Taking a cycle trip

cycle sign

cycle sign


An unexpected trip yesterday evening (on the doorstep of a friend I’d gone to visit) afforded me the opportunity to sprawl in his hallway and engage briefly with the spokes of his bicycle.

Several fingers bled a little, but there was no chance of my qualifying as a stigmatic.

There’s an old saying: “Pride goes before a fall,” and I briefly wondered whether I had been guilty of some especially prideful thought, word, or deed. But nothing came to mind.

The experience was not something I care to repeat.

It had been many years (if not decades) since I took a tumble – for which I am heartily thankful – but, following a life-threatening accident at eleven years of age, I had been prone to tripping and falling, time and again, as if my body were caught in some psychic repeat cycle.

For years, I harboured deep resentment that the angels of God had allowed me to trip and fall – I did, after all, lose a lot of blood. But eventually it occurred to me that I had not been alone, and I had not bled to death.

Life goes on. And I give thanks.



6 thoughts on “Taking a cycle trip

  1. Derrida offers an interesting distinction, on the one hand we have the future that which is tomorrow, later, next century – will be. With this we have the predictable, the programmed, scheduled, foreseeable. There is however another way of talking about the future, it is that which is to come …

  2. That second meaning of future is where someone is to come whose arrival is totally unexpected. According to Derrida that is for him the only real future. Derrida offers the view that this unexpected arrival, this thing or person about which I cannot prepare, is the true other, and I get the impression from Derrida it’s the really important sense of future.

    • As noted in the Wikipedia article on différance, Derrida asserted that “words and signs can never fully summon forth what they mean, but can only be defined through appeal to additional words, from which they differ.” Our grappling with this fugitive nature of meaning thus perpetuates the experience that meaning is deferred indefinitely. Which may be why we seem always to need to recycle the narratives that emanate from our life experience … but never with sufficient clarity. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diff%C3%A9rance)

      • My reading of Derrida’s point here is how the assumption that meaning and words are the link between the term used and the object it is supposed to denote is a wrong turn. In language there is a gap between words and things. Meaning, I read in Derrida, is the set of relations between language items. What is conveyed in the sentence “Here is a cat” has to be considered in terms of other language both about cats and other efforts to say something about other objects – dogs, birds, etc. This is a process and situation that cannot be exact, as if a one-to-one correspondence of word to object is all that is at stake; meaning is thus always deferred and inexact. I value this fundamental challenge to certitude.

  3. Recognition of “the true other” challenges us to accept it, embrace it, absorb it … thus collapsing the duality. In the well-known words of Lao Tzu: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

  4. Pingback: Reality: too obvious to be true | a twisted pair

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