Bitter sweet: Three men are dipping their fingers in a vat of vinegar and tasting it; one man reacts with a sour expression, one reacts with a bitter expression, and one reacts with a sweet expression. The three men are Confucius, Buddha, and Laozi, respectively. Each man's expression represents the predominant attitude of his religion: Confucianism saw life as sour, in need of rules to correct the degeneration of people; Buddhism saw life as bitter, dominated by pain and suffering; and Taoism saw life as fundamentally good in its natural state. Another interpretation of the painting is that, since the three men are gathered around one vat of vinegar, "the three teachings are one".We have been back from our ride out west about 2 weeks plus or minus and our postings since our return have been woefully inadequate. The apparent reluctance to take pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, I suspect has do with the fact that my body may have returned but my mind hasn't.
It is not that there is any dearth of subjects to post on. It is the why of it I have difficulty getting past.
Though as reluctant as I may be, I have discovered what I have always known, that there are voices in the wilderness. They must be given a voice.
This was my third cross country trek and unlike the past, where the journey was just something to observe while seeking a destination, I made a conscious decision to pay more attention to the where I was than where I was going.
My lady, who was making her first cross country on a motorcycle, has the ability to be in natural awe of things. Some things good, some
things bad. I on the other hand have to stop myself from wondering what is down the road I missed in order to appreciate the road I am on.
We were blessed on this trip as we were able to experience almost total yin and yang, minus the rain.
From 50mph windstorms in Colorado, to the desert calm. From the cold of wolfs creek pass to the scorching heat of record temperatures on Texas roads with no end, necessitating stops to hose ourselves down with any water, cold or hot, only to be bone dry an hour later.
From poverty sticken Native American lands to the Yuppie lifestyle of CloudCraft, New Mexico, where Indian tooled belts with silver conchos, sold by the white man, could be had for $1500.00 or more. This in stark contrast to the Native American on the side of the road who kept dropping prices out of fear that you may leave and not purchase anything.
And then there is the real estate rich California born and raised Mexican who thinks nothing of spending$650.00 on a remote controlled toilet. Why? Well why not? What else does one do with money. Especially those who rarely leave the hills venturing into less prosperous areas to actually see people whose lifestyle differs remarkably. You mean those people actually exist? I don't watch the news much. After all it takes time to shop for remote controlled toilets.
There is no better example of mans inhumanity to man when the desert floor is littered with broken down trucks and dilapidated mobile homes and plywood shelters while the hills are populated with fine gated homes looking down upon them. But then maybe that is what Manifest Destiny was all about. You know that time during our history where we forcibly stole the lands of others because it was our God given right to do so.
As most people who have grown up in flat areas such as Florida, I love the Mountains. The feel of an accelerating heart and motorcycle harmonizing on curving snow covered ascents is akin to a spiritual experience. And like any good spiritual experience can not be shared with those who have not felt it.
That is where, I anyway, feel most alive. Maybe it is because the insignificance of life is so in your face.
Stopping on the side of the road to take pictures of, well, dirt! How wondrous to travel a few miles only to find dirt of significant enough difference to take yet another picture of dirt.
This trip differed from others in that, before, I was concerned with hours and where I was headed and what would happen when I got there. Concerned with self mostly. On this trip it was about, how soon can we get back to the ride. Not only were hours not all that important but days began to blur. Something was happening. The zen of the Road, the miles, the stops at cookie cutter truck stops that make it seem as if you are traveling but not really going anywhere. Ah, a lesson here maybe?
And every once in awhile, reality. I noticed my wife on the back was crying. Knowing her ass had long since settled in I asked why?
Her response, We have so much. So much land, so much beauty, so much............., why is it we have to fight over sharing it? I don't get it.
So much for Zen and back to Tao, it is as it is, go with the flow............, save enough and purchase some serenity.
Coming back home and turning on the computer and looking at some of my e-mails and as stated at the beginning of this post, it is the why of it I have difficulty geting past.
However I have been blessed. There are those who will never have even the opportunities I have blown.
There are those who will never escape the chains they have been born into and we have insured that to be so by changing the combination every time they get close to escape.
Yeah I know the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" crowd will never understand that. How fortunate they have been.
Click here for some more pics
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and
everybody goes "Awww!” Jack Kerouac, beat poet and author quoteAdd to Technorati Favorites