February 7th, 2011

A prayer of thanks for nice bikes and asphalt

What I'm about to put into words, cannot be put into words, yet another vain attempt of your silly billy friend here, to F the ineffable. So let's just say bye for now to my usual way of thinking, with its its roots in analytical, or "plain English" philosophy, the tradition that says nothing is so deep that it can't be expressed in the language of everyday speech; that there's no deeper layer. Let us instead cross that metaphorical channel, to continental philosophy, and suppose for a moment that there is a subconscious, a realm of Being that we can't actually see, and all sorts of "weird shit", as they say. We're looking at concepts we can't even see to be sure they exist, and for which we don't even want English words.

Some music and time reading stories in The New Yorker this evening, has relieved me from the burden of being myself, with my usual worries. I return to find a downward trend in the Behooving Moving hit count over the weekend, despite the usual twitting and facebooking. However, because I have not fully arisen from my twilight state, and am suspended between the realm of pure relaxation, and this waking realm of ambition, I am not actually shocked by the drop in reader interest. While it defies logic—after all, I've been posting and twitting—it does not defy feeling. I am relaxed enough, to feel what has been happening. Being relaxed  gives me the sense, perhaps illusionary, that I am in touch with something that concerned Jung immensely, that I like to think of as humanity's magma.

The downward trend reflects the fact that I have been using planned dance moves, instead of letting my body go with the music. Crude analogy time: you can be on the dance floor with your two-year-old mind, truly at one with Beyonce, and everyone will be looking to you as their shepherd. Or, you can be stringing together moves you've rehearsed, and making everyone who sees you feel sober. I've been that nerd. I've been by-the-book blogging for the past couple of days.

Being cool, in the groove, happy, yourself— fuck (as they say), it isn't easy. Thank god for good looks, when my state of mind is so fickle. And thank Brooks saddles and Alfine Hubs and everyone who has ever devoted their lives to making bicycles better to ride (be dammed those responsible for just making them cheaper), and thank Campagnolo, Titanium tubing, and Robbie MacEwan, and this guy, and thank you all for not editing me from your bookmarks, because I was being... ambitious.

Pictures stolen from the web or bicycle tours around Greece, something my friend Egor has done.

It's not fair, truly it isn't, that we all can't be everything we imagined when we were 16. Potential somebodies then. Confirmed nobodies now. On our deathbeds though, we will have no excuse for having not traveled well. By our own leg power, any of us with the mere inclination, can now travel from Marathon to Athens, then on to Delphi and Olympia, and not drop dead from exhaustion. Pheidippides must be turning in his grave, wishing he had had asphalt and cycling gear. We are living in marvelous times. We're fruit on the branches of our species' most bountiful harvest. I don't care if Australia is not Copenhagen, about helmet laws, blue lanes, or any such trifling piffle. I give myself another few decades of all of this to enjoy. If there's any stirring, or collective sentiment, down there in the magma, and one word had to describe it, that word would be "gladness".