Saturday, October 13, 2007

In Search of the Miraculous

Those of you who know me are familiar with the idea that I had to ride my scooter to Montreal this fall. Now alot of you have told me not to do it, that it would be dangerous and insane, and that my scooter would break down somewhere in the middle of saskatchewan and that.. well actually at this point in the conversation most of you would just shudder and then go back to something like, "look erik, just dont do it". Scooter problems aside, and yes, I understand that some of you guys are engineers, the general consensus was that it is a "bad idea". What most of you don't realize though is that I had this idea while attempting to ride my BICYCLE to Montreal, and that is what I would classify as a "much much worse idea". Thankfully, that idea wasn't mine, but belongs instead to my good friend Phil, who deserves to be either applauded, or to have his head examined, for having actually done it. Phil rode his bicycle clear across the continent, from the pacific to the atlantic. I dropped out after the Rockies, and took the bus home from Banff. I often cite this as an example of my ability to make good descisions when confronted with the "look erik, just dont do it" arguement. Anyway, the point is that, relatively speaking, riding my scooter to Montreal seems like "not that bad an idea", and actually kinda fun. Along the way I would get to visit my friend Mark in Winnipeg, and I would get to test my mental stamina against a Boring incredible for its colossal singularity (yes I used boring as a noun). Also, the trip would make a modest homage to Bas Jan Ader, a Dutch Californian conceptual artist from the seventies, who is most famous for his final performance in which he set out across the atlantic in a 13 foot sail boat, "In Search of the Miraculous", and disappeared at sea. (his boat was later recovered by the Irish coast guard or something, but his fate remains a mystery) Ader brought with him a copy of Hegels "the Phenomenology of the Spirit", which I have not read, but I now carry a copy of around in my scooter with the dedication on the inside cover "never forget". Which brings me back to Montreal (Je me souviens), and that I ended up taking the plane just because I felt pressed for time. Even at 70 kms an hour it would still take at least 10 days to ride from Vancouver to Montreal, but I still intend to do so sometime, regardless of what you engineers tell me.

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