Wednesday, February 3, 2010

From pedal to ped

If there is a place the wild things are, it certainly isn't New Jersey.

I'm missing the Zen of the holy shit moments, the rhythm of man and machine flowing through the curves and over a mountain, the hair raising descent down a stony gulch on two inch tires and a saddle slapping my chest. I even, honestly, truly miss that wretched day in BCBR where I hated the earth the sun and myself. And what I wouldn't give now for a ride with Keith and Seth in the Fells, on snow and ice, new trail ahead and uncertainty below?

Life is hard, and harder when you're at your desk looking out the window at fresh snow, thinking back on grand adventures where each moment held a lifetime. I try not to do much of it, looking out the window that is - better to focus on the work before me. If there is a way, it is for heart and mind and body to be one. As athletes, we trained our bodies to do a task and to do it well. Beautifully perhaps. We transformed ourselves to a purpose - our muscles, our dreams, our minds merged into one, a single goal, a reason for being. That reason escapes me now.

As much as I would like to try to convince Keith to take another go at the BCBR, I don't have it in me, the time or the strength. What I need is a return to a simpler way of being, with time and space for thinking and not thinking, for doing and not doing. I'm taking a hiatus from the pedal, turning to hiking - a meditation of steps through the Sierras. I don't know how far I'll go or how long I'll be. I need something simple, tangible - a hike ending at a hot springs, counting off time with a song sung a hundred times over, fighting sleep to catch one more glimpse of the vastness of the stars overhead.

I have a guide book to the Tuolumne Meadows area to think on, and a new stove, an MSR Dragonfly (you have to respect a stove that burns white gas, kerosene, gasoline, diesel and chicken fat). The seeds are sown. Here's to focus, honest work, and a dream of the wild.