Saturday, March 28, 2015

Learning to Fly...

Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction is holding me fast,
How can I escape this irresistible grasp?
There's no sensation to compare with this...
Thirty-five years ago, I rode my first motorcycle. I was 12, and my buddy's parents had bought him a small dirt bike. We took turns writing it in circles around his house. It was AWESOME... Until I went home and my mother smacked me with a wooden spoon, exclaiming in her Irish brogue,"You're never to ride a bike, ever again!" There are, of course, those people who would look at this as a challenge, a gauntlet thrown down as an invitation to fight, an obstacle to overcome in order to take a defiant step into manhood. Those people never lived with my mother.

So that was that. But I never forgot it. It was like something awakening inside of me, each spring. My mother was born in Dublin, Ireland and left home at the age of 15 to travel through Europe and eventually land in America, settling in New Jersey by way of New York. She gave me the blessing of loving to cook and the curse of a wanderlust that never seems quite satisfied. And every spring, I feel it again, made all the more powerful because of the latent effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

My wife J. greenlighted the endeavor, having long ago resigned herself to being married to a guy who gets ideas in his head and realizing the only way for me to get them out is to purge them through activity. So, two years ago, I decided to take the PA Motorcycle Safety Course. The advantages of the course are many:
  • The course is FREE!
  • The course is taught by people who have been riding longer than I've been alive
  • They provide a motorcycle, so if you drop it, it's still theirs
  • At the end of the course, you get your Motorcycle License
  • Did I mention it's FREE?!?
There are two days of rather droll classroom instruction, but I realized it is the kind of thing that is going to help me ride a motorcycle and quite possibly save me from bodily harm. So, I forced myself to pay attention, practicing the barely contained patience of a kid on Christmas Eve. And then, I got to sit on a real motorcycle for the first time in 35 years. and start it up. And I knew, as soon as I sparked those 250ccs of pure Suzuki power to life, that something also came to life inside of me. And, I was hooked. Forever.

A New Start...

Here's the thing. I realized, thanks to a number of recent influences, that I haven't done much of anything that involves creativity in a long while. Then, my wife started cooking. My brother-in-law started a blog (and wrote a novel!). A high school friend from days gone by recently connected with me and she's a full-time (no longer starving) artist. And my daughter...well, at 17, she is one of the most creative people I know, and continues to inspire me. 
There was a time when I spent a good deal of time writing, painting, and drawing, even considering it as a career for myself. It's quite unlikely I am going to be the next Hemingway, but I also want to get back in touch with that creative side.