There is a proverb that reads something like : A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.
For generations, kids have made the collaborative realization that their parents only see the bad things that they do, never the good. That’s funny. It’s just one of those cosmic laws, like gravity, that are woven into the fabric of life. It is the beginning of a covert and lifelong battle for a small mound of dirt named “I’m Right”.
A sort of inverse is true about God and adults. We’re always blaming Him for stuff He didn’t do and taking credit for stuff He did. The battle for that same mound of dirt continues, but the enemies shift.
Taking a vintage Moto Guzzi out for a milestone ride last fall I noticed the odometer read 23, 970. Thirty miles and I would cross an imaginary boundary with absolutely no significance, except even numbers and three zero’s, but if you’re looking for an excuse to ride, that one is as good as any.
Thirty miles on that lovely Italian steed is about the perfect distance. The stock seat is fabricated from a piece of foam that seems designed for a farm animal. The Le Mans is mostly a fit, form, function kind of machine, but in regards to the seat, they dropped the fit in favor of wind tunnel results. Three hundred miles in a day and that seat will have you pleading for a colonoscopy just for a change in discomfort scenery. But I digress.
One year ago I took a Triumph Tiger 900, an adventure/dual sport machine, on road that was just being cleared. It was still dirt and there was a big gate and a Road Closed sign. Naturally, I went around it, and was treated to wonderful and exciting things. I went down all the side roads past the “Danger – Dynamite and Blasting Cap” signs. I saw herds of antelope and enormous elk. I saw views of the front range which only the construction crew were privy.
When I returned Sunday morning and revisited the forbidden road, the sign was still up. The road was now paved however. I took a slow exploratory ride. No construction crews, no cars and no cops. The heavy equipment was parked , some mud clods on the first sweeping turn, but otherwise ready for action. Further down, I saw an enormous Red-Tailed hawk sitting on a post. I killed the engine and rolled to a stop twenty feet from him. We eyed each other and whistled back and forth for ten minutes. On the return ride, I tucked and opened the throttle and listened to the sound of those twin 36mm Del Orto’s deliver us well past the ton, using all four lanes as required in the process. I could write four more pages on the experience of letting that long-legged steed run, but suffice to say it was liberating. It was also probably frowned upon by those who make and keep all the rules, and perhaps not without reason.
My point is that there are many man-made gates between us and Him that transform God, into god. If you start to pay attention, you’ll see dozens of them. They’re easy to recognize. They look just like those hand-lettered signs the animals from The Far Side paint, with the backwards S’s.
Last year, my daughter gave me a book to read entitled Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. In it, I found this:
“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
So on your journey, pay attention to the Road Closed signs. Go around them and explore. You might be surprised at what you find. God by god, buddy. Just take it god by god.
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
copyright ©2012 raymondroske