Monday, June 18, 2007

universal laws . . .

. . . as seen from the front porch of the orphanage . . .
[in no particular order, and by no means in totality]
1--like the yin and the yang,
the ebbs and flows of life are constant, unpredictable,
inevitable, unstoppable, undesirable, envied,
good and bad, plus and minus,
for better or worse, more or less.
2--you can't have what you don't know,
and you can't know what you don't have.
3--sometimes things happen that just aren't right,
but they sometimes lead to just the right thing to do.
. . . . .
so, i'm riding my bike to this funeral friday in atlantic,
for yet another unknown cyclist,
run down,
killed by a 77 year-old motorist mid-day sunday,
a bright sunny day.
going the same direction,
run over from behind.
i've mentioned how i feel about this:
"investigation continues."
80 miles out, 80 back.
2:00 pm funeral.
sunrise 540 am; sunset 850 pm.
funny thing is that this is the longest day of the year.
somewhere i had noted that it will be celebrated
as "the happiest day of the year."
i had thus noted on my kitchen calendar for the blog topic du jour.
instead, i'll spend it riding by myself
to the funeral of someone i don't know
who was killed like seven or eight of my friends,
and i'll remember them,
and be happy for having known them.
i'll think of the many friends
--too many in just the past year--
who were struck and somehow survived.
and i'll be happy for knowing them,
and for having them around--alive.
i'll be riding alone, thinking of my many, many friends
who joined me on a whim, as a lark,
on sunday, on a hill in front of a stranger's house.
and of how we laughed, heckled, cajoled, encouraged friends
and strangers,
and made some feel like pros,
and made others feel full of energy,
and happy,
when moments before they were tired and drained.
we made them smile.
and i'll be happy for my many many friends,
and for the joy that they have given me,
and for the joy that they have helped me give to others.
as i ride to atlantic, and back, for this stranger's funeral,
i'll think of my pregnant daughter,
of her second child that is due hopefully after ragbrai
--this is the second time she's done this--
and i'll think of my little granddaughter, nyla,
and of my son-in-law, dwight,
and of all the joy they have given me over the years.
and i'll be happy.
happy as hell, actually.
i'll think of my dogs, boris and amelia,
and of the third one--shut up!--dmitri
that i'll have at the end of the month,
and i'll be happy.
. . . . .
and if i never have to do this again,
then it will have been the happiest day of my life.
. . . . .
by the way, i know that there is a group of cyclists
that leaves bike world west sometime early on fridays.
i know, because often i have cursed that they leave so damned early.
wanna ride west with me?
supposed to be wind out of the southwest,
and i could sure use a little help...
maybe you could meet me coming back in late friday, too.


Anonymous said...

I think this is new today from the AP, thought you would like.

michael said...


i applaud your efforts to bring awareness to the public...and compassion to the families of the fallen...

safe journeys...

Mistress Julie said...

Nicely written Rev... the coupe de grace is the VW decal on the front of your house with the Kerry Edwards sign in your window.

Roadrider said...

Is that a pink flamingo hiding in the bushes?

the mostly reverend said...

i USED to have a herd of TEN flamingoes. one year, one was kidnapped, and it was taken on ragbrai. i kept getting photos, cryptic notes from the kidnappers, reports on the message board that it was seen on this bus, or that it partied at that bar, what have you.
i used to move them all around the yard from time to time, as if they were grazing.
then, little by little they started to really disappear.
one and two at a time. i moved them to the pasture nearest the orphanage.
then last year, during ragbrai, all but the last one was taken.
they took bodies, but not legs.
so there are about four or five double-amputee flamingoes hobbling around out there.
if you see them, tell them they left me with a yard full of bird shit.
wait, no, tell them i miss them. i wish i could get more, but with the cost of flamingoes, well, the orphanage is on such a tight budget. the little orphans really miss those pink beauties, though...

the mostly reverend said...

early morning bike riders and triathlisms, the plan is this:
i'll leave the orphanage at 500 am, meet y'all at bike world west at 530 am, assuming i can get there in a half hour. it might take a little longer, as i recall. 530, 545. anyway, then we can roll out. head out grand avenue west, past booneville, van meter, and where the road curves north and crosses I-80, i'll hop a couple little gravel or small paved roads to get to g-14 at earlham, and then take old highway 6 through dexter, stuart, menlo, and such big cities as casey, adair, wiota [my personal favorite, for some reason that i can't recall] to atlantic.
the funeral is at 130, at the roland funeral home, 204 e. 5th street.
then i'll roll back.
such things are good to do.
i've never failed to learn something about myself doing such things.
i'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

Rev, Sure wish I could make the ride along with you and any others, but can't get out of work for the day. Remembering John Maxwell's funeral procession is a part of my pre-ride routine every time I throw a leg over the toptube. Hope you have a safe and enlivening ride if it goes down. Hope you're not scared of lightening! Also, is that a safari window up there? Has potetial if not! Later, Greg "travel gravel" Moore.