ETA: Not least among the surprises, a Blogger glitch. Sorry if this post has been appearing and vanishing like a mirage, hopefully the issue is now fixed.
It's been a week and a half of surprises roundabout Exit 151. Last Sunday evening I was blogging along, organizing links for Bike Month and thinking about submitting a pattern for Summer of Socks – nothing out of the ordinary – when I heard the announcement there would be an announcement. Upon which I stayed up 'way too late, scrapped the blog post I was working on, pondered whether a reference to yarn bombing was inappropriate, and generally upended my Sunday routine.
[Impatient readers can skip this part and resume after all the pretty bicycles.]
Since then I've been surprised by how readily and fervently quarrelsome some people have been over any number of matters more or less related to the death of Osama bin Laden, not least the cost of the war on terrorism, justifications for torture, sharing battle honors, closing the terror gap, and the accuracy of some fake and misattributed quotes. I've also been surprised by the frequency with which theological language has been used to describe events, perhaps deliberately, perhaps unconsciously. It would seem that when sports analogies fall short, only the language of God will do.
I've been surprised, too, by how the visceral memories of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent years came rushing back. I didn't think I'd been avoiding introspection, but perhaps I had compartmentalized memory (not unlike a blog post or a parenthetical remark). I was expecting something like this might happen in September, but not now – in any case, the levee is blown. It's not pleasant. For me, it dampens Schadenfreude; perhaps it's not unrelated to the irritability I've noticed in others. Emotional energy needs to go somewhere. Newspapers, too. I've been following the news reports with great interest, but I have no desire to save and cherish the headlines of the day, however historic – to the recycle bin they go.
From recycling back to cycling.
Coming full circle, or cycle: this coming Sunday is the 9th Annual Tour de Montclair, starting at 10:00 a.m. in Brookdale Park. This is a family-friendly event, not a race – in keeping with the theme, Bikes & Feet on Every Street, there's a car-free route for inexperienced cyclists of all ages and a shorter and longer road route for those hankering for more of a challenge, plus a walk on part of the Lenape Trail. For those coming from out of town, Gary Johnson is leading an easy 9-mile ride from Newark Penn Station to Brookdale Park (click to see quoted text); one could also take NJ Transit to Bay Street. I'll be somewhere in the mix – hope to see you there!