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Notes from the Road: Paper Memories

How many times have you been riding along on your motorcycle enrapt in the most brilliant, concise and clear thoughts? With each passing mile the answers to life’s questions making themselves plain. Your problems? Solved. The great novel that is your life spills through your mind with brilliant clarity.

Then as soon as you turn the key off, those strokes of genius dissipate into the ether.

Damn.

In even more simple terms, I find that even remembering where I saw something, what was said, what town I passed through on a given day has become more of a challenge. Given that I have always been the type to chronicle things, writing these snippets down when I’m traveling is a natural fit.

This morning I cracked open a little notebook that was in my tankbag and found this gem written in there:

I feel beautiful when I’m riding my motorcycle.

Since I wrote it down, I guess that is something I figured I would forget.

A few years ago, in addition to having little notebooks or pads tucked away in my bag, I started to make little books out of old cardboard and sheets of paper. While I’m traveling I stick scraps of paper, postcards, pamphlets and notes in to them. I seem to make one for each big trip that I take.

Even if I just jot down the most rudimentary outline of information, like the date and a town name – that in conjunction with the photos I took help to jog my memory and keep the story straight.

Do you chronicle your trips while you’re in the middle of them?

Escapism and Healing Through Motorcycles

After fourteen years together, I tearfully said goodbye to my sweet pup last week. I am devastated by her absence. She came home from the shelter with me before I knew my husband, before my daughter came into the world. She was the first member of the family that I began to build for myself as an adult. I love and miss her terribly.

Over the weekend, I tried to be normal and to cope with my feelings of loss. Typically, I tried to keep busy taking care of the things that need to be taken care of at home. But sometimes the place where you live, that place you’ve filled up with memories can feel like a prison.

With a crazed sense of urgency it seemed that I might lose my mind if I stayed in this house one second longer. I had to flee. The feelings washed over me in a panic.

My motorcycle provided the perfect escape.

There is something healing in those two simple wheels. I experienced that when I lost my dad last year. Being immersed in the task at hand, being focused on what you’re doing allows you to ignore all of the nagging stresses, the hurts, the aspects of your life that you just want to turn off.

I think I would have had a complete meltdown this weekend were it not for the ability to ride, to get away from the part of myself I didn’t want to deal with.

Two-wheels to healing.

Being Haunted by The OTHER Roads

While reading the comments on the post The Universe Has Spoken – Explore More!, one by Raindog really cut close to home for me. Raindog said:

…I’ve been haunted by the OTHER roads. You know, the ones (dirt or paved) that you encounter in the middle of nowhere; the ones that spur left or right off the one you’re on; the ones that disappear over that far horizon; the ones that you might never get around to taking…

Yes. Yes, yes, yes!

How many times have you set aside an imaginary “next time” to try something? Sadly, I do it all the damned time. But, why? Fear? Is there some need for security or to follow a prescribed path?

Do you find yourself checking out the OTHER roads or do you have a laundry list of them for next time?

Big thanks to Raindog for reading and sparking my imagination with the great comment!