Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day #21: The Soundtracks of My Mind

Today's Route: Forks Campground (10 miles N of North Fork, CA) to Fish Camp, CA (17 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 894

I've experienced a dilemma the last few nights as I've laid in my tent at night, with the mesh netting open to the vast, star-speckled darkness.

You see, I'm a stomach sleeper. And so the only way I can fall asleep is laying on my stomach. By laying on my stomach, however, I am unable to admire the night sky. And if I turn over onto my back to enjoy the stars, then I can't fall asleep. What's a girl to do?

As I laid in my tent last night, rolling from my back, to my stomach, and than back to my back again, I heard, "Lucky! Come to daddy!" This was repeated over-and-over again. Just as it had been repeated over-and-over again for the prior few hours. It was a soundbite stuck on repeat. It was as if the CD from which the soundtrack was playing was deeply scratched.

In the key of C, the first syllable of "Lucky" would be a B and the second syllable would be a G. Sing that. Over-and-over-and-over again.

Lucky had gone missing, and Lucky's poor human daddy was searching for Lucky.

When we first heard the man yelling for his dog, we felt sincerity for the lost pet. After awhile, the yells became annoying, and so our sincerity disintegrated into irritation. Then the yells became comical, as other goers mimicked the yell. And, later, when the yells began to sound as if the man was weeping, we felt desperation -- an empathetic desperation that Lucky would be found as well a desperation for the man to shut-up so that we could fall asleep before we lost our minds.

We learned the next morning that Lucky had been found. Good doggie. But as I biked today, the soundtrack of the man yelling "Lucky" was still ringing in my ears. Unfortunately, this had become a sort of neurotic soundtrack.

It's like the small-town grocery stores we've visited on this trip, where a little bell ding-dongs every time a customer enters or exits the store. Ding-dong. Ding-dong. Ding-dong. Ding-dong. Dear lord, that sound drives me crazy! It definitely provides an incentive to run through the aisles, collecting groceries as quickly as possible.

While these soundtracks reside on the not-so-enjoyable side of the spectrum, there is another soundtrack that keeps running through my mind. This soundtrack resides on the enjoyable side of the spectrum.

The enjoyable soundtrack begins playing in my mind every time that huge I-am-loving-this-bike-touring-thing smile crosses my face.

The soundtrack is a song called "You're the Only Thing in Your Way." It's a song by Cloud Cult. The particular lyrics that run through my mind are these:
Fly, baby, fly, until nothing can get you down.
Sing, baby, sing, until it all comes out.
Breathe, baby, breathe, until all is calm.
Love, baby, love...
And then the chorus goes like this:
You are the wind, the flood, and the flame.
Nothing here can get in your way.
You've come too far to care what they say.
Now you're the only thing in your way.
I love this song because it reminds me of how we impose our own obstacles on our lives. We come up with excuses for why we can't pursue our dreams.

I don't want to be a person who gets in my own way. I want to breathe life into my dreams. When it comes time for me to leave this earth, I want to know that I lived the life I wanted to live.

For me, bike touring is one of the ways I want to live my life. When I experience the immense joys of touring, I'm reminded of how grateful I am to be living my own life. I am the wind, the flood, and the flame. I've come too far to let the opinions of others keep me down. There is nothing that is in my way. Including myself.

Now this soundtrack is more than welcome to remain stuck on repeat.

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