If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Quote of the Biennium

To celebrate two years in the blogging saddle, and because I am in That Kinda Mood after a superb weekend, I am posting my favourite ever motorcycling quotation, which sums up the whole thing for me. From Robert M Pirsig's seminal Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:
You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it, you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer, and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on. It's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.
Riding down the A487 on a sunny Sunday afternoon, with the sparkling china blue of the Irish Sea to my right, the green rolling hills of Ceredigion to my left, and my little girl pretty in pink on the pillion, is the closest a flawed and compromised old misfit like me will ever get to Heaven.

1 comment:

  1. It's a very long time since I read "Zen and the Art". Utterly unique.

    We always lend out our best books, and they're the ones that don't return. Sigh.


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