Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Walking Around Fleming


I have given up wondering how much other people are aware of their own mortality but ever since I was a teenager my mother's death brought home to me the very tenuous nature of life, and the impermanence of our time on earth. It is commonplace for the subject to produce nervous laughter or avoidance or irritation if a blundering fool like me brings the subject up in polite company. I am fond of remarking that if I die while riding, well, that's not something to mourn, but to accept.
 Yet even with an awareness of death life has to be lived as though time is limitless to some extent. you can't max out your credit and spend all your pay check and expect to live with any serenity and purpose at all. yes, we are going to die, but we do have to keep a little something in reserve assuming we won't actually die today! Key West with its churches and its  street people is an example of how life can so easily be lived on the edge.
Last week I learned of the death of an Internet blogger who died in his 60s while asleep, not in the throes of some ill fated road traffic crash, as one might assume would be the fate of a rider... So this past week has been filed with the reflections that come in the wake of a reminder of the very definite parameters of life.
Walking around Key West with my dog I am reminded of abundance, wealth and the superfluous stuff that overloads our lives. Check out all these trash cans:
Even the recycling bins are filled with garbage that will rot in the landfill 200 miles away at Pompano Beach. Bottles and cans only? Hardly!
 I took a walk one morning recently under cloudy skies and Cheyenne, who doesn't  seem to know what gloom is, cheered me up by trotting back and forth incessantly. There is stirring in me that feeling that I must not let life pass me by, perhaps a post mortem gift from Bob Leong, now a mere shade himself no longer able to ride and see and live, and thus I feel the burden that requires me not to waste a minute. Which is bloody hard to do!
 Routines reach out to us and grab us by the ankles. Fear of the future impels us to seek work and security and a place in the world.  Our friends expect us to toe the line and social pressures try to bend us to fit the mold.
More than most I have found my own way through life, declining o be settled in one place, choosing not to have children, eschewing most attempts to shoe horn me into a "proper" career. Yet key West has seduced me into immobility and I like it.
Bob recently wrote of preparing to put his two motorcycles into winter storage to face Canada's cold season off the road and he lamented the lack of rides taken in 2014. That thought set me to thinking how much commuting I have done and how little motorcycle travel his year. We have done family road trips ith more to follow, if I'm spared, but motorcycle trips? Nah. 
By an odd coincidence my wife recently suggested I should take a motorcycle trip this Fall and spend a long weekend cruising the Sunshine State. I guess I must have been giving off that vibe. I hope the vibe is just a need to live, to do something, to prove in some infantile way I am alive beyond the restrictions of routine. To sit, to drink, to stare aimlessly into space is as sure a living death as any.
I walked Cheyenne, I got tired after a full night at work, I went home, I slept. It was good.