Thursday, September 26, 2013

On change and transition: a ride report

Today, Sweetie practically urged me out of the house to go for a ride. "It's beautiful out there," she said, and you're distracting me from work. Please go for a ride."

So I went.

I haven't ridden as much this summer, and since having some serious personal stuff come to light that I am struggling to work through I haven't really felt like riding much in the last few weeks. The truth is that I am working through some heavy personal stuff that points toward some inner work and change I need to do. I feel heavy and slow (even though I've actually lost a few pounds from not eating much during High Holidays, when all my stuff reared its ugly head and sort of shocked me for a few days).

Still, it was a beautiful day. I headed out, thinking I wouldn't go super-far (tonight is Simchat Torah and I still have to ride into town for services at my shul). I ended up taking a long, slow loop through North Portland, around the back side of St. Johns (I rode almost to Pier Park) and then back along N. Willamette Blvd. towards home. Below are a few shots of things I noticed and thought about as I rode.

Below: Sage advice? Maybe. Context is everything sometimes.

Blammo. After a house fire on North Houghton St. I felt this one in my gut as I passed by.

This business is actually still open. But the sign feels like the relic the auto industry may soon become. Not sure how I feel about this lately, in light of the expansiveness my life took on with all the air and car travel this summer.

Six Points, near St. Johns. Funkiness abounds in this part of North Portland, and I sort of love the grubbiness and tiredness of it. A lot more places in Portland used to look and feel like this.

But lately, gentrification has come to this neighborhood more and more, too.
On another level it's also part of my inner metaphor; time to clear out some of the funkiness from my soul.

On the way home, I came across this. I instantly thought of my Sweetie, and decided to take a photo. It may become related to the artwork for my album. I picked up the spark plug and took it with me for good measure.

Before I left the house, I pulled out my bicycle log, the notebook where I've been tracking my mileage. I had stopped tracking it in mid-July, feeling oddly listless and unexcited about riding in general and ambitious riding in particular. But when I pulled it out today, I wondered if that was just a symptom of something larger inside me, of all the change and turmoil of the last year that I am still trying to figure out how to deal with. So for now it's sitting out on my desk, and I will see if it speaks to me again.

A good ride, in spite of how much of it I spent in my head today, with some truly lovely moments of feeling my legs spin freely and the sun warming my back.  Total: 14.3 miles.

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