I am... wasting time.
I have, however, justified it. Rather than open up the can of words that is either of the two term papers I have to do (due less than a month from now), I have convinced myself that there isn’t sufficient time left tonight to set up, make any significant progress toward an end I cannot yet visualize and come to some logical stopping point, only to put it all away. No, far easier to create straight from my skull than to assemble the thoughts, research and conclusions of others. Of course there is a creative element in this work as well, but only after extensively examining what others have done first. It is a daunting task, but there is yet time and tomorrow I have nothing scheduled except research.
It was a gloriously warm and sunny autumn day in Sacramento today, much too nice to get inside a car. I logged many miles on my Harley, going some places I had to go and a few that I didn’t. When riding, be it solo, with friends or in a pack, there is a certain solitude that frees my soul. My mind is unbounded; it is able to discover and rediscover. I am able to find clarity in my challenges and conflicts, academic or otherwise. Although my rationalization to put aside the necessary work I must do is based on insufficient time, that deficiency is artificial. The time was always there, but I wasn’t. I was riding my motorcycle.
And maybe that makes the justification justifiable. Perhaps these are among the necessary steps I must take to release myself from the daily grind. Not that my days are routine or monotonous by any means, but more in terms of the physical sensation of living life at the speed limit - and I’m not referring to miles per hour. Rather, it is the conformity, the rigor and the norm that sometimes leaves everyday life feeling like just that.
As day turned to dusk and dusk turned to night, the temperature dropped rapidly. First in just my shirt and jeans, then came my jacket, chaps to cover my pants and eventually I broke out my face mask. As the temperature decreased, clarity increased… mind, body and spirit slowly became one. By the time I arrived home, I felt it.
I had planned tonight to do some of the work still pending for the completion of my first graduate semester. This is not it, but in a sense - it is. At least the ride that led up to these words was. Meditation can mean many things and come in many forms; sitting atop 750 pounds of steel, chrome and rubber… controlling where it goes and how fast it gets there does it for me. It is the freedom that creates the words. These words, those words… any words. Tomorrow I will most likely drive my car. I will be in the library early and stay there most of the day. Today the words rolled through my head as I rode - tomorrow the road will inspire the words I write.
Maybe I am not so much wasting time as I am biding it. To some this will sound like nothing more than an overwhelmed grad student making excuses to avoid the inevitable. But to those who ride, you know. To those who can find solitude by simply putting two wheels and a motor between their legs, clarity comes in a brisk evening ride. Peace comes one mile at a time. Tomorrow it's back to the grind...
Tonight, we ride.