I’m sorry I didn’t get to come visit last week when I was “in the neighborhood”. And yes, I know I promised to return at least once a year, and renew my vows in Church of Bike, but well… A funny thing happened on the way to Colorado. I tripped over a little town named Bend. A true bubble town, located in the high desert of Central Oregon. Yes, that same Bend that stole my heart. The one I broke up with you over.
You were right. I was wrong. Forgive me.
You told me the koolade would wear off and it did. Bend wooed me artfully, with his hundreds of miles of singletrack and epic rock climbing. I fell for it: a smitten kitten. For two and a half years we carried on this long-distance relationship, with me traveling from Portland three weekends a month, three seasons of the year. And then the day came and it was time to move. He welcomed me with open arms. It all seemed so perfect.
But bad things happened here. Trauma, immense loss, deep grief, severe injury, surgery, recovery… Recovery. I’m still working on that one. I’m on the road back to myself and the joie de vivre you enjoyed so much, but it’s taking longer than I expected. And it’s compounded by the recent loss of my job, working for the yoga studio I’d helped manage as the marketing director for the past 10 years. Simply put I’m out of work, out of money, and out of luck.
Out of luck. What an odd phrase, when you think about it.
According to those New Age spiritual hacks and their ‘Law of Attraction’, I should be more specific… Not just “luck”, but “good luck” or “bad luck”. I would like to be out of “bad luck” and full of “good luck”, the way I was when we first met. The world was full of possibility then. My heart was open, joyous, full and tender. But ever since I moved here life has been an endless struggle. I’m exhausted by it.
In fact, it has been the darkest hour of my life. Only, this hour has lasted 419 days. No amount of affirmations or positive thinking or sage burning or mantra chanting can help me now. Every minute of every day has been an exhausting fight to recover my former self—the me you used to know: Full of wonder, joy, excitement, a deep sense of the awesomeness of life.
Some people call it depression. My Eastern teachers and gurus all refer to it as my own “dark night of the soul”. Either way, I’m terribly sorry I didn’t trust you all those years back. I suppose I had something to learn from these experiences. I am still not sure I have quite assimilated these ‘lessons’. And yet, here I sit, pouring my guts out to you, my faithful friend, my comfort, my hero, and I trust you of all places will not now or ever abandon me, despite the fact that I have been MIA.
But when I saw you last month, briefly, it was as though no time at all had passed, although my handling skills have improved in the past couple of years, thankfully! Your pal Ross was kind enough to let me borrow a bike to ride Kokopelli, and I know they say “it’s not about the bike” but THEY ARE WRONG! Sometimes it is TOTALLY about the bike! In one ride I abandoned all hope of getting a Mojo HD (sorry Ibis) and sidled up to Trek, taking back every bad thing I’ve ever said about them and their plastic bikes.
Shortly after I was offered an opportunity to get my very own Remedy 9.9 in exchange for some design work. Apparently I can work for blingy bikes, but I can’t find a cash-paying client to save my life. Yes, I’m still doing all the same stuff I used to: Graphic design, web design, copy writing, and some yoga. I’m trying to develop BikeYoga and take it to the next stage, but I need help—funding help—in order to make it happen, so I’m focusing on that, now.
So that’s what I’m working on. All to get me closer to you again. To get me where I’m supposed to be. In the heart of the Rockies.
I hear people comparing Boulder to Bend and it’s quite the unfair comparison. Bend is a true bubble town. Boulder, not so much. Boulder offers jobs, opportunities. Bend offers brewpubs. But mostly, Bend is too far away from you, and from brother Moab, and all your cousins that I have yet to meet down in Durango and St George and all over the Western Slope.
I am sorely tempted to come stay with you for awhile next month and race that 100K on Kokopelli, and just hang out and be a desert rat for about a month. I must find work until I have the funding secured for the BikeYoga DVD production costs, so I need to make my way to Boulder, where the opportunities to promote BikeYoga lie.
I don’t know when I will see you, or for how long, but it will be soon, and it will be for longer than quick run down Kessel’s.
What? What’s that you say? Am I sure I’m done with this “Whoops” character? Yeah, I’m sure. It’s over. There’s a cool dude named Peterson Ridge over in Sisters who’s been kind enough to let me hang out without judging me. He places no demands on me, or trying to sell me anything. He’s a good friend. Kind. Technical and flowy, both. I think you’d like him….
But I digress. Fruita, my friend, my soul, my heart… It’s always been you. You make me more myself, and I need you now more than ever.
I’ll see you soon. I promise.