It was a beautiful weekend, so I went on a bit of an overnight bike ride around Belgium. Saturday afternoon I set out east and was out for about twenty-four hours. I rode east, then South, then West, and finally North back into Leuven. For some reason I expected a nice leisurely ride through the countryside, just gliding along effortlessly, enjoying the surrounding splendor. It very quickly became apparent that the trip was going to be work. Hell, right from the start it was work as I had to struggle to find the start of the extensive network of trails spreading across the eastern half of Belgium. Finding and staying on the trails was a constant discipline in awareness. The stakes were raised when it became apparent that the trails were not along bike paths, but very narrow one way roads. With lots of blind corners.
The biking itself was often challenging- with cobblestones roads (and no shocks whatsoever), bumpy roads, hard uphills, and an overloaded pack. Thankfully the pack was overloaded with food and water, so I was able to eat my way to an easier ride.
It was hard, often scary work, and it was totally and undoubtedly worth while.
In other words, it was a lot like life. On more levels and in more ways then I can describe right here and now, the ride was like a microcosm of life itself. Including that my expectations at the outset for how the ride was going to be matches how I often think life will be. I cannot really find further words for describing it right now. I took a series of videos on the bike ride, and I plan on doing a commentary on them and posting them online. So please just wait for that.
One more thing I would like to mention is at one point I found this ruined church in the middle of a city. It was obviously set up for tourists, but basically all that was left were a few stone walls. The roof and floor were gone, and grass was growing. I stayed there for about an hour, and felt more connected that that one spot than anywhere else in so far in Belgium. I feel drawn to the few wild and forgotten places. The whole land has been completely inhabited by humans for a few dozen centuries, and, furthermore, even in the middle of the night the city is completely safe. I miss the wild. I miss that which is not an artifact of humanity. One thing I love are the street cats. They are utter badassess. I managed to get a picture of one, and I will post it soon (it is currently on a partition of my hard drive I can't access right now).
Speaking of pictures, I don't want this to become a travel blog. It could easily become a travel blog. So I think I will start a sister blog to act as a receptacle for the events of my trips. Look for it in the next few days. This blog will continue to update with the movements of my spirit, emotions, and mind. The other blog will merely be things that I have seen and done.
Talk to you all later everyone!
Mitch McConnell, meanwhile...
16 hours ago