25 September 2015

Pedaling Into The Wind--And Understanding Vincent?

On Sunday, I felt I had done a Fall ride, even thought the season hadn't "officially" arrived and the temperature felt more like early summer.  But the signs of the season were there, including fallen leaves on a trail.  And the wind into which I pedaled on my way up to Connecticut had an autumnal tinge to it.

Today, I rode into an even stiffer wind out to Point Lookout.  At least when I rode to Connecticut, I was pedaling Arielle, my Mercian Audax, and could shift gears.  On the other hand, I had to push my way through an even stiffer wind on on a fixed gear:  I chose to ride Tosca, my Mercian fixed-gear, because the route is flat and, well, I felt like riding a fixed gear.

When I got to Point Lookout, I saw this

and thought, "I pedaled into that?!!"

I could feel the effort in my legs, but they didn't ache and I wasn't tired.  I just needed a little nourishment and hydration.  Best of all, I felt I was experiencing an elemental, intimate truth through my senses, as if an old wound had turned into a pore, an ear, an eye.

The wind seemed to be a form of light.  And that light was a motion, the "motion" part of "emotion":  a life force that illuminated and moved everything in a dance of the sprit--which I don't mean in a religious way.

Visions of Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night", "Irises" and "Mountainous Landscape behind Saint-Remy" flashed through my mind.  Of course, there is some visual connection between what I saw today and what Van Gogh painted from his asylum room.  However, I soon realized why I was thinking of Van Gogh, and those paintings in particular:  They, more than any others I've seen, render those transformations and transmutations of light, wind, motion, emotion and the life force I was seeing in Point Lookout.

I then realized that my favorite visual artists do exactly that, each in his or her own way:  The forces of nature and the forces of the human spirit--in other words, the very forces of life itself--become, not only manifestations or expressions of each other; they become each other and they seem to emerge from the canvas, paint, stosne, bronze or whatever the artist used.  

Now, you might think all of this is just hallucinatory rubbish resulting from an overflow of endorphins after riding into a 40-50 KPH wind.  If it is, well, what can I say?  It was still worth it.  The ride, I mean.

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