Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Bikes: 2006 Giant Cypress EX (7-speed internal hub)
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Technology, poetry, and bikes
I've been reading The Road Washes Out in Spring
, by Baron Wormser, a Maine poet's account of living off the grid. Although the following passage doesn't ostensibly have anything to do with bicycles, I thought its comparisons of technology and poetry reminded me of how some transportational cyclists view the difference between driving a car and a bike, so I thought I'd share it. Enjoy!
Technology famously gives us a sense of control; it harnesses material predictability, be it x-rays or radio waves or engines. Poetry, however, twists and turns as it focuses on what is, yet seeks to express the inexpressible. There is more to any moment than meets the eye, science knows that well. So, too, does poetry, but it has the temerity to delight in our unknowingness and vulnerability. Living in a house whose technologies were primitive felt like living inside a poem -- we were creating a life that took its reasons for being not from the practical dispensations of science but from emotional impulses. We weren't disavowing science -- how could we? We were, though, as we sought to feel the immediacy that resided in simple living, uninterested in its imperatives. The inquisitive excitement of modern times, the pageant of experiment, surmise, explanation, and invention, seemed to us beside the point. It wasn't a brilliantly red and orange winter sunrise or a gently raining, peeper-filled, spring evening where you could feel and hear the earth coming to like. It always came after the coaxing, vivid, riveting presence, a patient retainer cleaning up what beggared description in the first place.