Sunday, March 27, 2011
There is this place in Springfield that is as spiritual as a place can be for me. It is only spiritual while I’m riding my bike. I love riding my bike places, it is my preferred mode of transportation. I think it’s because I like to be active and I would so much rather not drive. Mostly, I like it because it slows things down.
My brain tends to be in constant go mode, thinking of things, making quick associations, and finding myself in a few short seconds miles away from my original thought. I’ve heard that this is true for a lot of creative people and is definitely a helpful thing on the improv stage. But, I often need to disrupt that constant going with something that is deliberate and slow. For me it can be biking, or walking, or writing, or hanging out with family.
During the summer I used to ride my bike downtown, do a show and hangout, and then ride my bike home. I would ride in the darkness past the bar goers, beyond the Catholic Church, down Jefferson Street and cross over Grand Ave. I’d jump past the traffic and hop the curb to a street that angles, stopping in a circle before the intersection. I think it’s Roanoke St. At night it was all shadows and street lights as I moved through it. I would have Patty Griffin in my ears, take my hands off the handlebars and just coast down the slight decline. Putting my hands at my sides, the moments passed by more slowly.
With all of the open endedness of my experience right now coupled with the time crunch, the relationship crunch, and the money crunch, I have a hard time slowing things down in my head. So, this afternoon, I decided I needed a bike ride. What is great about being in such a large city is that you can go on a bike ride every day and never stop exploring. Today, I went to UCLA’s campus, which from where I live, is past Beverly Hills into Westwood. I took a route like I was the snake in the old cell phone game. It’s a beautiful campus. I sat by the library and wrote for a bit. Then, I got on my bike and rode back. In all it was 17 miles. I got home, had some soup and went to bed, slowly.