb2: I started to think that everyday was too much for all of you reading. I felt maybe two three times a week would be more palatable. I'll have something tomorrow.


Russell Carol said...

buy my Suzuki AN650 Burgman here anyone? I am selling my Suzuki AN 650 Burgman and it is just slightly used.