At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Through a Cloud

I was riding east on a nameless country road. Wind at my back gently nudging me along. Nothing much to see on either side ‘cept stubble fields. Combines had combed the terrain just days ago.

Nothing much to see else this undulating ribbon of weathered asphalt bisecting endless brown with a few scattered shards of corn leaf offering modest punctuation. Except...a bit farther ahead...I noticed incongruous deep pools of ebony hugging this ribbon of mine. My eyes were never all that discerning to begin with and they’d certainly not improved with age. I was puzzled by what I saw.

Pedals twirling, zephyrs laughing, I arrived soon enough at the shore of this black sea. The entire mass began to vibrate, then levitate. Starlings! Countless bodies rising, wings beating in eerie silence.

I was engulfed in a cloud of feathers. Momentarily lost in motion and black, unable to see even a foot in front of me. Birds literally brushed against my arms and legs in the midst of this ebon fog.

It’s a glorious thing, this business of flying blind through a starling cloud.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is It Good to Know?

Is it good to’s Fate?

I dunno.

I’ve never been one to consult a fortune teller, paw at entrails or study tea leaves. Never had my palm read or stared at Tarot cards. Just wasn’t my “thing.”

But then there’s the matter of blood tests, genetic markers and sundry empirical indicators of perils to come. We’ve only just begun to identify Fate’s harbingers.

Science marches on.

And Science has discovered clues as to the fate of some. Amniocentesis testing can reveal what the human-to-be will be (to a degree). We can test for a select few genes guaranteed to lead to heartache. We can inject our blood into chromatographs and discover inconvenient truths...or enjoy blessed relief.

And I’ve pondered all of this over the years in an abstract, absent-minded fashion. Interesting question, no? Would I want to know, if I could know, my destiny?

Well, THAT question is no longer an abstract, philosophical pondercation for this pilgrim.

I’ve learned that researchers have developed a near-perfect test to determine if an individual will succumb to Alzheimer’s. I haven’t studied the particulars, but it has been reported that there is now a spinal fluid examination that reliably indicates whether or not an individual's brain will disintegrate.

Yes, Alzheimer’s. The bane of my existence.

It’s been my family’s curse (from all sides). I’ve spent decades wandering the floors of Alzheimer’s wards, tending to family members whose brains no longer functioned. The experience has been horrific. I dread the disease because I know it too well.

And now I know that my spinal fluid can reveal my future. And I ask myself: “Is it good to know one’s Fate?

I dunno.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

After Midnight

It’s well past midnight

I gots blues and tangos in my soul

I gots me reveries:

Of that turkey vulture I admired on my ride today

Soaring like a James Dean.

Of the young ‘possum that ventured a bit too far afield...

And paid the price.

The north wind hints of hard times

I dab the gash on my elbow where that rascally roadside branch

drew blood.

I sip my blood red wine

Hungering to cradle beauty between scarred fingers

To kiss her like she’s never been kissed before.

And I wanna dance

Oh, how I wanna dance!

Dance as if I were young and fluid again

Dancing like heat

Moving like water.

And I pray for lightning

Storms and thunder

Silken sheets, too.

Aching for passion

I ache

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

In the Mood

To tango



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And for those who are wondering (all...well...none of you)...yes...,
I danced as a member of a Lithuanian folk dance troupe for many a year.

(But I always yearned to dance wearing blue suede "Cuban heels")

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I Want Harvey!


Gratuitous Non-Sequitor:

Post's "Blueberry Morning" cereal smells better than any other.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Random Observations

The weather this weekend veritably snarled. I shivered along with the freeze warnings. Slanting rain beat incessantly on glass. Prodigious numbers of brittle leaves came to huddle in gutters. I flipped the thermostat to “HEAT” and inhaled the scent of crisp-fried dust for the first time in a long time (a solemn, once-a-year event that elicits myriad feelings).

But today was an “Indian Summer” kinda day. I was grateful for another opportunity to pedal into the hinterlands.

My jaunts last 3+ hours nowadays. The odometer routinely ticks past 30 miles whenever I venture forth. Verily, I derive great satisfaction from the salt caked on my helmet straps. I glory in the road mung coating my frame and wheels. I derive sweet, tired satisfaction each time I arrive home, jersey and limbs coated with loam. I’m nowhere near as fit as I was once, but far stronger than I was mere months ago.

And it kills me, absolutely slays me, that my roaming days are shrinking, rapidly disappearing.

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I spent this evening ordering sundry “cold weather” cycling duds. I found little joy in that, but it was a decided improvement over the horror experienced this morning when I tried to squeeze myself into an insulated cycling jacket I last wore some 25 years ago. Sure, it’s sad when one discovers that one’s avoirdupois precludes full closure of a critical zipper. It’s a whole ‘nother matter when one discovers that some four inches of dermal terrain must be traversed before even the possibility of zipper closure can be remotely considered. Yes, I faced down 'death via mortification' this morning...but...I’m scarred.

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I realize my cycling days are numbered.

I had forgotten how deeply prairie life resonates within me. It’s been coming back in a rush. And, yes, it’s a good thing to immerse one’s self in Life again. To breathe deep. To feel. To observe:

That fields of grizzled corn stalks produce an eerie sound...dry souls shivering.

The hawk equivalent of a juiced-up pro-football linebacker. This red-tailed raptor positively dwarfed his kin. The phrase: “the Dude abides” sprang to mind.

A flock of gypsy bald eagles (a rowdy bunch too immature to sport the telltale “bald”) pilfering carrion.

The well-aged carcass of a coyote. Coyotes abound in these fields and forest of mine. Yet rarely does one encounter them as road kill. In stark contrast, opossum and raccoons seemingly harbor a death wish. (I suppose I should note I’ve not yet seen a single pheasant. They were plentiful thirty years ago).

That chickens on the run appear somewhat idiotic, but, hey, maybe that’s just me. I don’t find goose “take-offs” with their sashaying running starts all that dignified either.

The intrepid woolly caterpillar inching its way across a two-lane country road. How can one not admire such a death-defying feat? (My most memorable “unplanned dismount” resulted from an unexpected “caterpillar encounter”).

“Road rash” sucks.

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I’m gonna try to squeeze in as many rides as possible before lycra surrenders to chill. Then I’m gonna do a road trip ‘cuz I got places to visit and people to hug.

And then?

I’ll spend the winter being a gym rat (well, that's the plan, anyway).

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I’m kinda loving being an animal again...(now, if only I could find my drumsticks...)

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

She's wild as eagles...

This song hits a spot. Me likes. Lots.

Me likes this, too:

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