Wednesday, January 6, 2010

of coldness and hardening...

When it's oh-so-cold in January, I take some comfort in this:

Yup, January is cold, but February is, on average, five degrees warmer. And March? Well, that's not even in the same ballpark.


Y'all got a week and a half left before you're back in classes. Here's an assignment to finish up before you come back to school. Find a copy of The Rider and read it.

Here's a favorite excerpt:

In 1919, Brussels-Amiens was won by a rider who rode the last forty kilometers with a flat tire. Talk about suffering! He arrived at 11:30 at night, with a ninety-minute lead on the only other two riders who finished the race. That day had been like night, trees had whipped back and forth, farmers were blown back into their barns, there were hailstones, bomb craters from the war, crossroads where the gendarmes had run away and riders had to climb onto one another's shoulders to wipe clean the muddied road signs.

Oh, to have been a rider then. Because after the finish all the suffering turns to memories of pleasure, and the greater the suffering, the greater the pleasure. That is Nature's payback to riders for the homage they pay her by suffering. Velvet pillows, safari parks, sunglasses: people have become woolly mice. They still have bodies that can walk for five days and four nights through a desert of snow, without food, but they accept praise for having taken a one-hour bicycle ride. 'Good for you.' Instead of expressing their gratitude for the rain by getting wet, people walk around with umbrellas. Nature is an old lady with few suitors these days, and those who wish to make use of her charms she rewards passionately.

That's why there are riders.

Suffering you need: literature is baloney.

Harden up. Soldier on. This weather will make men of your pansy white flesh.

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