This rather splendid activity I involved myself in took place in the rural district of Yarramundi. I accompanied ‘the boys’, Ben Irwin, David Wilkinson, Jordan Willis, Jarrod Quigley, Bailey McDougle and John Wright. This group had been forged through a Tabitha elective in which I was not involved with. Despite my absence during the genesis of this group, they warmly welcomed me into their ranks, as one of their own! They went as far to facilitate me a sturdy steed of a mountain bike.
The bike and I grew quite close over our two journeys, tumbling though rocks, effortlessly riding through the toughest terrain in the Yarramundi area and, on occasions, tumbling into the think bush, which enclosed our already small and treacherous riding track. I feel as if the previous sentence was not quite quintessential of the relationship I created with my exuberantly wondrous bicycle. The only way I will be able to express such feelings is through poetry, specifically that of John Dunne. The following exert has been taken from ‘A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning’:
But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.
If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th’ other do.
And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.
I feel as if you too can now appreciate the bond made between man and machine. A bond, which can only be made when trudging through the harshest conditions. Where life can be taken away in a blink. Where every breath may be your last. The trust needed between myself and my monster was something incomparable to anything I have experienced prior to this day. It has changed my life forever. Although, despite this, I am unsure whether or not I am thankful for this burden of sorts.
You see, the bike is not mine! It is a love that I can never fully attain and this harsh reality tortures me in my mundane life; I crave for such a feeling again. My every day life is plagued by the reminded that I will never be able to reach that level of love, trust and respect for anything else in my life. However, on the other hand I am forever thankful and forever in debt of ‘the boys’ for introducing me to my machine, an instrument in which I created art with.
What did I learn from this experience? Yet another mundane question I am made to answer through the unspoken covenant that rules my reflective statements. This is my silent protest to the trivialities of such a question, which insult the very memory of Her. The pen is stronger than the sword, good sir! This is my stand against the restricting rules oppressing my reflective creativity! Despite this quarrel, I will answer your question, WITH ANOTHER QUESTION! What have I NOT learnt from this wondrous experience?
No answer? That is not a problem my good friend, for I am nurturing the answer in my complex and mysterious brain as I type out, with passion, these very words you’re reading. The answer is: I have learnt everything I need to learn for my journeys through Yarramundi. I have learnt love, compassion and understanding, something conventional activities could never satisfy me with. Although, above all, this glorious, some may even say life changing experience, I have gained a connection.
A connection I alluded to in the above text but something that will never be able to be expressed through measly ink stains on paper! No, sir! They are of too high an order, too holy and all encompassing, too paralyzing for a mere mortal to comprehend (Although, Mrs. Menzies, I am sure you’ll be able to wrap your head around it with ease. This being because of your outstanding intelligence and other associated characteristics. Please let this reflective statement suffice for now. I swear I’ll get the rest to you soon!)
As concluding words of any great piece of writing leave you speechless, so will my eloquent speech render you into a mental, paralytic state that will leave you with a feeling of contentedness for the rest of your days.
“Unless I know who I am and why I am here, I can not live” – Dostoevsky
I am now alive.