Thursday, April 10, 2008

Of life , cycling and Coupland.

Every day we wake up and we have a choice of how to face the day. We can choose to be disappointed in life, in friends and in situations. Or we can choose to live and face the day more in hope than in fear. It is something I need to keep reminding myself day by day as the temptation to part of the system raise its head and dangles that nice middle class job with good benefits in front of me. At Ikon on Sunday night the service was entitled “We have decided not to die” and that is what I want to shout aloud and feel in every fibre of my being. And it means to celebrate and embrace life – every precious wonderful painful moment of it.
Today I would like to celebrate 2 things. The glory of cycling and the wonder that is the BBC/Met office weather site. On it you can look at their prediction hour by hour for where and when rain will fall. In a one off scientific test I planned my cycle around a 2-hour gap between heavy showers. And it worked – Before I left the house it had rained and even hailed. Likewise after I got back but oh the glory of those 2 hours in between, giving me time to cycle through the forest to the top of the mountain and hey it might just be the endorphins talking but it makes you feel alive. Cycling through the forest, sunlight dappled by the newly green leaves, streams babbling after the rain and then on the top of the mountain the gorse bushes in an explosion of yellow flowers. Sitting on a bench and looking at the Ferry steaming up the Lough – sea changes colour as the clouds race across and planes come in to land. But yet nature feels close and uplifting. A few times this last month or two I’ve stopped dreaming because life is messy and it bruises your soul but each time something draws me back. We finished the Ikon Service with my favourite passage from my favourite Douglas Coupland novel. It is the last few words from Girlfriend in a Coma and it helped me to stand up and say, “ We have decided not to die”.

"You'll soon be seeing us walking down your street, our backs held proud, our eyes dilated with truth and power. We might look like you, but you should know better. We'll draw our line in the sand and force the world to cross our line. Every cell in our body will explode with truth. We will be kneeling in front of the Safeway, atop out of date textbooks whose pages we have chewed out. We'll be begging passers-by to see the need to question and question and never to stop questioning until the world stops spinning. We'll be adults who smash the tired, exhausted system. We'll crawl and chew and dig our way into a radical new world. We will change minds and souls from stone and plastic into linen and gold – that's what I believe. That's what I know."


Steve said...


mister tumnus said...

hooray for all of this! we can be paupers together mark. i for one will be starting to make my christmas presents in july! woolly scarf anyone?!

The Father said...

yeah I was thinking of baking christmas presents this year .... how do you think that would fly with our friends ?

mister tumnus said...

depends how good your baking is! are you a domestic goddess? (i rather suspect you might be)

crookedshore said...

ha ha! looks like we got ya!

(from your cycling friend)

The Father said...

Dont tell anyone else though. I'm actually leaving the country in June - flying to the west coast of the States- in order to get out of the coastal challenge Alan was trying to sign me up for. I'm more of a mountain biker than a road man though. m

Raindog said...

Found that interesting. I suppose i am intrigued by the idea of "choosing" to be disappointed or not. Not sure that I think this is an entirely "chosen" type of thing. Sounds a little like trying to lift yourself up by one's shoelaces...or be different than one is. That is not to say that I don't believe in thinking positively, but, I also don't believe in avoiding the reality of where we are at.

Fair enough...oftentimes we can change things, with just a slight shift of attitude or readjustment of our lenses; but, sometimes the disappointment is speaking a personal truth...a voice from the deep folds in our souls. It speaks to us of silent, secret expectations.

I think it might be an interesting question to ask (and blog about) what might those expectations be, that caused a sense of disappointment.

Just a thought. Keep blogging x