Tag Archives: harley davidson motorcycles

Not Always Pretty

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Its much easier to watch a potter mold and spin a vase than to thrust our own hands into the clay. Just as its easier to observe life, rather than partake in, and of life. Doing so gets messy at times. I don’t like messy – most people don’t.

Unfortunately, life requires of us to get our hands dirty.  When it is required of me however, I do so with deliberate movements and clear intent. And when the clay begins to flop wildly as it spins on the table, my gentleness is forced to step aside. As its obvious the clay requires a stronger hand.

For as painfully compassionate as I am, I am not passive. As kind as I am towards others, their actions never go unobserved. When one’s actions take a maladjusted turn, I have to throw onto the table not only the clay, but my feelings as well. Once at that point, my back is no longer yielding.

When someone unleashes words of bitterness, often it has more to do with how they view themselves than the person toward whom their words are directed. Knowing this, I try to approach the situation with flexible allowance and love – to an extent. Love is a gift we give another, without thought of return. It’s not a commodity. Our compassion, when shown, should have little conditions. This being the manner in which I love those closest to me.

But there are moments when extending love for another, the love we have for ourselves, becomes compromised. That’s when things get exceptionally dirty. When that happens we have to make a choice. For me to love another, it begins by loving myself. This is not a selfish belief. Quite the contrary. It is the foundation from which I treat others. I would never treat another in a manner that would harm myself if done to me. How something would make me feel is the gauge by which I measure my own actions. And there is no excuse, no justifiable cause that would make it acceptable for me to mistreat another. And I sure as hell won’t accept it, if done to me. As the saying goes: Do unto others, as you would have them do to you. This keeps in check how I treat others, but is also keeps in check how I allow others to treat me.

So as much as it may seem easier to let the clay spin out of control. It’s best to stop the wheel; glide the taunt string under its surface; releasing it from the table, and start again.  Such is true with people. Such is true with life.

Sane

This post was written to: The Keepers by Santigold 

Underwater Pursuits

everythingsgold.blogspot.com

At the close of July 2004, I came within two millimeters of losing my life in a motorcycle accident; with twelve bones broken, part of my abdomen lost and a brain hemorrhage. I recovered completely. During recovery, my marriage imploded. I pursued a divorce, things got worse, as they often do. I recanted my desire with hopes of preserving the family unit.

In July of 2005 my son was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. During the following year and a half, he endured intensive radiation and chemotherapy. He recovered, completely.

In 2009 I hit my lowest point. Once again, my depression begged that I gracefully remove myself from this journey. Instead, I wrote my first novel, and asked for a divorce. This time, I didn’t back down.

In 2010 my husband drained all the funds from the bank accounts and threw our business into a tailspin from which it wouldn’t recover. A day after he diverted funds from the accounts, FedEx, the company to which our business was subcontracted, gave me two choices, to be fulfilled in two weeks: find a buyer or they would seize all assets. One buyer appeared, despite all odds. And on the last day, in the final hours, I signed over what took a decade to build.

So here I sit in 2012. The divorce I started in 2009 came to a close late in December of 2011. I don’t have any real answers as to why life takes the turns it takes. Many say all things happen for a reason; lessons to be learned. If so, I’ve earned a PhD in life. But even so, I’m inclined to agree. I feel as though I’ve lived a few lives all funneled into this one. I’m tired. Yet, everything that happened in my life brought me to where I am right now. And now is where I need to be. I hate to think of the mess I was in the beginning that required so much teaching. Hopefully, its nothing like that. Rather, the more our soul wants to grow, the larger the steps we must take. And those steps aren’t always found on stairways of crafted oak or marble. Instead, they’re often the painful movements made to overcome something that, at the time, seems larger than life.

It’s All A Matter Of Taste

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It’s important to know what one wants in life. This extends far beyond what may be wanted from another, but also what is wanted from oneself. I have settled into a time in my life wherein I know both.

Here in my blog and also in my novel, I compare love and desire to that of food; the way the right taste can touch the tongue and send the body into a flurry of satisfaction and joy. How the taste of something delicious can linger within the mind long after the last drop of flavor has vanished. The way the thought of it will appear within the mind afterward and with a sense of longing.

When it comes to men, I don’t like Twinkie’s, Moon Pies or cotton candy. I’ve sampled a few and inadvertently married one. Life’s a buffet, they say. If so, it’s important as we move through life to develop our tastes. And if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that I need substance. I realize these fluffy treats have their place, except that place isn’t with me. I like a meal. I want a man who can offer an appetizer of enticing conversation, an entrée of a well-developed mind and the kind of dessert found only within a passionate, deep soul.

I shy away from a man who works ardently to craft six-pack abs. Instead, I like a man who works to develop his mind, his heart and his integrity. Within the first few conversations with a man, I know how I feel. The questions that are asked, their attention to the details, and the way they observe the world, these are the things that matter to me.

Oddly enough, the way I view a man’s internal being; his mind, his heart and his perception of the world, shape what I see externally. What is on the inside, colors what is on the outside. So when everyone else is ogling the chiseled and bronzed stud slowly emerging from the water; I’m noticing the man in the background, the one that doesn’t seek the attention – the man with the chiseled mind.

Sane

PS ~ Sorry for my absence, I’ve been tired as of late. Thank you for your notes and emails.

No Complaints

S. Hoffman Archives

My grandparents, Elwon and Dorothea Hoffman, members of the Detroit Motorcycle Club. Circa 1941

It was late July, the sun hadn’t quite set and in the sky was perched a blue moon.

My Harley rumbled calmly beneath me as I leisurely made my way home. Things were peaceful. It had been an uneventful ride and I had only a few miles left to go; by now, my thoughts had settled into the methodic rhythm of rubber rolling on pavement.

I have no memory of the hour that followed, when the deer hit the side of my bike. My mind, it seems, has spared me the tragic imagery of the moment. Instead I only have memories of the peculiar time when I was allowed access to my subconscious mind, and I will never forget what I saw and felt while there. But this post is about the celebration of life, and in that moment of subconsciousness it was revealed to me that our physical body is merely the small tip of the iceberg as to who we are. I peeked at the vastness that rests under the water; the sight of which, has forever changed my outlook on life.

When I was forced into consciousness it was told to me that my brain was hemorrhaging and that I broke numerous bones; some of which, the surgeon revealed, are near impossible to break. I broke that particular impossible to break bone – twice. He was amazed. I didn’t know what to think.

I remember while recovering, sitting in the office of my orthopedic surgeon. He disclosed to me that never before had he encountered a patient with so much injury that didn’t complain. I had, after all, twelve or so broken bones all along my left side. He then asked about my pain. I was thrown a bit by his question, but as is always the case, I offered a very sincere answer. I said, “Yes, I’m in horrific pain. But I almost died. So, the way I see it is, I have two choices, to be alive but in pain – or dead and feel no pain at all.”

He sat quiet for a moment, then said he sees people with a lot less damage, yet all they do is complain. I don’t know about them, but I know about me. And I was given a gift – the gift of life. I was allowed to see my kids another day, and hopefully for many after that. And I knew that if I could only push through the pain, I’d one day emerge: healed and whole. Reminders of that accident can still be found on my body. But I don’t mind. They remind me that I was given a second chance. So no – I have no complaints.

Its A Marvelous Night For A Moondance

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Have you ever considered for what you would ask, if given three wishes? Today, after a very empty day, I considered such a fictional idea. Like all of my blogs, my deepest thoughts are shared here with you; those living only half a mile from me, and those living halfway around the world from me. I value you all, regardless of distance.

If ever I were to stumble upon that mythological bottle consisting of a genie wanting only to grant my deepest desires I would first wish for peace and happiness for those I love. As this is an all-encompassing wish, it would ensure that a smile rests upon their faces and contentment fills their hearts regardless of how it got there. For some, it means the release from disease, for others it means the appearance of a true companion, for others it means freedom from financial worry. I don’t care in what manner it arrives. My only wish is that it finally does. My life is made better when those I love are happy.

Second, and this one sits quite deep, I wish for my one true love. It’s a fanciful notion but one that rests within my being on a cellular level. A man who is beautiful in mind, character and deed. One that loves my children without limit. One that wants only to see me smile. I’ve never had anyone want to fill my life with happiness, but I have to imagine it would be nice. Selflessness sits at the base of true love, and that is what I would want, and that is what I would give. To know that I am no longer alone in this journey, that I have a friend, a lover and all that rests in between.

Third, I would like my work shared with those for which it was written. On days like today, I contemplate never writing again. Only because it has lost its fun and value. Its like deciding to never love again though. It’s a decision made out of disappointment and pain; not from a lack of desire. So if that genie looked me hard in the eye and asked for my deepest desire, it would be to write without worry. I am at the tipping point, so how nice it would be to find that bottle when I take my sunset walk tonight.

I want everyone to find this bottle and have a chance to live the life of their deepest dreams. It seems only right. I can’t imagine why we are here, if not to be happy. As superfluous of a thought as it may seem, it is actually very important. It pulls the mind back onto what is truly wanted out of life. When all is said and done, I don’t want all of my days to have been frittered away; senseless and without meaning; to make a dollar only to spend a dollar. I want to have at least tried to live out my desires. I can’t say I will be successful. In fact, today isn’t a day where I will be betting on my outcome. But the desire is still there, regardless of my mind which urges me to leave it all behind. I have one of those minds; the kind that balances precariously between the heart, spirit and mind. When there is balance, I am in heaven. But when down, and the scales tip, it’s an unhappy place. Hence, the second wish, someone to help balance my scales.

If ever you feel lost within yourself, take the time to think about these three wishes. Go beyond the tangible items that are of no value. If anything they cloud our existence. Instead, think of what rests deep within. Ask yourself, if given the chance, for what would you wish?

Yours,

Samantha

The Doctor Will See You Now

S. Hoffman personal archives

Soon it will be a year since my father’s passing. When I think of it, without exception, my heart twists softly with grief; pain from his absence. And behind my eyes, rests a stream of tears I refuse to release. I’ve talked with my father many times over the last year; asking for advice, help and guidance. I can’t say I’ve ever heard him answer. Yet today, as I took my Harley out for the first time in three years, when I said, “Hello Dad,”  I felt him smile.

My father had one comfort while on this planet, and that was riding his bike. Whether as a teen breaking all the rules on his full dressed Indian or as a man of age on his Harley Davidson, struggling to make sense of a world that never felt right – there was no better medicine for his troubled mind and soul than that which he found on two wheels and an open road. I too struggle. And I too find comfort when two lone wheels take me through winding corner after winding corner. Even when surrounded by friends, numerous bikes swarming the road in a tight-knit formation, I still receive therapy.

To ride a bike, one must balance. If they don’t, they’ll fall. No questions asked. So when life has left me unsteady, uncertain and out of synch, once I sit on the seat of my bike I’m forced to find balance. And I always do. I wonder if that was what my father felt, and was that what kept him coming back time and time again to the place where he was forced to find balance in an unbalanced world. When on a bike, moving forward is required to remain steady. For the most part, unsteadiness happens when still. Perhaps that is why so many who are uncertain and have lost their way seek the kind of treatment a bike provides. Balance doesn’t just happen; it requires that we take a risk, move forward and lift our feet. And for many of us, its one of the only ways in which we ever achieve perfect balance.

When I sat on my bike earlier, it felt as though I’d come home; to a special place; the familiar well-worn seat that belongs in the wall-less office of my doctor. No longer inside, held behind glass or walls, I’m open, balanced and steady – I feel Life, and I’m pretty certain Life feels me.

My father used to say, “There’s no law governing how quickly one reaches the speed limit.” And with those words, I moved through the gears like a trigger-finger emptying a clip. In those few seconds, I tried desperately to let go of all that troubles me. After backing off the throttle, I listened to the pipes crack in protest; the sound of a motor content running hard, now harnessed into submission. I soaked in the familiar rumble as if it were the voice of a gentle, yet strong friend, reminding me to not give up. I find a kindred friend within the voice of my bike. I wonder if my father did too. Maybe that was why he always rode alone, so he could listen to that voice. I never got the chance to ride with my father – not, that is, until today.

In dedication to my father. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Sane