Daily thoughts on a sometimes weekly basis…
"When we fail to understand the real nature of our connection to place,
and refuse to understand that connection other than in terms of ownership and control,
then not only have we misunderstood ourselves,
but we have also lost any real sense of place as such.
To have a sense of place is not to own, but rather to be owned by
the places we inhabit; it is to ‘own up’ to the complexity and mutuality
of both place and human being."
~ Jeff Malpas ~
Slow and fast, all mixed into this melody called “Rebirth”, it reminds me of our stay in Austin these past few days. [Max Roach with Anthony Braxton from the single “Rebirth]
My thoughts were bouncing around these past few days while in Austin as I write this after the words below. Here and now back at "The Oasis", a gift the first evening here, a more than glorious Sunset. My own document of days in another Urban environment and there is not a single doubt in my mind, not that there ever was, yet reinforced today, my space is of the utmost importance for my sanity! Is it being spoiled on such isolated stages? Is it having the ability to only think straight while us more or less alone with no walls surrounding us? Yes, and more yes. There is no right and there is no wrong. Planet Earth is a vast Space, populated and unpopulated… the later is for us. A must. Everything else is just too late for us.
It is afternoon, our first in Austin, outskirts, is it too late I am thinking, it is not Austin, it is me. The forever feeling of stiffened mind has so quickly penetrated my inners. I am ready to turn around and head back to nowhere as long as the open road’s smiling face will at least show if only an inclination of a slight welcome. Like a fast speed download it took no time for the lid to cover me as wanting me well done and trying to take me back from the Life chosen on the other side. It is amazing, it is the strongest pull I have ever felt. The deeper I plunge the stronger the Urban tentacles are showing their true character. A couple more days and we shall backtrack, I am not stable, my heart is beating fast, faster throughout the errands almost done. I have no patience right now as I should be giving it a chance.
Though, I am happy to feel this, it only shows I am on the right path, right for us, not necessarily for anyone else. There is too much left behind for the sane to take that step. I ride back these past recent years and have so much gratitude toward Friends, their words of wisdom, the Books read and paragraphs highlighted, quotes found opening doors onto rooms of the mind still obscure, and more quotes, some, having been already played and now amazed to read them in the author’s words such as the above one. I feel it every time setting up camp within those magical spaces, I feel it more here at "The Oasis", the feel of such good fortune to have the freedom for us to enjoy this ground. The "ownership" is only a formality, a legal one… we never own it. We truly never own anything.
Yet sometimes words are strongly forced without a comprehension of our Lifestyle. My Friend here tells me this should be, "should be", a new beginning for me. I should divorce myself from the pain I sometimes carry and surfaces in ripples throughout awaken hours and should only embrace the joys from past and present times. Now. "I do"… "I do…", I insist that I try, but how can anyone give such advice when their own shoes worn do not fit? Forceful feeling from others only makes me turn away. I am always so thankful from an earful of advices, they are the words that make sense, they are the ones that sound so good, the ones I hike after uphill and sometimes slipping "downhill". Talk, talk and more talk. So easy, as writing and writing, so simple. It is the doing, the building, the swallowing of the lessons thrown and caught in mid air which their grasp becomes difficult. It is the next step seen and wanted, the muscles get tired and don’t pull as hard as before.
It’s OK. I smile. I feel as there is a wall in our conversation. It is there because of this "unknown" to so many "the stage" we live on. Just another day and again I will breathe as I am, indeed so "grateful" toward what I see and feel, even here thrown into this environment telling me more strongly than ever "you do not belong". Grateful. Yes, I am of course. I don’t loose sight of it, I cannot. The next day has arrived. I finally sit back here and able to separate myself and on this end I am now the spectator. I breathe easier. The vacuum has let off it’s pressure, I see the door, the movements from others and I am starting to understand that I do not need to understand as they cannot feel me. No harm. How can they when such time has been spent for so long in the womb of Mother Nature and they have not, when one lives and breathe on the other side of the coin with only the knowledge that both sides are only mirrors of each other.
I smile again and look up the skies remembering "Is that so….". Thinking it. Smiling more and now laughing finding all so easy… "Is that so?". I don’t anymore understand such present surroundings and this incredible fast stage, busy, noisy, yet I respect out of must as others do to me. Sometimes they don’t, often they do. I start dreaming with my eyes and senses wide open. Dreaming is nice in winter times. I have faith in my dreams, I have hope.
“A beautiful girl in the village was pregnant. Her angry parents demanded to know who was the father. At first resistant to confess, the anxious and embarrassed girl finally pointed to Hakuin, the Zen master whom everyone previously revered for living such a pure life. When the outraged parents confronted Hakuin with their daughter’s accusation, he simply replied "Is that so?"
When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility. "Is that so?" Hakuin said calmly as he accepted the child.
For many months he took very good care of the child until the daughter could no longer withstand the lie she had told. She confessed that the real father was a young man in the village whom she had tried to protect. The parents immediately went to Hakuin to see if he would return the baby. With profuse apologies they explained what had happened. "Is that so?" Hakuin said as he handed them the child.”
I read this to detach myself. To stay planted a bit stronger. To have the ability following my thoughts and my humble desires from the road. Winter has already become constraining. The shorter days are limiting us to move on from point A to point B. The cold, as mild as it is adds to the lesser time again while riding. Austin has this gray blanket not lifting and just hanging every time I look up, I have yet to see the Sun these past couple of days as I now realize we cannot leave till Monday morning. That’s tomorrow. And yes, I think how deeply rooted we are, and I say "we" as Spirit also is, on our own stage, one unfamiliar with some mind’s reasoning. Unfamiliar is also my loss experienced even if so I have come such a long way from the depth of a Life hardly manageable.
We turned the tables on Saturday. "Lone Star BMW" in Austin was a good time. One of the main aspect is the fact that Spirit did really well. There had to be a 1000 people present, bikes were parked a block or two away. Many Friends and what a surprise when I found out that I won a very nice helmet! A flip up which I might wear and which will allow me to take photos without going through the 14 steps of "everything about the neck" removal! The food… the sweets themselves, well, we will be back next year no doubt! They start baking early November and all the way to the time we left the table was still full. I must have been eating and more eating as surprisingly even carrying my small camera, I did not take a single photo of the food! I just cannot believe that. Finally, I must have been lost in the moment.
The next night a good Friend picked us up for a brief visit to "Whole Food Market" for my favorite Peanut Butter which was on sale. The store on a Sunday afternoon was mobbed, carts where full, elbow to elbow I kept bumping into others as I started wondering where was the recession "Whole Food" being a pretty expensive, I would even say, a very expensive store. A quick visit to REI, just looking… nice clothing, always asking myself "can I live without it?" as the answer is always "of course…". The highlight were the Food Trucks, the few open on a Sunday evening. I was looking for the unhealthy one! The grilled cheese with pulled pork and mac and cheese and who knows what else in between… We settled for some Thai Food and on next door for some I have to admit tasty "chocolate covered cake balls"!
We are back… we are back! Spirit is still asleep. He has endured a rough ride, a cold one, rainy and foggy. My eyes still hurt from trying to see! We shall now rest… and rest some more trying to now cure this cold and sore throat!
Till next time…
Be well, Ara and Spirit