Night rider

October 8, 2010

I ride.

I breathe.

I live.

Back on the bike yesterday. I rode the Angeles highway across the mountains to Altadena. The engine, the power, the wind. I feel pure contentment fill me. My strange life that springs between riding a motorcycle and a guitar.

All the rain that has been coming down around here in this desert gave grass and live things a desire to rise. Some areas, strangely, look like it is spring. But it’s October. Their leaves glisten in the light, tremble in the wind with that green tenderness of new born vegetation. But it’s October. I know acutely it’s October…

The bike glides on the curves, up the mountain sides, free for a moment. There is the reality that my third gear is just about gone, that I just saw this morning this massive oil leak under the engine, that I don’t have an address, that I still don’t know which direction I am to go. I’m still really tired from the recording marathon. My head swims at times, dizzy, and I can tell from the color of my skin and the heaviness in my limbs that I need to be gentle with myself for a while.

I have been on this journey for 5 months now. I am being asked “when do you come back home?” I don’t know. My bike has been my home. The wind my companion. The muse called, she said “Go South”. I did. I try to hear her next command. I stand uneasily looking at a future shrouded in mist. It’s not time to know yet…. And it’s October.

I rode back from Altadena in the dark, much later than I wanted to, but that’s how it all lined up with the rehearsal and getting everyone together. I follow the GPS to the mountain road. The 2 is closed because of last year’s fires, so I have to go through Tujunga the long way around. I could have taken the freeway, but I don’t like the freeways around here at night. I feel safer on the mountain. No traffic. Gradually it gets colder then really cold. The old familiar northern move of putting my gloved hand on the engine to warm up my fingers…. The engine temperature gauge barely is on the white strip. the bike too is cold. I see the road signs saying “ICY”… I remember seeing them a month and a half ago when it was 100 degrees out. Now they might apply. I slow down.

I strain my eyes in the dark to see the road ahead, those headlights don’t light very far, especially in curves. A rock here, sharp turn there, thankfully no wildlife so far. I take it as easy as possible. I was following a pick up truck for a while and that was great. I could see the layout of the road ahead. Then he turned off… No! I said out loud. Oh well, I’m on my own.

I wonder how cold it is up here. It’s seeping through every crack in my armor. I almost wore the lining in my jacket when I left today and I really, really wish now that I did put it on. I shiver. But there is still fun to be had. I find myself leaning over the tank, focus, calm, light on the handlebars. I love this bike. I love to ride. I am alive. The smell of sage pervades. I see the outlines of the mountains darker against dark. I would not want to be anywhere else.

I got home my hands so cold I could barely put the key in the door. Sunny and Steve are already asleep. They get up early. It’s 10:40 PM. It’s peaceful. Hot bath to warm up my body. I’m thankful for this place to stay. I don’t know what the future holds. It’s been on my mind quite a bit lately . But I can’t worry, I try not to. Soon I fall asleep.

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4 Responses to “Night rider”

  1. francoise Moulin Says:

    when do you come back home?” I don’t know. Ca me parait familier pour moi. Toi sur ta mot et moi dans la maison. Ma maison? La maison? tout ce que tu vis me parait familier.La difference tu bouges et moi,je suis ici. J’essaie.
    Aujourd’hui, je suis allee acheter des oeufs chez un type qui a des poules. Les meilleurs du coin. Il n’y en avait plus. donc. je lui ai parle et il m’a dit qu’il etait d’Allemagne. je lui demande son nom et j’ai une reponse subtile qui me vient” Hans” et il me dit “Hans’. Je l’ai quitte tt naturellement et j’avais la reponse par une voix qui me semble commecer a venir plus naturellement. Je l’accepte car elle est familiere. La semaine derniere, elle m’a dit “Shiva”. Pquoi? Je ne sais pa mais je la vis. Tout me semble drole et bizarre autour de moi et j’ai l’impression de dequaler avec le reste. Voil, c’est mon experience sur la terre. Je t’aime et continue t journee ma belle Danielle.

  2. Erika Says:

    I wish I could speak french…..

  3. Erika Says:

    words become prayers that lead the way to an opening prayers are words that resound with in a language all their own in the silence it is spoken given and received

    a fortuitous moment will arrive with clarity and you will know your north star your Le Vent du Nord

    for now the season changes and we journey into a period of darkness with the knowledge that it will change once more

    we are all bound to the earth it is our home a gps deep within you will guide to a place of rest the place you will call home

    and this is my prayer spoken for you


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