#109: Hands-free

Forked tree, arms upstretched.
East English Village, Detroit, MI

I’m nearing the end of the new draft. But the toughest work is still ahead, and this week I’ve been thinking about how much trust I’ve come to have in the process. I have to. Have this trust, that is. There are not-insignificant problems that don’t have answers yet, but I know the answers will come. Months ago I dispatched a team to this river and I know that when I arrive with my army there will be a bridge. There always is.

Do you know the feeling I’m referring to, dear reader? Another way to describe it is that it’s like when you first learn to write a bike without using your hands, which I did a couple weeks ago. You start by taking one hand off the handlebar, then let go of the other for a second here, a second there. Then you get stuck. Your tendency is to the hover the one hand, grab the bars as soon as you feel the tiniest tilt and swerve. But at some point a switch flips and you realize, IF I FALL THEN SO BE IT. And you let go. And once you do you notice that your body is really good at not falling off the bike. It’s SO good at not falling off the bike. It corrects itself kinesthetically in ways too quick to perceive. It feels like magic to trust this untamed side of you.

I rode around the east side near the Detroit River this afternoon. Hands-free down some of the smoother, less-trafficked streets. Waved and nodded to people barbecuing in the park, sitting on porches. Some wished me a Happy Father’s Day as I passed, and I said you too. How old do you have to look before strangers start wishing you a Happy Father’s Day? Twenty-five? Thirty?

I’m old enough, I guess.