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Sat, 14 Mar 2020:

This is not something I ever tell myself. Usually at least.

In fact, I've often said the opposite in anger and sadness.

Being alive is such a lazy thing to accomplish, that it takes no effort to do it. But nobody is going to call it effortless. Often, it takes effort to find ways in which life is worth living; To raise your voice enough over the default drone of everyday life and tell yourself that "I'm alive!".

But for a thousand miles now, I've been hearing it loud and clear over the roar of my motorbike.


A 3-year old's perspective

Maybe it is about gratitude. Every day I get on the bike and come home safely, I am grateful. There's a sense of relief to be released from that level of focus, which is overpowering.

I've got a California M1 license since 2015, but I've held off on owning a motorcycle because I have a long storied history with them.

Since I turned sixteen, I've loved riding motorcycles. My Royal Enfield was the most expensive personal posession I ever had. Actually it was almost as if I was posessed by it. All of my injuries as an adult are from riding motorcycles. Still remember every single slide in slow-motion, the world going round around me as I roll out of the way. My chin has scars, my elbow does, my palms too, my knee got torn & will never be the same. Very rationally, when I'm not riding one, I'm utterly terrified of falling off one.

But when I'm on one, I'm entirely occupied by the act. There's no room for any indecision, when you got in too fast into a corner. There are margins for error, but that's what you're trying to avoid. Every move is tied to everything else - your bike will go where you look. Look at a car that's in your way and the bike will clairvoyantly drive you towards the obstacle. And unconsciously you are always looking for the way forward and never at the obstacles. Stare at the abyss and the abyss takes you.

There's enough braking and there's too much. Sometimes to go left, you have to turn right. To turn fast, you need to brake a little. There are no measurements, only reactions to train for.

Panic and you do something stupid. Everything around you turns into smooth curves, even those little bumps in the lane you are splitting turns into a slalom between cars. Smoothly, slowly, surely turn your mind away from fear or anger. There's no room for hurry, but all the space for speed. There's forty horses to push you as fast as you want, ten seconds of smooth shifts to 60 through a merge lane. Easy does it.

Riding my bike home is like a high stakes version of meditation.

Calm down or die. And I know. I don't want to die. We all have to, but at least, not like this.

--
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
            -- Khalil Gibran, "On Death"

posted at: 22:51 | path: /me | permalink | Tags: , ,