Mondays are Physical Day here at Taking it to the Streets
Usually on Mondays I write about food, or sustainability or things about Planet Earth. Today I ***should*** make it Politics Day with the big event of Osama bin Laden’s death.
My topic though is much more personal to me today. And it involves a little test for you, my readers, if you’re willing to humor me (test at the end – trust me, it’s easy).
This past winter I had 5 deaths in 14 weeks. Followed by a $10,000 tax return. It was a heady combination. Watching my friend die of cancer was probably the hardest thing in my life and besides making me sad, angry, frustrated, and, at times, feeling hopeless, it also made me fall in love with being alive and all that it entails. I live in my head – a lot. Books, the Internet, even conversation with others – all very heady activities. I use my head to make money (IT stuff). My body? Well, it hauls my big brain around, doncha know (and my big mouth, too…)
After Becky’s death I knew I had to engage more fully in life and live a bit more full out. Mary Oliver’s dictum rang in my ears “What are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I bought a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Bought it at the end of March and haven’t said a word, except to a very small circle. Took the class to learn to ride this past weekend. My plan had been to take my licensing test this morning, pass the test and maybe possibly ride to the home of my friend Annemarie (Becky’s widow) soon to show her. Look! Here’s my response to death stealing our Becky away – I am saying YES to living out loud!
Well, I didn’t pass the test —– yet! I found that motorcycles are very visceral and while I have zero test anxiety with mentally-based tests (even those on which I end up doing not terrific – I’m always calm) I was beyond anxious about this test. Which kind of nailed me. To my astonishment, in part of the test I was going too slow (if you’ve driven in a car with me you’d know why this seems quizzical).
So my friends Kim and Candace and Bill K will all help me learn and I’ll take the test again and I’ll pass and then I get to be a Harley chick – well, then and a few thousand hours of riding.
So I was thinking I should wait to say anything publicly until I had the motorcycle license. But I decided that’s my ego getting in the way of letting my body have a chance for once. So even though my ego says “never admit you’ve failed – show up triumphantly”, my body wanted me to tell you:
Hey! I got a Harley! And I can ride a motorcycle! Not perfectly, not great, not fast and I’m not fabulous at shifting gears – but guess what? I can ride a motorcycle! Whoo hoo!
I get to be reborn to being a different me – in many ways regaining the sense of wildness and freedom of my youth but without all the troublesome intoxicants involved. If this turns out as I think it will, I believe it will add to my spiritual path – the whole reason I’m drawn to motorcycling is the visceral oneness with the bike and nature and me. And my friend Kim says she’ll have me out there riding with her in no time flat.
So here’s the test (my ego wanted some payback for letting the body steal the show) – if you’re one of my Facebook friends and you’ve read this blog, don’t give away our little secret directly – but do post something along the lines of “Vroom!” on my page. Just enough so I know you read it, but not enough to spill the beans yet. Game?
Oh – a few postscripts: Yes, I have a permit (so I’m allowed to go out with licensed riders and practice). And yes, I will always wear a helmet. And no, I don’t have a death wish. And, yes, it was every bit as fun as I thought it would be – and that was only in first and second gear!