I am fixated on the pedal stroke, the tap tap tap at the bottom, the swish of the chain like a high hat. I should consider that I am altered. The sun is warm on my shoulders, warm that is for November in Oregon. Yes, I should consider that I am altered, bread and water and cycling. Forget the bread. Just do water.
I should consider that I am altered. I am asking that interminable, nagging question: "Who am I?" and have added the ever popular: "And what I am I doing?"
And I have no answers, except: "I am what is not."
Temporarily satisfied, my mind wanders as I follow the course of the river as it winds it way through ever warming hills. I know what it is doing, on it's way to the ocean. I cannot say the same for this "what is not."
The satisfaction is short lived, and I begin the familiar litany of questions tapped out to the beat of that persistent pedal stroke. "Where is this thing I call 'I'?" "Is it my thoughts?" If so I cannot find a thing there called I. No it is not there. "Is it my feelings?" No it is not there. "Is it my body, my heart, my soul?" No, no physical thing their called I. "Is it my consciousness?" And, yes, as I always conclude it could be this, and yet again no physical thing there called I. And another time, I conclude "I am that which is not." For a time, I lose myself in that tap tap tap swish. Yes, cycling is useful in it's forgetfulness, a meditation on moving.
A river, a city. Thousands of years old. Can anyone count the numbers who have died here? Has anyone died here? For they would be the first to tell you: "There is no one here."
And yet, are these not born, adored, for a time, breath, laugh and cry.
And this. For yes, I am that which is not.