The family circus act has changed and my motorcycling needs have changed with it. I'm not necessarily free to roam the planet on 2 wheels, but I do have considerably more opportunities to spend days in the saddle. Opportunities I don't always take.
Back when the kid was really little I was tied to the homestead. I kept my head in the game by undertaking some shop projects in the garage, a 1978 Yamaha and a 1996 Triumph. I learned a lot about working on old bikes but I also learned that I get too emotionally involved in the process. Something difficult becomes frustrating, failures can become battles. That's not something I need to drag back into the house with me. Although I did find some Zen and Art along the way. Maturity? Maybe but, it's a process you need to be open to.
"If you're going to sit, sit. If you're going to stand, stand. But never wobble." - a Zen saying
Are the stakes too high now? The kid needs a dad, and I need to be there for him as he grows. Mrs. North need Mr. North and I need her. The weight of this has never felt heaver, the stakes are the same but served with a deeper appreciation.
Whenever I'm gone on the bike I develop a better appreciation for being back. I think that's the core of why I do it. To better love and understand what it means to be home with my family and routines. And that has real value. It's something I don't bring into my relationships otherwise. (I'm a miserable grump when I get trapped into a routine for too long.)
As a Geezer with a Grudge once wrote, "If you're not asking yourself these questions, you have no business on a motorcycle." (or something to that affect)
- Ride North
Richardson, M. (2008). Zen and now: On the trail of Robert Pirsig and Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.