I’ve been stuck on words lately, partly, because of the mercury needle approaching the top floor of numbers, add in a pinch of mad I know I house and because I know I’ll spend some time back home this summer. Bound by streets I can retrace with a whim of memory, cloaked in green, hugging all their secrets closely and the beauty of everything on the inside. 7522 187, might as well be a tumbler code unlocking me to a world that will forever amaze and behold, teach and appreciate, I became a graduate student over time from learnings long ago, alone in the hills, rivers and trees.
Maybe too, because I’ve been reading Maclean at bedtime in what has now become one of my favorite pastimes. Although I’ve never liked my voice, especially stumbling over words I can feel but cannot speak with the cadence it needs. I read aloud with the dog vertical between us and the girl asks me what a certain section is about and then tells me to carry on, in a broken rhythm, wishing I had been better at English and Lit in school, as now it is all I think about other than bikes, a girl and adventures. Without fail, within minutes, she’s snoring and the dog has also long found my voice not worth keeping her up. Then I delve back into a slow, quite space full of music, as I mouth the words and create all I want to see and the author too, methodical twisting of words full of images, stories, painted beautifully by a master in art.
Often he speaks of a knowing when he realized his life became a story, and that at some point he must write his passage of time. I was young, and at times it was tragic, I held a confusion that I harbored and didn’t realize for a long time. Characters took shape, plots thickened, expanded, things became remarkably bright and full of color, there was evil and beauty, and always a boy and a river. We reflect a certain degree of our youths, rarely though, do we mirror it, swim in it, bleed with it and have its currents replace our blood and transcend decades and centuries to fully revel in our paths.
Water has long soothed me, the sound, feel, current and coverage. Power and grace, aged and telling. Chilled and created in the mountains with giant stones and watersheds, it spends it youth forcefully, rushing past its surroundings, falling hundreds of feet rolling softly over buried treasures, gracing banks and shade. Swaying widely and softly towards the sea, giving life by the mile, the young current becomes aged and knowing, carrying tales, boats, dreams, and lines but mostly, always, stories.
We reflect much of a river, young, ambitious, eager to leave a mark, then to roll back and fondly remember all we did, the stories we created, retold to countless others and slowly sway out to the ocean, whichever one you believe in, always though, we wished we could spend more time in the peaceful beauty of where and how we started.
Hydraulic, as stated in a dictionary is
“Denoting, relating to, or operated by a liquid moving in a confined space under pressure. “Hydraulic Fluid.”
I ask then, aren’t we all bound by hydraulics? Liquid moving in a confined space under pressure is our blood circulating in our bodies, the pressure created by lifestyles and efforts. I was young when I first remember hydraulics, it was the first encapsulating thing I felt take over my entire body, a cocoon of safety, powerful and always willing to tell me a story and of course, take mine with it. There was a fear of its strength, of what lurks beneath the pools, what came to feed off its offerings, but there was always beauty, both loud and quite. I’ve never felt more understood than knee deep in a powerful river, feeling the lower chill, the upper warmth, my feet making awkward and balancing movement over ancient stones, sheer faces and shadows of mountains in all directions, granite, pines, greens, blues, moss and sand.
There are a few lines in the Matthew Arnolds “the buried life”
“And then he thinks he knows the hills where his life rose, and the sea where it goes.” This is where I’m from, hopefully someday, these educations will lead to a fuller, brighter and better told story.
Death and taxes, single track and aspens, blend me with a mix of frustrations and passions. I was burnt on love, more than once when it came from another. In the silent beauty that was created long before us, rejuvenates and nourishes back to a whole. Idle hands do the devils work, tips of fingers connect freckles that do pleasures work. These clocks have no hands as hours turn to days when you lay your head on my chest and expel the words trapped in that pretty head.
We are all held by expandable ideals, our past, present, and future. These sidewalks lead towards unpaved areas, and that is where I do my best work. The world is big and round, some however still believe that at the city limit sign it dives towards infinity, and I believe nothing should have a limit. We are all currents moving to what drives and separates us. A couple weeks ago I took friends to a slice of trail that I may love more than anything. I never cover the miles at speed; I covet my time in the tinted perfumed air and listen to aspen leaves rustle in a cooling breeze. It has all things I love and worship about riding a mountain bike, personal freedom, amazement about beauty, effort, and bermed trails where your weighted body flows over perfect earth.
It would be inaccurate to say these days are the same as last month, last year or yesterday. The hours are shattered by the thought and idea of someone new, something healthy and a positive in the depth that stirs below my gut and behind my ribs. Life is for living and people are for loving, bikes are for riding and hours are for exploring. To each their own, and own identity, we blend in the pot as big as we wish to meld. Wrought iron rust, we’re caged and we must, become more than what we’ve been. Experiences define us, people come and go into our lives and it’s up to us to allow just how we accept it.
I have always felt comfortable in any situation. I’m as happy waking up along a trail completely alone with just my surroundings or being dropped into a room of college tuned intellectuals, mine was earned by time, effort and experience. They tell tales of what they’ve read and what they would like to do. My collar unbuttoned and free to move about, there’s a credence of precedents, doesn’t matter the situation, a knowing is a knowing. Character isn’t defined by what you talk about or what you speak about, rather what you’ve done and where you’re going. We are all molded by the past and future ideals, but every mold should be broken, and every idea and action should spawn from a thought, those with character turn all those into adventures, leave behind still photos and a wanting to share with those they love.
Long before the fall flickers and fades to winter, the decisions we’ve made, hang and linger on what we think should’ve been. I’ve been jailed, housed on a boat, held by people I love, and caressed by the paths that help define me. I wish to touch you in the early moon light, before the sun is awoken to the east and the effervescent hangs to the west, we are in the middle. You kiss me new in this decade of three plus, lines replaced the perfectness of youth, grays dot my pours, my hair thinned and faded from atop my head. Stronger, defiant, soft and comfortable in the knowledge of where I’m going and all I’ve done. I don’t hang to a sliver of what I was once but think of the tree I’ve become, my arms hold my friends turned to family as pages roll from upsets to triumphs, past failures and goose bumps. With roots and time we grow stable, some fall to fables and others to tales, me; I’ve always loved a true story.
A blended mix of durometered rubber grips the earth under me, connecting me to nature, myself, all these thoughts and flooded grey matter. All that I see and feel is breathing, the sights downloading from my eyes, the clicking of shifters, and the slowing of brakes. The tall grass moving around my body as I slalom between trees and move around stones, it’s the purest effort I’ve felt, and the longest love I’ve known. Everything smells alive and living, you’re in natures living room as a guest and the more prepared you are, the longer the visit, some of us pack better than others. Like your grandparents telling stories of decades past, I curl up and listen to all it has to say with the boyish amazement and wonder that is still housed in me.
Gatlin guns and trampolines, we all jump and shoot and try to live outside our means. I won’t be washed in the disbelief, facades or ambience. Brick and mortar, labors of love and lessons learned, I’ve become harden and skin torn and wrinkled but in the trees and holding on to the ideals of you I become youthful again. The cool air whistles and calms my exuberance and mellows back to me, the soil under my hands like the seeds sown, harvesting thoughts and growing the fragility of what was once broken back to being stronger and wholesome.
Running on faith and the caveat of mortality, we continue these days and efforts and are joined by others. All who wonder are indeed not lost, all whom are broken are surely repairable, we absorb and deflect, move and react until our bodies can no longer match the brains ask, and that is the rhythm of riding that I seek, and also the balance with those who surround me.