Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

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Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

There is, in the mirror, an absurdity staring back at me. I am young and robust, unlined by my brief period upon this earth. Yet looking out from the mirror is an old man, creased by time and experience, sagging from the sheer gravity of life. It is a most disturbing image, this character so much closer to the grave than I for I have not aged. Not in any real sense have I marred my countenance with traces of experience. I remain the child, the boy, the youth as well as the man but there in the mirror I do not see reflected all that I am. I see only the post mature man, the tired spectacle of all the tedious acts of this absurd and comic drama. How could life suddenly be so cruel? A moment ago I was lying in bed dreaming of youthful adventure and now looking out from the glass is a character I do not recognize. How can I reconcile this antique visage with the dreams of actions still swirling in my mind? At what moment will it finally occur to me that this creature of tainted meat cannot participate in my plans, my goals, fulfill my needs? The absolute absurdity of that contradiction between the it and the I causes me to shrink from the image, to turn from the glass. I can look out from myself but I cannot look at myself. There is comfort in the mental state to which I have arrived; in stark contrast to the physical image in the glass. Do I dare invite this decrepit being to participate in my dreams? Such is my morning. I am confronted by irreconcilable contradictions. The comforts of my dotage so severely impact the dreams of my eternal youth that I am once again confused and frustrated. This dilemma, an intrinsic part of every life, shows me the silliness of our existence. Why do I so often fret and fuss over the daily warp and woof of my life when it will be so soon over? I begin to understand Thoreau when he stated that age is not so well qualified to instruct as youth for in the process we have lost more than we have gained. Yet there is within me, even in the depths of my winter, an eternal spring and I will pursue those youthful dreams, although at a slower pace than I would prefer. I must now set my tempo to the limits of that being in the mirror who I must drag along with me through the day. He may be an encumbrance but is also a grand companion full of stories and anecdotes to amuse me throughout my day. The it and the I make good companions. Between us there is a sum wherein each tempers the folly of the other. Life is good at all of its stages. Which character will take center stage today?