On bikes, crying, and the remedy to helplessness to be found in fixing

I shouldn’t really be blogging this morning — I’ve got my last exam tomorrow afternoon and I’m supposed to be studying — but, when the spirit moves, what can we do but be moved by it? I’d thought that I’d not blog again, or at least not for a while, but this morning the bus didn’t come.

Strange, isn’t it, how some events can lead one to feel strong and seemingly quite unconnected emotions? I didn’t want to wait until the next bus, so I went home to get out my bike — for the first time in three weeks — and ride to school. Being the pedant that I am when it comes to Things (things be right or fuck them off I say!), I couldn’t bear just jumping on the dirty, sad machine, all rained-on and ignored, so I got out my tools and cleaned and pumped and oiled. I knew all the time that there were faults (the rear wheel being a case in point) that would annoy me and make me feel nothing short of miserable, and many times in the three minutes I thought I’d stop and give up…

Like a textbook case of someone being emotionally affected by the smooth-running, or lack thereof, of machinery [is there such a textbook? I’d love to read it!], the failure of my gears to change smoothly this morning nearly had me in tears. I was close to getting off the bike, throwing it in the gutter and storming away from it forever! Nothing unusual in that, though; why do you think I haven’t been riding lately? I knew that this would happen. What came of this though, and what prompted me to blog, was a realisation that in fact it is precisely because I am so affected by the well-workingness of the things around me that I must strive to have them as I wish. If one can be provoked to intense love by nothing more than the particular position of a teapot on a tray (for example), then one must certainly not deny positioning it thus! There is too much at stake to shrug it off, to say that it doesn’t matter, to *try not to care*. Nothing is more important than paying attention to the things that you care about!

My cycle’s grinding gears made me sad, so I plotted — the cable needed to be loosened by a bit less than a millimeter I figured — and I stopped, did what needed to be done, and huzza! hooray! glory be to the god of the cog! it worked! and my bike ran smoothly all the way to town. I smiled. Life was once again, not only okay, but perfect, glorious, joyful and I lov’d it. Riding to school on the bus never would have done this for me.


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