a personal turn…

Over the weekend – well it stretched out a bit longer – I went on my longest bike ride/cycle tour – and my first fully loaded. A friend was leaving family, hometown and all associated to ride across the country – I joined her for the first two days of the ride (330km) and then rode back (via a different route, 315km). It gave me some to think and dwell on a number of things – more of a personal nature than my usual random ramblings in the context of current events… I am certain these will permeate through the next few posts here as there are a lot of things I want to share, as well as topics I already wanted to write on.

Two things stood out – my sense of time, and also my approach to food. Some days I spent upwards of 9 hours on my bike yet ate maybe less than half of what I normally consume. I was not hungry at all (I did consume a lot more water) and had so much energy. My metabolism is still high and I have a lot of energy…

What struck me, and I thought I would share my thoughts on, is the impact that my friend getting on the boat had on me. Writing about it today I realized we had only met a month ago… After we had a rushed good-bye (which I had not pondered before it happened at all) and I waited for her to come out on the deck so I could take a pic, I could feel tears welling in my eyes… That we may never see each other again…

I new this was the case, and I have met other people whilst travelling and this is the way things go. I also have had many discussions with friends back home regarding friendships/ lovers when one moves away and that it is not a bad things, rather we should embrace the moments/enjoy what was had – recognising the for how special they are/were. I tend to embrace this, yet still felt a little choked. Maybe it was a self-ish reaction? We had connected on many levels and I will miss that – more-so I think than anyone else I had met so far on my travels…

I do not really know what I am trying to say… I felt the urge to write about it, and also make this a message for them(?). I guess to thank them for the experiences, letting me share them, and also to wish them all the best for their amazing trans-Canada adventure??

The ride together was an amazing experience in itself. We slept in community areas/public spaces that in essence is ‘illegal’. The first night (and the second) I was restless thinking on the ‘naughtiness’ of it all. I often felt that I was ‘cheating’ somebody out of something, that what I was doing was wrong. This all emanates from the mediating of my life via capital and the notion of property. I can now more-clearly see the unmarked demarcation of private property, the associated reduction and non-use of public space, and the panoptic shift in attitudes towards what constitutes public space and acceptable use.

I even found myself trying to make arguments to justify, on economic grounds, why it was ok for me to be camping out in public space, that somehow I needed to justify it in terms of capital (i.e. bringing money into thee town). This is what our lives have become, reduced to dollars and cents, dimes and quarters… Not about the actually experiences and enjoyments we can have, meeting people, live, community, mutuality…

Seeing so many non-city folk and talking with them helped to remind me that these things do exists and panoptic/hegemonic implications of the exercise of power over (i.e. capital) is not so pervasive that it is all encompassing. These people create their own subjectivities on the periphery of capitals implications… it might be generally white and middle class in these small towns, yet these cannot be ignored. The same can be said for small towns of lower economic status…

To return to the personal, I guess it is in a world so lacking of ‘community’ that is imposed on us – whether hegemonically/ economically/ panoptically – that I am trying to hold on to things so it might be very much largely selfish. To relocate to the other side of the world and meet someone special and the fear of not finding other friends as such… again I am not really sure what my feelings are/what I am trying to say?? I am sure I will come back to this…

Gwen, I wish you all the best in her trans-Canada journey… I really enjoyed the experiences we had and thank you for them. Much love and thank you.

One thought on “a personal turn…

  1. Hey Colin,
    I decided to check out your blog given that i have 3 days left ’til thesis submission date and clearly lots of time to p.r.o.c.r.a.s.t.i.n.a.t.e about the all-important conclusion.
    anyway nice work.
    just thought i might write and let you know that me and Brandon were discussing the other day the practice of eating placenta:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placentophagy
    and thought of you when we read the statement: “for some vegans placenta may provide an opportunity to eat meat without harm to a living being”
    hmmm… you vegans are always looking for an opportunity to eat meat aren’t you?
    hope your love life is going well and hope to see u sometime soon…
    ecb and bjg

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