Monday, January 14, 2008

Festivities, Pt II

Mostly this post has to do with Hurl's surprise 4-0 b-day celebration (expertly planned by Kelly Mac), but it would be impossible to write about it without mentioning the sad news that preceded the celebration. About 11am Saturday morning April, Sylvia and I headed for a walk toward CRC. One the way we met Matt who gave us the news that Rachel was missing and that her bike had been found by the river. I had been feeling pretty peppy thinking of the night ahead, hanging out with friends -- one of whom I hoped would be Rachel. The last conversation I had with her was awesome. We talked about academics and the decision to go on to grad school in fields that weren't exactly lucrative. We talked about studying things like history and literature for the love of the subject matter, for all that might be learned and conveyed to others. It was theory tempered with knowledge of the real world, a mutual lament that decisions to follow one's heart so often are overshadowed by pragmatic considerations. The conversation took place on one of my final Wednesdays of class. I always went to CRC to study and enjoyed the short talks. She asked me about joining a book club she was thinking of starting. I left intending to drop off a copy of my senior paper for her to read. I never thought anyone beyond a classroom would want to see that 15 page extrapolation of Dracula and Victorian society. But her studies focused on 19th century women's issues. We'd struck a common chord.

Needless to say, I can't express how sudden her passing was. I can't say how many people it has affected. Log onto a host of Twin Cities bike blogs and you'll see. Her friend network went way beyond cyclists, too. I also didn't know her that well. Others are hurting, grieving, seeking answers way more intensely than I am. My thoughts are with you all. Like all momentous events in life, this is a time to reflect, pray, chant, re-dedicate one's life to the consideration of others. Love is paramount.

If you'd like to get right into happy photos, here's the link to the set.

The birthday boy after a short thank you and dedication of the party to Rachel.

No explanation needed.

My bike is the ghostly gray one buried in there. I love bike pile pictures. Think about how much money is wasted on elaborate parking lots for cars.

Hwood and Kristy. Oh, and Zito sharing the love.

Pinata round two. Brauer contemplates something. I think this is one of the only photos I got of Snakebite during his visit. Good to see you, my friend!

Zito, Sov and Blake doing things they all do so well.

Gene O is discussing the upcoming elections with the local authorities.

Paul and Sov derbying. I tried derbying again, but a bike two sizes too small (I grabbed the first one unlocked atop the pile) and a patch of ice I couldn't seem to miss enabled me to win top honors for derbying myself out of the competition. One thing's for sure -- Sov is a Jedi Derby Master.

Impermanence. The fire behind One on One.

Riding home from Matt Anderson's, 3 am, over the 40th St ped bridge. I thought about Rachel the whole ride. I thought about that need to explore freedom on a bike, a freedom those fucks stuck in cars will never understand or know. I thought about the peace of riding well after dark on a cold night -- few cars, few people, abundant quiet. Maybe that's what Rachel had gone in search of on her late night ride -- abundant quiet. A chance to tune in and listen to one's own thoughts. Peace be with you all.

1 comment:

Snakebite said...

Great party! It was nice to meet you and the fam. I'll be back.....