He’s just gone to a better place.
I haven’t updated the blog in a while as I’m a little sleep deprived from trying to pack a vacation within a vacation for the past couple of weeks. What’s a “vacation within a vacation” you ask? Well the vacation part is traveling to Italy and Austria with your wife (who does not ride) – awesome enough on its own merits as Europe offers enough interesting culture and delicious food to eat that you can make a living just writing about it – ask Rick Steeves. The “vacation within the vacation” part is trying to pack as many bike rides as humanly possible into the hours before sunrise and breakfast along with continuing to do all the other touristy stuff until late into the night. If you can burn the candle at both ends it’s the best of all vacation scenarios. But coupled with the inevitable jetlag and tiring nature of trying to pack as much as possible into the little bit of time you’re alloted to travel, inevitably you find yourself back at work in a dream-like state wondering “who is that person typing out emails and acting all corporate again?” Which is exactly where I find myself today.
Sitting back at work cooped up in the little cage of my own making draws the distinction between where I am and where I’d like to be as crisp and clear as a mountain stream in the hallucinations of a man dying of thirst. Unless you’re a workaholic who is totally wrapped up in your work, that person who shows up at work every morning is in some respect nothing but a shadow within the dream of yourself. To some it might even be a nightmare within a dream. I prefer the shadowy, sleep-deprived figure of myself that took this photo somewhere in the dream that is Austria. I won’t do a great philosopher the disservice of paraphrasing his words to include some pithy bike reference, but I think Chuang Chou summed it up well:
“Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things”
Look for a few entries from this trip in the next few days plus some tips from me on having your own “vacation within a vacation” by traveling with your bike. It’s worth the hassle!