I just returned from a week on the road on my 2008 Harley Sportster. The following are simple, and not so simple, thoughts and realizations from that time on the road – solitary moments spent inside my head brought to the surface. The ride is a magical thing – it transforms us if we let it.
Here I am in my home again – back from the road again – wondering where to go again. Seems that life just takes me there – turns me around and leaves me here – not sure what the lesson was I was meant to learn. All I have taken from this journey west are things impossible to share in any real way. I am a selfish girl I think– a lost soul at best. I am an undisciplined dreamer, schemer, player and poet. I am impossible to know and even more impossible to love – perhaps. I sabotage every avenue I dare to walk upon and expect the world to notice what is just not noticeable at all….
“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive.”**
In the hours on the road on my Harley, my thoughts would take me from myself. Imagine – if I dared – the way I was supposed to be…. the place I was supposed to be….. the person I was supposed to be. All the while life was going on all around me and people could not really even begin to notice – it is me alone in my madness wondering what all the time away on my own is really supposed to tell. Because I know it is supposed to tell me something, show me something, teach me something….every single time. I sort of dare it not to.
“The truth knocks on your door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away.”**
Surrounded by people, places and things – and still my worries play inside the playground of my mind. Deep inside this solitary rider, dreamer, mother, daughter, friend and believer – lie all the things I long to say – all the words I long to share – all the reasons I long to understand and make amends so that my truth can live again. But I keep to myself – I watch and listen and learn and think too much – and on the road, I let the demons loose.
“You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.”
One by one the miles pass and deeper into dreams I cross. One by one the minutes tick and alone I master all my thoughts – make believe and once upon a time kind of thoughts. Foggy realizations and uninterrupted hesitations and all the colors imaginable cover this canvas that is my life. They live inside my head: my thoughts – my determinations – my dreams – my beliefs – my pain and my gratitude – my regrets and sweet memories. Reality shows itself ever clear in the mind of a rider like me. No interruptions, misinterpretations or false deliberations; crystal clear, real thoughts that tell me only truth – like it or not – believe it or not – ready or not – here they come – flooding the corners of my solitary mind.
“On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”**
I am alone. From beginning to end and back again – for reasons that only I can comprehend. I have no soul mate in this place and time – no one person to count on – not a single face to turn to for the forever and ever kind of deal. And I dream and imagine my life with someone. Someone to love me – hold me – rock me – hear me – fight me – want me – take me – turn me – leave me – find me – tell me all the stories that I alone can hear. I dream that sort of life for myself, knowing in all that is real and good, that I may never have it for myself. I am wonderfully impossible – that is the only truth I know. And ultimately – in this place of clarity and all that is real – I am good with exactly who I am.
“If your mind is truly, profoundly stuck, then it might be much better off than when it was loaded with ideas.”**
Finding my way from the road to home – from wild freedom to scheduled work – I found my way to my truth. Because on the road, alone on the bike, there is no where to run from the truth. There are no lies that you can tell yourself that will last as long as the tires touch the road. There is no argument you can win with yourself as hours take their toll and the solitude transcends all possible escapes and self imposed exceptions for what is real. The truth and the fantasy and the reality all mesh together and come out in the end as a realization that cannot be ignored. And only in recognizing that truth – will I find my way to the place I am meant to be.
“Is it hard?’
Not if you have the right attitudes. Its having the right attitudes that’s hard.”**
The momentum of the ride and all the thoughts I thought as I thought them to myself have become a part of me. They have taught me complete honesty and acceptance at a level that I had not yet known – and they have indeed changed me – and I am certain they have changed me for the better.
**Robert M. Pirsig (1974). Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values.
William Morrow & Company.
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About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.