Posts tagged ‘evening’
summer rhythm & mental clarity
My summer days tend to follow a different rhythm. Morning swims. Evening rides. Abbreviated daytime trips to avoid the air that feels like being stuck in a convection oven, or avoiding the heat-induced thunderstorms.
Daytime hours have been filled with books, reading, and the other (often ignored) exercises in creativity. While I miss long daytime rides, the wandering and exploring, I feel good about the time I’ve spent on these other things, the expanded productivity … all while waiting for cooler, dryer weather to return, and resuming my more rambling ways.
And – as evidenced by my lack of posts lately – I have enjoyed taking some time to unplug and disconnect. I’ve been reading a fascinating book, Fast Media, Media Fast, by Dr. Thomas Cooper, professor of visual and media arts at Emerson College in Boston. It’s about making a conscious choice to disengage – to fast – from the barrage of always-on mass-media, the distractions of the e-world, and the devices that we are increasingly becoming dependent and even addicted to.
I appreciate that he does not take an “anti-” or negative approach; he does not want eliminate media any more than someone fasting from food wants to eliminate food. Rather, he wants to use the break – the diet or full-blown fast – to re-evaluate and examine how we approach and use media. The goal behind the experience is to examine our thinking and opinion-forming process without the influence of 24-7 breaking news and 1,000 channels of cable television; to take stock of our lives outside of e-mail, text messaging, twitter, facebook, instagram, youtube and blogging – and to physically experiencing the world directly rather than thru secondhand sources and without an electronic screen in front of us. Which for me, would eliminate the use of not only my television, radio, and iDevices but also my camera. My bike stays.
While I have not yet started a full-blown fast, I have gone on some degree of a media diet, and plan to attempt a full, fasting, disconnection – if only for a week or two – within the next month. I just want the experience, even briefly or temporarily.
I want to hear myself think again. I want to re-evaluate the “ratio, quality, enjoyment and originality of what I ingest (as a consumer) versus what I express (as a creator)”. I want to lose some “unneccessary mental weight”. And I guess I want the challenge of finding “a Walden in my own mind.” I want my daily off-bike routine to have more moments like those I experience while on my bike – the direct experience, the mental clarity, the sensory balance, the perspective.
Wish me luck…
Evening ride … one of the last perfect days of summer, the sound of crickets, an old barn in fading light, my bicycle, and the one I love. I need nothing else.
#330daysofbiking Day 97: the little things
Sometimes it’s the little things that catch your eye while riding – a flower growing out of the asphalt, a caterpillar crossing the road, a toy that was dropped out of a car. This evening it was just weeds along the road – backlit by the sinking sun, illuminated, glowing.
I had wanted to get out for a road ride today, but rain (and pile of laundry) kept me housebound until later in the day. We had really needed the rain, though – and I definitely needed to attack Col du DirtyLaundry. Eventually the skies cleared and I got out on the Xtracycle for a spin on the back roads. Just looking at the little things.
#330daysofbiking Day 48: goofus world :-P
Apparently it is some law of nature: enter the goat pen with a camera, and there is never a shortage of goofus goat world. Never. Tonight was no exception. Always the comedians, they are. (If you don’t believe me, more on my Flickr … )
Rainy morning. Spent the better part of the day working around home. The really fun stuff – like laundry, cleaning, some work outside. And yes, in the goat barn. Tomorrow the boys are having a big end-of-school bash here … same as last year, after Mason & Ross’s graduation, many of the same kids. The Band will play, volleyball, food, good times – and hopefully I will not get thrown in the pool this year. I’ll be keeping my eye on you, Justin.
Mason and I got out late, but did take a nice evening ride. It was cool, but clear. Cacophony of crickets, frogs, all the sounds of dusk. Baseball game in the nearby field. The quiet whrrrr of our bicycles. Blinkies. The fragrance of honeysuckle, that I can’t get enough of. Lens Baby.
And yes, the background nyaaaaaa of a couple of goats.
#330daysofbiking Day 45: Twinkie Cats
SNL has Laser Cats … and apparently Farmer Beatty has Twinkie Cats. After a long day of mousing in the barn, nothing like a nice dessert of sugary “goodness”. 😉 Yes, those really are Twinkies. And yes, the cats were loving every bite.
Riding with Mason today, we passed this big old barn on our way home. I’ve noticed the population of barn cats here before, but they typically run and hide if I make any move to slow down near them when passing by. Today, a bunch of them were all sitting inside the barn (which is right on the edge of the road), and I could tell that they were busy eating – and they didn’t seem to attempt their usual get-away when I passed. We turned around and stopped to take a look. The owner, Mr. Beatty, was nearby and we stopped to talk. I’m not sure what possesses him to offer the cats Twinkies, but he’s a sweet old guy and just seems to regard all of the cats as useful animals to have in living in his barn. No names, didn’t know where half of them arrived from, but apparently pretty good mousers. The cats seemed to be genuinely enjoying their “treat” … Mason and I just found it rather entertaining (and unbelievable that a cat would want to eat the stuff).
We had a nice early evening ride. Long shadows, cows, cats, honeysuckle, thistles in bloom – and no rain. I’m becoming a fan of the early evening riding – such nice temperatures, little wind, sounds of crickets, really beautiful light. Very peaceful.
As I’m sitting here writing, my own cat is climbing around my desk. Wondering if she is craving a Twinkie? 😉