Thursday, September 1, 2011


surly BD

Sometimes, when you publicly state that you're ready to let go of something, just saying it begins a cosmic process by which you make room for other things to come into your life.

This is what happened with me over the spring and summer. I said I was ready to let go of certain aspects of my work at Citybikes (particularly the stress of being the Buyer, which will be passed along to another cooperator this fall), and two weeks after I said it out loud, I got a phone call from a local synagogue where I had formerly taught and led youth services. They were hiring faculty for the fall and my name came up in discussions; would I be interested in coming back to teach and be a youth songleader?

The timing of the offer was almost perfect; I was returning to wrenching in the fall, which would give me the more flexible schedule I needed to make room in my schedule for teaching again. And although the synagogue hadn't been on my radar consciously, when I gave it some thought I realized that going back into the classroom was a good idea on many levels. After discussing it with Sweetie, I accepted the job offer. School starts next week.

Yesterday, I loaded up the cargo bike and took my guitar to the synagogue after my shift at the bike shop so the religious school principal and I could go over some music for High Holidays. Riding over the bridge, feeling the smoothness of the cargo bike (that I'd built up entirely from parts) as it rolled over freshly re-paved streets, and feeling the weight of the guitar on board, I noted the odd juxtaposition of my wacky skillset. I'm a bike mechanic. I'm also a teacher and a musician. And for the next stretch of time at least, I'm going to be all three.

I don't know any other bike mechanics who also serve a faith community in a leadership role of any kind; conversely I don't know anyone serving the Jewish community who also works as a bike mechanic. Various pieces of the universe inhabit me in a very strange and sort of cool overlap. And because of this, I inhabit an odd place in the overlap of the universe, an overlap that allows me to meet a very wide range of varied and very interesting people and do all sorts of things that normally wouldn't go together. It's a really odd overlap, but it's also sort of cool.

I'm looking forward to this fall.

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