19 June 2006

how can i help it if i think you’re funny when you’re mad

just got back from the doc shop, it looks like the pita pocket on my leg has closed up pretty substantially. in fact, they didn’t honestly expect it to have healed up this fast. the doc’s opinion: easily within two weeks it’ll be completely scarred over. i’m hoping that means i’ll be back on the bike in full effect in a week or so. i’m going to try to ride in two-legged sooner (tomorrow?) but taking it easy. no fixie until it’s fully closed back up, for certain. it is still a pretty big wound, but i don’t need them to do anything further than to come by and show off pictures in a couple weeks. i really am excited to be off the gimpcycle though.

saturday my mom came up to have a look at it, i satisified her curiousity that i was in fact not going to keel over dead any time soon. after that i went down to arick’s bachelor party and got some beer on. quite a bit really, but it was a good time. the whole thing is still surprisingly surreal to me though.

i felt it a bit on sunday but after church went to the third place pub to check out their pub philosophy series “shepherd and the knucklehead”. we had some pretty good conversation with jason and richard on the topic of “who is my neighbor?” and what does neighborliness mean in the modern context. it was insightful and good conversation, and spurred me to figure out how to get to know my new neighbors. i think andrew and susan know them a bit already, so perhaps inviting them to a little bbq or something would not be amiss? it also inspired me to finish up this article i’ve been working on for cranked. pressure!

the one bad piece of news in all this is that i won’t do the multnomah county bike fair this weekend, since i’m not really back to full rideability. i had been so looking forward to that as well.

18 May 2006

hello darkness my old friend

tonight i participated in the ride of silence, a simple memorial ride held across the u.s. and in six other countries. the idea is simple: a bunch of cyclists gather and ride without creating any obvious disturbance, obeying all traffic laws and in silence as a visual reminder of those who have been injured or killed riding on the road. there were a few hundred people, and it was surprisingly moving.

i discussed the idea of the disciplines of silence and solitude with a few folks earlier in the week, and it has really been resonating with me that with busy-ness and bikey adventures over the past year i have really been leaving less and less simple space in my life.

in that same vein, i really enjoyed this past weekend, after a busy friday evening i scarcely left the house. sure some folks came over and there was much wine consumed and bbqing, but for the most part i was free to just busy my hands with building a wheel or playing video games. it was fantastic to not be feeling pressured to do anything in particular, just to be.

i am reminded of how jesus would always go off away from everyone to pray, and how i too used to feel able to just ride my bike away somewhere and hang out with god. it seems like anymore i’m too busy getting to some event or needing to meet some obligation, or just frankly trying to avoid thinking about anything, much less spending time praying or reflecting. how do i get that time back?

12 April 2006

as if god had one hand left on the world

“…it would seem that our lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. we are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. we are far too easily pleased.”

- c.s. lewis, the weight of glory

i had a disturbing realization this morning. for various morbid reasons i was pondering how i would feel if i learned i had a few months to live, and i concluded that it wouldn’t be that terrible.

i mean, frankly, i’ve got no girlfriend, wife, or kids – not even a pet. very few things in this world depend on me being around. true, it’d be hard on my poor mother. and i would hope at least a few of my friends would be a bit shaken up but such things happen. not to mention, i’m sure there are folks out there who would be plenty glad to see me gone. so what am i sticking around for?

now, this is not intended to be angsty; that’s not the right emotional paradigm for understanding this. it’s in fact a bit of melodrama that gets at an underlying discontentment in my heart. it’s not a present sadness, in fact i have a life that is legitimately quite full and generally contented in the moment. but in that there is a lack of longing, a death of desire for something more than what i have before me now.

i feel like i no longer get excited about things without qualifications. my hopes have been smashed by reality around me and my own failings enough times that my desire has adapted accordingly. the past three years in particular i’ve watched the crumbling of numerous things in which i had such high hopes, such excitement and now i’m hesitant to say i ever cared anyhow. i’ve come to a point of cynicism, of preemptively quashing tiny bits of excitement in my own heart before they become another source of pain or regret.

i want to be free to hope abundantly, to love ridiculously, and to reach out to people with a depth and honesty that frankly i’m just afraid to right now. i want to go beyond attendance and into engagement with the life around me. but those desires seem so nebulous, so likely to fail that it’s hard for me to hope that i’ll ever accomplish them.

so what am i left with but hoping in something else?

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