Friday, November 13, 2009

18th Street Green

I'm lying on the ground, my bike a few yards away  lying also on its side, when I hear footsteps - and bounce back up (for I am not wounded but have been trying get an angle that will frame the potted dahlias and the whole of the church's luscious green door).  I dust myself off, walk with purpose to my bike, scrolling through my pics, culling the worst ones, keeping an eye on the two approaching youths.  Who are, like most people, shorter than me.  I quirk an eyebrow and nod as they approach.

"Hey," says one of the young guys - they're both walking kind of tough, both deep in conversation.  His friend lowers his head, trying to hurry by. 

"How are you guys doing?" I draw my words out - for clarity - because I grew up in a quicker-talking region.  And also to project confidence.  Because there is no one else in sight.

"Good," the first one nods, his friend nods, and they stride on by - hurrying away actually.

They seem as nervous of me as I might be of them.



"I would feel so vulnerable," one of my friends has said, more than once, when she hears I've been biking or walking alone out on the roads. 

But I feel magnitudes less vulnerable when I bike or walk, when I can talk to people around me rather than just zoom past suspicious-looking strangers in their anonymous houses hiding inside my tin can on wheels.




For me, I think for most people, a town or city with pedestrians and cyclists just feels . . . safer.  It's the paradox of defensiveness that the more you try to hide, the more vulnerable you feel.  And you miss out on what's good and real about the place you really are.  Like this green they've painted the Church of Christ.  It used to be grey and grey-blue - safe and sober but a little dismal to the eye - lately, by the looks of things, someone around here seems to have linked UP . . .





 . . . to a brighter Fount of inspiration.  Who likes colors.  Who says, "Fear not." 

Because,

Life is indeed dangerous, but not in the way morality would have us believe. It is indeed unmanageable, but the essence of it is not a battle. It is unmanageable because it is a romance, and its essence is romantic beauty.

Howard’s End
E.M. Forster, 1910





**********
 Okay, Dictionary Muse, you can keep the job - for one more day at least.  Finally, you left off all the "maundering" "nudnik"  "soporific" comments.  And sensibly urged me to at least

asseverate \ uh-SEV-uh-rayt\ , transitive verb;

1.To affirm or declare positively or earnestly.

since suggesting I exhilarate only led to the Slough of Despond.

Even without your spelling it out, dear Muse of the Daily Word, I realized that today's words were a

douceur • \doo-SER\ • noun
: a conciliatory gift
which I accept and give you in return: 25,019 words.  Halfway home.

2 comments:

Mrs. Organic said...

I remain in awe. That chocolate must be tasting extra delicious.

Lisa B. said...

The Slough of Despond. Rotten place. Smells bad. I am trying to figure out how come I end up there so often.

But not you! You are awesome, personified.

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