"I've dreamed a lot. I'm tired now of dreaming but not
tired of dreaming. No one tired of dreaming because
to dream is to forget, and forgetting does not weigh
on us, it is a dreamless sleep throughout which we
remain awake. In dreams I have achieved everything."
I am tired. I did not bounce back from the 1000K Appalachian Adventure as readily as I would like. I suppose I grow old or lazy or a combination of the two. Indeed, only yesterday did I do a century ride and it has been almost two weeks since the ending of the adventure, an adventure I did write about but cannot yet share. Yes, yesterday I rode 116 miles with friends from Louisville to Mammoth Cave, or at least most of the ride was with friends.
Near the end I tire, really tire, and I ride in alone not stopping when the others stop for ice cream. I must say I do enjoy parts of the ride, particularly the first fifty or sixty miles, before it becomes a chore rather than a pleasure, and for some odd reason those last few miles when I was alone and the rain fell from the sky hard and steady. a malleable wall to fight. Mental or physical weariness, that is the question, for sometimes when a dream is fulfilled, despite that dream being satisfied, it takes awhile to lose the longing for that dream, to accept it is now a reality, particularly a reality that had a conclusion. For it is the human condition to strive for what we have not yet achieved or to perfect an experience that was imperfect, to be a bit dissatisfied however satisfying the experience. It is why we go on. It is why we dream.
And yet despite being weary, I do cherish the conversation with friends too seldom seen; I do smile and laugh and admire the flowers and the scenery, and I do mourn and let go of something, or at least let go a bit of something that has haunted me for far too long, a might have been that I know very well would not have had a good conclusion for true happiness cannot be achieved on the back of others suffering, at least for me.
The course brings back so many memories of trips to Mammoth Cave, both with friends and family. And I sleep after I arrive and replenish my body, sleeping longer than I have in a number of years other than when ill, and perhaps replenish my soul. Being with my daughter who met me there does me good, for despite being her own person she is half me, bound by blood and the first suckle, bound by years of shared experiences, both happy and sad, and bound by love.
No, I do regret not having to ride home as I have always done in the past other than the year nobody rode home due to unusually inclement weather, or I don't regret it enough to change my mind. For just a moment I worry that I have lost my love of the bike, of the effort, of the joyful way it makes me feel, but deep down I know that soon my bicycle will call to me as a lover calls to his beloved, that I will once again be seduced by his blandishments, and both my body and spirit will answer the call. And I will have new dreams of achievements, some of which will become real and some of which will not, but all of which will nourish my soul. And they will not weigh on me, but lift me upwards to new experiences and other achievements, however minor they may seem. But until I hear his sylvan voice, I will rest knowing that however far he strays he will return. And that even while resting, perhaps particularly while resting, I can dream.