Those days with no meaning or purpose, just seeing what the road will reveal is happiness. This process is infused in much of the work that appears on Scooter in the Sticks — the writing and photographs — are reflections of those experiences.
I photograph, write and post the results to better understand the journey I’m on — both the literal ones where the Vespa scooter moves through the world, and those trickier trips where my mind conspires to understand what the hell is happening to me. In either case, I’m a spokesman for myself and don’t pretend to offer much to anyone else.
While I accept a reader may find some value, I can’t claim to be able to answer any questions since I’m still struggling myself. If there is any ongoing lesson I might share it’s in the ongoing and relentless self inspection of motives, ideas and appearance.
Labels of navel-gazing and self absorption often surround these kinds of activities. I’ve always suspected they mask a terrible discomfort facing the possibility that one might discover they’re not the person they think they are. Myself, I have a long list of defects.
The camera provides a different kind of evidence. It reveals changes in the world around me that I’m too blind to see. Or when the camera is turned my way I can’t pretend I’m someone I’m not. The camera never blinks. I try to do the same.
Is that really me?
What is it that draws me down little paths and byways? As a kid I was always searching for evidence of something — the detritus left my others in places seen as acceptable locations for abandoning “stuff”. Decades later I ride my Vespa scooter down paths searching for something else, somewhere else, a different world, perhaps oblivion.
This ride, or at least this track through tick infested grass was a bad choice as the roots and rocks trounced my lower back with ample opportunities to bring bone and nerve together in a curse inducing manner.
I knew it was a bad idea, but sometimes, I just want what I want.
While cold enough to have nearly all my cold weather gear on my back, save for the Gerbing electric gloves, I felt every warm ray of sunlight on my face as I rode along the winding roads that trace the entire region. I’ve been pushing myself to ride despite the mental resistance cultivated from my back.
When things get crazy the scooter makes things right, just hold on tight and see what I can see.
Perhaps this explains why I take the same pictures over and over again.
I keep telling myself that I need to make videos. Short confessions on the road. If I were the stop at this location along Spring Creek would have yielded a groaning, labored commentary on fall sunlight and the fragrance of drying leaves as I struggled to stand erect after some miles astride the scooter.
Maybe I should make that video.
At this moment typing out these thoughts it’s really hard to know much at all. Two dogs and a wife sleeping quietly nearby. Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” plays in my head:
“So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell
Blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?”
The clock just struck midnight. I should stop.
Go out to the garage.
Push the Vespa into the driveway. Go for a midnight ride.
Speaking for myself…