Twisting the throttle as the scooter leaves the driveway is like turning a knob and pulling open a door to a secret room. Pulse quickens, eyes wide, body vibrates in a primal reaction to the unknown. At its best, riding is a reminder of what it means to be alive at the most basic level — one fueled by the senses and written by the mind. Each moment sings and for a short time, I feel comfortable in my skin.
Like a thirsty man in the desert spying the chance for water, you would think every opportunity to ride would be obsessively grasped — quenching some existential craving that can’t quite be explained.
Or perhaps a lack of honesty keeps that knowledge hidden. Isolated and distant. Or maybe there are some explorations riding can’t make.
So I find myself indolent, lost in thought, wandering on foot or slowly rocking, feet up and wonderings where I am.
Riding the Vespa always slows in summer. The hot weather is my least favorite season to ride. Still, I find myself on the road from time to time wondering where I’m going — literally at times, figuratively always. Retirement has revealed how riding help soothe the noise and tolerate the chaos of a career. With that gone, the need to ride has lessened. Or maybe other options have surfaced to help give voice to the parts of life that cause question or pain. And the avenue to pleasure and joy has widened. I don’t have to wander beyond my own backyard. The expectant look of a dog wanting one more fetch of a tennis ball can cause a smile.
I’ve been riding. The odometer tells me so. Few images result save for those in my mind as I lack interest or energy to train the camera toward the Vespa. Or so it seems.
I’ve not been creating many blog posts. Imagination whispers the earth is moving again through an energy field that only affects me and is responsible for my creative sloth. Or maybe I’m like the squirrel gathering food for winter, storing experience and ideas for stories to be written another time.
It’s crazy how much I enjoy being on the road and how little I’ve ridden of late considering how much time is now available. Instead I’ve been working on other projects. The house has seemingly endless needs. And I’ve been wandering more with a camera on foot.
It’s been years since I’ve seriously explored with a camera. The old obsession is near the surface and I can feel the pull of making photographs again. Working on a Scooter in the Sticks book is percolating and I have made plans for an exhibition of riding work in August of next year.
I don’t know where the road leads or what the days have in store. Blogging has taken on a different meaning that simultaneously more personal yet hampered by a sense of privacy.
So I’m finding my way along, through rides, through this blog, and through life in general.
It’s a fine trip.
The past two mornings have been shrouded in fog. Nothing draws me out onto the road like those mysterious vapors. There are posts ahead to share some of that experience. As I find my way, I’ll affirm a rhythm again with riding, photography, writing and posting.
Soon. The thrum of patterns is where I function best. This new found freedom courtesy of retirement requires some structure.
So off I go with dreams and plans. I’ll be finding my way.