Bicycle Lesson #8 - Rhône Alpes, France

When It Rains It Pours

When It Rains It Pours

Didn't want to bike in the rain.  Made excuses.  Said it was pouring though it was only drizzling.  But here I am.  Glad I came, though now it really is pouring.

Lesson for today:  Do it!  Do it!  Do it!  Practice!  Practice!  Practice!  It's okay.  The ride gets easier.  If I take a break and not ride, it only slows down the process, puts a stop on what's important.

And that gets us to why I'm really here on this hilltop in a rain and windstorm; it is to write my new novel "Marisa," which by the way is going great! Near the end of the first draft but I have to keep at it every day.  Just something.  Anything. Just a thought.  As long as its 1,000 words a day. 

So that 's it for today.  Got to go fill that blank page. Happy Sunday. 

Bicycle Lesson #7 - Rhône Alpes, France

Come fly with me ! ! !"The more you let yourself be distracted from where you are going, the more you are the person that you are. It's not so much like getting lost as it is like getting found."  William Stafford, poet (1914-1993)

View from bicycle.

View from bicycle.

This is a very important lesson for me.  When I ride my bike, I get so focused on where I'm going, which is usually up or down a hill, that I forget the joy of distraction.  Today I stopped on a hilltop and allowed myself to be distracted.  And in that moment I found myself drifting with the clouds and it was grand.          

Bicycle Lesson #6 - Rhône Alpes, France

Get Going!  Marcel Proust called it exercising the authority of his inner self.

I woke up this morning knowing it's Tuesday and I've committed to riding my bike though I'm really not into it. This early in the morning I'd rather be in bed reading.  But once on my bike, I take off down the hill and immediately start feeling really good.  And now I'm on my way home with the results of my work; a baguette, a good workout, and several new ideas I want to put to paper. 

I realize I do the same with my writing. I go to work at my desk saying I have to do it as if it is a terrible chore. When actually once I get going it is the most fun thing in my life. 

"No Day Without A Line" - said Apelles, Beethoven and van Gogh

There is no bike lesson today.  As I am a practicing writer I also like to discuss writing. And today I was inspired by this quote and looked it up to find out its history:

The original quote came from Apelles, an ancient Greek painter in 4th Century B.C.:  "Nulla dies sine linea."

Then Beethoven (1770-1827) said, "No day without a line" in answer to how he accomplished so much work as a composer.

Then along comes van Gogh (1853-1890) who wrote in "Letters to Theo" (an extraordinary, intimate, and uplifting correspondence about the work of one of our greatest painters):

"Not a day without a line.  By writing, reading, working and practicing daily, perseverance will lead me to a good end."

That's it!  That's what you gotta do, whatever your creative expression is.  Now if I can just apply it to my own daily work I'll finish this mansucript before the end of summer in la Drôme and turn it into a novel!!!

Bicycle Lesson #5 - Rhône Alpes, France

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body but rather to skid in sideways thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "What a ride!"

Goats grazing on bike trail.

Goats grazing on bike trail.

Today's lesson was difficult!  I just couldn't find the energy to pedal up the final hill and had to stop.  Looking down on the goats who felt as enthusiastic as I did reminded me of this anonymous quote I use to get going.

I got back on my bike and pedaled hard and when I reached the top of the hill, I loudly proclaimed, "What a ride!"