My name is Hyacinth and I am a control freak. There, I said it…out loud for the whole world to hear. Tina sang about R-E-S-P-E-C-T, but my theme song at my funeral will most certainly be C-O-N-T-R-O-L. Not something that makes me a fan favorite sometimes, it can really drive people nuts (especially my husband). But when stuff gets “real” and someone needs to sit in the drivers seat… people like me take control. There are rare moments that I willingly relinquish it, and there is generally hell to pay if you take it from me. My world feels rather upside down with out it. However, there is one time (only one I can think of) when I lay it all out there. I hand it over like a virgin, I am free of decision making and just one with moment.
Have you ever been on a motorcycle? If not, i’m sorry you have some living left to do. Either way, I am going to take you on a sensual adventure in your mind that may help you experience losing control (that sounds terrifying). Living in the moment is something we rarely have the luxury to do these days. But when you are on a bike, there is no other time but the moment.
When you’re in a car, we look out of the windows, we see other cars, we see the blur of the scenery and that paved means to transport you from A to B beneath your tires. Not a tangible thing, not something you even pay any mind to. Your not really “seeing” anything, you are merely “looking”. You’re inside of your vehicle, surrounded by metal, restraints, air bags and whatever other asinine safety equipment the manufacturer decided to charge you for. Sure, you put your faith in the driver, but even if they are an idiot your odds of survival in a crash are pretty high. Your relatively safe.
Now, close your eyes and experience your trip from A to B on a bike. In fact, lets forget about “B” and only think about the “to” portion of the trip. Gear up, helmet on… driver start your engine.
You are now perched on the back of the bike. A seat beneath you, inevitably smaller than your hind-end, your feet firmly placed upon a set of pegs (or if you spoiled like me, foot boards), no seat belt or air bag, just you, the driver and the road, and off you go (this barely sounds legal).
As you are rolling down the road your senses immediately heighten and you become aware of things you forget even exist in a car. Your eyes immediately are drawn to the road. No longer just a blur of grey but a living, breathing entity. You notice every dip, pebble, stripped line. You smell the road, you feel the heat beating off of it, you are now one with it, you respect it and it’s power to consume you.
You realize your seeing in high definition, the colors are brilliant and the depth is spectacular (have I always seen this way you wonder?). The trees deep in the woods stand out like an army of soldiers holding their ground as they tip their leaved hats in greeting when you pass by. You see the birds and squirrels, and the rushing water in the creek as it races you to an unknown destination. Sight is truly an amazing sense that we often fail to use.
Now listen, what do you hear? The wind, the glorious soothing, cooling wind. It pulsates through you clothes, it creeps into your helmet and whistles in your ears. You hear it pound off of the trees, the guardrails, “fwump, fwhump, fwhump”. You take your arms and spread them like wings…your worries just flew right off into the wind behind you. You have now been cleansed.
When you are on a motorcycle, there is no time other than the moment. The world stands still around you. Did you see that old man on his porch swing, watching the world pass by? He sees you. You lock eyes for a blink of a second, and in that moment time stops. No past, no future, just now. A once in a lifetime event just occurred. You will never lock eyes with that stranger again. But you shared a moment that you can never take back.
Your nose is experiencing smells that are nearly foreign. The smell of asphalt, the cool crisp smell of that creek you are racing, the freshness of the air, the green of the grass and the scent of brightly colored bushes in that old mans front yard. All of your senses are on over load.
The driver is your lifeline. He holds all of the control. You must rely on his skill, his eagle eye and reflexes because your life depends on it. It’s a delicate dance between driver and passenger, he leans, you lean…he sights the upcoming curve to position his course and you look over his shoulder to do the same. He feels every move you make, every shift of weight, your thighs as they tighten on his hips anticipating his next move. You become one.
When you have reached the “B” portion of your trip and the engine comes to a stop you
take a deep breath. One because your butt hurts from that less than appropriately sized seat and your not happily anticipating the dismount, and two because you have returned to reality. The 2 dimensional world you live in. But your ride was successful, you and the road are still respectful friends and your faith in the driver has lived up to your expectation.
There are few moments in life when you will hand total and complete control over to another human being (as an adult). But, every once in a while spreading your arms into the wind and letting your cares fall behind you on to the road, is exactly where you need to be.