I am looking forward to the road in the way that one looks forward to standing under a long, hot shower after a chilly fall day stacking wood. Soothing, sensual, and--of pertinent interest to me right now--alone.
I haven't been riding much lately; this must be what happens when you publish a book about motorcycling. You have no time to motorcycle. The interims between readings and promotional trips are devoted to the kid, his haircuts and bus schedule and school meetings, as well as the forgotten assignment (whoops!) and the filth that builds up in the house while you aren't looking. Then there's the dwindling supply of clean underwear. But for once, in this long month of rehashing what is already finished to me, and meeting scores of fascinating people and talking with all of them, I will get to be alone on a motorcycle on a long road. I expect it to provide its certain sustenance intravenously, going straight to the bloodstream without intermediary actions. It's just there, feeding you.
After the first leg of this ride, I will again feel restored and happy to shake hands and hear others' stories of their rides, and how they found motorcycles, and how motorcycles keep them anchored to life. When that is over, the meeting of friends and the dinners and the socializing, I will once again put my leg over the Rockster and wave goodbye to where I've been. I will face the calm aloneness of hours on the highway, and the possibility of figuring some new things out. (It appears that I am never to be without something I badly need the road's help in decoding.)
I am a little bit tired and a little bit discouraged and a lot confused. I may think that this is new, but I have to remember that it is not. I will always need the road again and again and again, for different reasons and the same reasons. Ride, rinse, repeat. That is life's image, the revolution of the wheel. Need, and relief. Need, and relief. I map my destination with a combination of care and faith.
I would like to reiterate my apology to a group of people who command my highest respect. Through
unconsidered misspeaking, I have harmed and angered them. I am deeply sorry for what I did. Since I cannot unspeak
it, I can only regret it, learn from it, and ask for forgiveness. The intention to honor their pursuits remains, as it was in the
beginning, the only thing in my mind.