Saturday, June 25, 2022

Borrowing a Title

All sizes welcome
The previous post began with a reference to Guitar Ted (Mark Stevenson). He writes a daily blog covering gravel biking, gravel bikes, news and views, and guitars. A title which he uses periodically for a post is, "Randomonium." This title provides a broad spectrum for rambling, ranting, and going wherever he chooses. I am following his lead in this writing. The title "Randomonium" will also be seen here in the future.

During recent stops at the local bike shop I use (Paramount Sports) I noticed that e-bikes are multiplying


faster than bunny rabbits. Every aspect from sleek, pavement cruisers to burly, all-wheel drive, all-terrain, fat-tire behemoths crowd the store. There are purists who denounce these means of conveyance. They believe a true bicycle is solely human powered. They bemoan the use of electric assist. Often these antagonists ride their carbon fiber, carbon rimmed, tubeless tired, electronic shifting, hydraulic disc braked bikes on their merry way. Long gone is the single speed, coaster brake, Firestone branded bike which I was ecstatic to ride as a teenager. Personally, whatever gets a person outside to enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds that are not generated from a screen is great! The day is coming when I will gladly ride a two or three wheeled e-machine.

On the shelves and in my world
After a deluge of sump pump sales the precipitation has subsided. Stores can restock these necessary items. Over the years of living in the Red River Valley of the North, I have benefited, cursed, and replaced more than a handful of these submersible pumps in cold, dank basement pits. Over the years I have encountered more than a few people who act like sump pumps. My sense is that we all know a few. A characteristic is to draw down any positive outlook and/or energy while smoothly inviting me into a dark place. While these interactions are a function of human relationships, I attempt to avoid long-term encounters if at all possible. I have experienced (I have no supportive analytical data) an increase in sump pump people. There seems to be a mesocyclone of negativity, "poor me", and Eeyore cloning during the last decade. In order to maintain a balance of optimism and realism (beside living on an upper floor) I limit my encounters with individuals appearting "sump-ish." My preservation of perspective is worth the awkwardness of setting boundaries. By the way, this includes the realms of social media and news media. Sumpy stuff is  everywhere! 

Thomas Jefferson, along with being the third president of the United States, was instrumental in formulating the Constitution. Jefferson had numerous personal conflicts and practices which showcased his inconsistencies. Yet one of his understandings is clear in this quote, "The earth belongs always to the living generation." In his view every nineteen years (in his time a generation) the Constitution should be rewritten to serve the living generation, not the past. One generation should not force its perspectives onto the next.

Etched in stone
I ponder, what is a living document? We have codified, glorified, and sanctified the Constitution and Scriptures. These have become museum pieces, battering clubs, and sacrosanct shrines. Words and phrases like inspired, infallible, and God-given are used as fences to keep these vestiges of history untouched. Again, do these images portray something that is living?

I am puzzled how the words, "life" and "choice" have become labels which seem miles apart? I believe life is full of choices and choices birth life lessons. The recent Supreme Court decision have groups applauding and holding picnics with free hot dogs while other groups are marching and protesting. One group is developing new strategies to win what was "lost", while another group gives high-fives because their decades long strategy has given them the "win." It appears we have found our way into slimy and fear-filled trenches where polarizing political prattle is hurled at each other. The living documents have become brick fortresses. All we hear are the echos of like minded people. No dialog, no seeking of understanding, no seeing one another as human creatures can arise from our self-selected tombs. Yet new strategies are constantly crafted in order to claim a victory, no matter how short. 

In 1966, Stephen Stills wrote a song which was sung by the group Buffalo Springfield. The song was titled, "For What It's Worth." I think these words are still profound:  "There's battle lines being drawn. Nobody's right is everybody's wrong...Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. It's time we stop. Hey, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down."

I am going to ride my human powered bike before I transition into an e-bike. I continue living while recognizing the needs, insights, and efforts of younger generations to make decisions. Finally, hope is not a strategy. Hope is the expectation of a good yet to come. I am hopefully optimistic!  

Life + beauty in the turmoil

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