I push down on the pedal, and pull up on the other... and I feel a sting on my arm. For a split second, I feel a flash of shame, thinking this sting is something of which I do not speak. But then I remember the night before in the tattoo shop. I let my mind wander through the mazes of cycling meditation and experience the winding road in front of me. I think to that moment on the land when I felt shame. It was so expected and so surprising at the same time. I had been there for something like 10 days and had not even remembered the marks that advertise my self-hatred, my struggles, my shame. I felt a tornado of emotions from fear to elation to confidence to happiness to love to anger to exhaustion to those unnamed feelings that happen only on the Land.... but no shame. And we sat there in the field and it came in a flash but took over my body like a jolt of electricity trying to kill me from above and below and beside... And much like electrocution, I was not the only casualty. You reached over and pulled down the fabric of my skirt. I can only imagine that you were trying to hide the reminders of my imperfection, your vulnerability, our similarities.
And my mind wanders down the winding roads it traverses as I ride, feeling free and not scared like it has on so many other winding or treacherous roads. You and I really are so similar in many ways, I think. Similar in completely incompatible ways. We both need our independence, but in completely different ways. We both close into shells we have created over the years-- protecting ourselves from the lives we inhabit. We both experience shame in the most intense ways, even though it looks so different on each of us. I have seen that face when you are at your most vulnerable, and as much as you would deny the truth of those moments, I know what I have seen.
But in the end, I am ironically the one who didn't want to continue to grasp on to the "oh shit bar." I am the one who wanted to throw my arms up in the air and scream "weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!' as I hurled myself off the cliff, letting myself fall. In the end, the one ironic difference is that, while you might have seen all, you couldn't ever be seen completely. You couldn't let go of your own "oh shit bar" and just experience the terrifying joy that are the winding roads.
So I will let go without you. Let go of the shame, the fear, and the not strength... and just experience the winding road of now.