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The Lesson of Motorcycle Lessons

Written on: Wednesday July 6th, 2011

Today I dropped the bike because I was seeing obstacles not the way.

 And when I realized that, I remembered why it is so worthwhile to ride a motorcycle. I did forget. When it was on its side leaking fuel, unliftable. Heavy. Scary. Dangerous and stinky. Why do I do this. Why do I want to do this. Uncomfortable. Hot. Hard to do.

The motorcycle insists that I grow wise. That my mind become disciplined. That I see the way instead of being defeated by the obstacle.  Only challenges can offer growth, can offer the satisfaction of success. And the motorcycle demands that I ride to the challenge. Rise to the challenge.

I didn't get out of the driveway today. The gravely, sandy, steeply sloped, sharply curving  driveway, followed by a steeply sloping, sandier, blind turn. My things were soaked with fuel. I dumped at least a gallon, probably more. I couldn't pick it up by myself. Had to ask a neighbor for help.

I was defeated. I thought I failed at the day.

And then I got a little wise, realized why I dropped the bike. I was seeing the obstacles. Looming so large in my perspective, they obscured the way. My fear obscured all else, I couldn't see the way.  

The lesson didn't come until a dusky walk along a thin, cool Northen New Mexico stream. Over tumbling rocks , sky growing dark and darker. Fireflies. Magic.

I didn't failed at today. I learned what will keep me safer tomorrow.  Many good lessons are hard learned. I ask the fireflies and the dusky dusty dark sky to help me remember, may this lesson stick.