Saturday, May 05, 2012
The Road Ahead
Roads, as life, have many twists and turns. And it's those twists and turns that make the trip interesting. I've ridden this stretch of road dozens if not hundreds of times and it can still appear new and unexplored at times. Why is that?
You never know for sure what's ahead on the road or what time and experience will reflect. Riding, making photographs, and collecting notes and ideas on scraps of paper sometimes help reveal where you are, or more importantly, where you're going. Standing in the driveway on a rainy morning I wondered where I was headed.
The Vespa hasn't been gathering many miles -- blame work and other interests. Standing among a copse of Eastern Redbud trees in full bloom seemed more spectacular after so many riding deficient days.
NOTE TO SELF: Even when busy -- take time to ride.
Rain, mist and a palette of gray and a measure of imagination imbues the most ordinary path with a hint of majesty. I've watched these days pass behind the wheel of the van, from my office window, and recognize their power. It's the days they pass unnoticed that worry me.
How many times have I walked through a field like this and turned around to look at the scooter? For a moment it appears as an archetype for freedom though all know how fleeting a machine can me. If there is something eternal it is the riding experience limited only by the mind's ability to restore it from memory. Almost like a painter, I ride, step back and examine what I've done before adding the next riding stroke to the canvas.
Thomas Merton wrote, "Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony."
Riding less has affected the order and balance of things. So has a lack of production photographically. Sunday morning meetings where new photographic prints were once common have become celebrations of creative emptiness.
At least I can rock a Twisted Roads t-shirt.
My friend Gordon and I contend for the collective titles of "Least Creative", "Most Useless", and "Champion Sloth". Or so it can seem. As he experiments with a Holga panoramic camera my own photographic actions have me divesting of cameras on eBay with only a vague perception that my days of putting my hands in chemicals to process film and make prints have ended.
It is good to talk about such things though. Gordon came close to becoming a Vespa rider himself as he engaged the obsessive dance with eBay, Craigslist and other appropriate web tools to find the right deal on a scooter. He wavered though and instead invested in a motorhome.
They are similar on some level.
The weather's been exceptional of late and the central Pennsylvania roads have never been more inviting for riders. I've chosen to do other things though -- some because I have to and others because I want to. One thing you will see in the coming weeks is a return, in part, to adventures mechanical. There are a variety of things I need to do from changing tires to repainting the exhaust system and I've made a decision to expand my mechanical skill.
I'll report here all successes and disasters. Hopefully only the former.
But soon the Vespa will be back on the road in a more serious way.