Thursday, October 18, 2012

Darker than a Raven's Taint

Crash, Caution & Princess' Bike

The theater is solemnly dark and mostly still. But somewhere the sound of shuffling, stirring, and rustling can be heard. Shapes, shadows and figures are just blotches here without the light from overhead. 

A thick, ink-black, plush-velvet curtain, drawn closed at the outermost edge of the stage has a small hole in it. The hole shines bright from the light it leaks. A bright beam from beyond, as if shining from the crown of a lighthouse.

Grab the fabric taut with both hands, peer through to see beyond the engulfing darkness. But only bits can be seen, not the entire stage, not all at once. Pivoting the view reveals different aspects, sections, parts and pieces but never the whole stage production. Never enough to get a true sense of where this belongs, or that sits, or how these things relate to those things. Sharp greens, bright yellows, deep oranges scatter the floor and bright white drops shimmer under the harsh spot light and give only a hint of their true nature.

Riding in the near-dark of dusk, shrouded by the thick canopy of century old pines is one thing (see earlier post: Riding Braille), but riding in the dark black of night is entirely different. Day and night different? No. More like the difference between coffee with cream and sugar and black coffee.

This is how I chose to spend my birthday. Me and my two friends, Crash and Caution, with lights strapped to our helmets, rode off into the sea of black. Paradise was empty, completely, save our trio. 

I love riding at night because the problem solving of day riding is amplified at night. With only a small spotlight punching a hole through the deepest darkness its difficult to see the whole problem. Only parts and pieces, sections and samplings but never the whole thing. Never seeing enough to get a true sense of the next obstacle, or corner, or where the actual trail is. Rain-soaked leaves cover the ground with sharp greens, bright yellows and deep oranges. Beautiful but slippery dangerous. I can't wait to go again.

1 comment:

  1. Not really sure what a ravens taint looks like, I'll take your word for it. Where you crazy boys riding Lloyd's Detour, or a trail that you have ridden a few times? Your lights look like your bikes are covered in pixie dust. I know who crash is, so who is caution? Proud to know you are my princess! Happy Birthday, wish I could have been there! I know dad stayed on the street when he rode his bike. Did he do any dirt ridding? When we were in Alaska, we did a few simple miles. A nice pleasure ride from the parking lot to a wild glacier river. Keith fell and hit his shin on a "wild jumping" stump. Have the photo of the lump, the same size of a quarter. He cried like a baby for hours, he would have done better ridding next to the Princess of the Raven's Taint!