Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Falling & missing, part I

I was reading the blog of Mad Munkey earlier (well, one of the blogs that this person has) and discovered that this particular blogger has a passion for cycling. In fact, Mad Munkey is about to join what I gather is a rather large competition--and I'm sending my best wishes.

I don't share Mad Munkey's passion for riding a bike, but it got me to thinking about my own bike-riding days when I was a kid. I learned to ride a bike when I was about seven years old, I think. None of those training wheels for me; my beloved older brother would plop me on his bike and hold onto that metal thing behind the seat to help balance the bike and keep me from falling flat on my face. I was always confident that I wouldn't fall because big brother was running behind me, holding the bike, keeping me safe.

Until one day.

There I was, sailing down a slope at the church grounds near our house. I remember the feeling of exhilaration caused by the speed at which I was going, without hardly any effort at all. I turned my head a bit to share my idiotic grin with my brother, and lo and behold, what did I see? The bastard was standing some distance behind, grinning an equally idiotic grin and actually waving at me! My mouth immediately transformed into an "O" of shock--just a tad bigger than my eyes that suddenly grew saucer-like in size at the implications. He wasn't holding onto me anymore! I was alone! I managed to sail on a few more meters before encountering the speed bump in front of our house--after which I crashed most spectacularly. This was during the days of no helmets, no knee pads, nothing. I'm a lucky bastard to be alive. The scars on my legs have faded to nothing, but the memory has not.

Staring at my brother unbelievingly as he grew smaller in my line of vision before disappearing altogether, me crashing, and then getting up with knees and elbows all bloody-- all these can somehow be seen as metaphors. Some of us have become complacent in the knowledge that someone is behind or beside us to save our sorry asses if we take a fall. Then suddenly we find that they aren't there anymore, that they're waving bye-bye and grinning idiotically while doing it.

Alone, we falter. Or we fall. We miss that guiding hand that's there one minute and gone the next.

It can be an unsettling experience, to say the least.


Kiyotoe said...

an unsettling experience but also the kind of experience that molds us into the people we WILL become........a la, spending christmas alone at the tender age of 19. :(

kyels said...

We all falter; but most of the time we do learn how to get up, brush our knees and say, "This shall pass too" and move on.

Whenever I falter and get up, I say that to myself. And try my best not to falter at the same thing again.


Love this post, invoked my thoughts.

Lizza said...

Kiyotoe: Yep. It's just kind of frustrating that we have to go through all sorts of crap to become better.

Now all your Christmases are better! :-)

Kyels: Thanks! Becoming stronger can be painful sometimes.

H said...

Awww. I don't think it's all that bad. they don't let go completely... they let you fall but they're always there to help you kiss the pain away.

And, helmets and knee pads are the sissiest bit of invention in sport. really. no self-respecting child should ever learn to ride a bike with any of these... honestly. what is a childhood without scarred knees and elbows and a million brilliant bruises. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

I've nearly got killed several times learning to ride a bicycle. grin. almost got thrashed too, for riding into an old man's crotch [by mistake].

Lizza said...

That sounds so sweet, letting you fall then kissing the pain away.

The wounds of our childhood were like badges of honor, they showed that you went through some rite of passage. Cool, huh?

Of all the things you could've crashed into, you just had to happen into an old man's crotch??? Hahahaha!

zeroimpact said...

Fell when I bike too...
I wasn't lucky enough to have anyone holding on to me but I try to hold on to anyone that needs it
There's always a silver lining behind the dark clouds

Skittles said...

Of course it can be unsettling. But it can also help us grow. Don't you think?

Lizza said...

ZI: That sounds so nice of you...being there for someone. I agree with the silver lining thing. :-)

Skittles: Yes, I do. Shows us how good can come out of bad and all that stuff. :-)