Saturday, November 7, 2009

Brookings to San Francisco

The Dream.


I awoke, lying in my sleeping bag, on my camping mattress, on the floor of some convenience store, which was closed for the night. I was looking up at the shelves full of candy, seeing a lone street light shining through the windows. A small earthquake was occurring, causing me to be the human air-hockey puck, skittering back and forth between the shelves. "A dangerous place," I thought to myself. I don't want to be lying on the floor if one of these shelves falls during this tremor. I was just about to stand up...

Then I awoke again. This time I was lying in my sleeping bag, on my camping mattress in my tent. I was looking up through the ceiling-window at the tall trees, the nearly full moon right in the corner of the window. And since I was camped on a slight angle, I was skittering along the floor of my tent like an air hockey puck. Confusion followed. The trees remained standing. I resumed sleeping after a few moments and a chuckle at the tricks my mine played.

Tall trees in Oregon.
From Brookings to San Fran

Most photographed outhouse?
From Brookings to San Fran

From Brookings to San Fran

Fish tank building?
From Brookings to San Fran


A Moment of Zen.

In Gig Harbor, I did my first-ever valve adjustment on a desmodromic engine. Desmodromic means the valves are both open and closed mechanically, as opposed to the more traditional method of opened mechanically and closed with a spring. I had been intimidated by the process until I saw it in the raw steel.. Then I was struck by the mechanical beauty and simplicity of the system.
From Brookings to San Fran

Back to the point: Cruising down a road in northern California, thinking about the valve process occurring beneath me, feeling and hearing the purr of the motor, the gentle curves of the road: the moment was perfect. I wanted to take a picture, to capture the light and the sound and the feeling of the machine... but the nature of the moment would have been spoiled just by stopping. And capturing the feeling of a machine is beyond my skills as a photographer.

It was like this only better....
From Brookings to San Fran

The same thing happened in Arizona, a few weeks ago. That time I did stop, it was a sunrise on a smooth gravel road on the way to Prescott for breakfast. The picture almost brings it back for me. I can't imagine it does so much for you.

This is not Arizona.
From Brookings to San Fran

Moments like those are what Pirsig must have been talking about in his book , Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I've read that book twice but finally understand at least that part of it. It was a moment of bliss between me and the machine and the road.

1 comment:

  1. I would have been a little more worried about that dinosaur than the trees!

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