Dreams

Had my first ride related dream last night. At least that I recall. Started out in a big city by the sea. The map said LA. As I was riding out of town, there where lots of roadworks (although not much traffic). This makes sense, I think, since I’m more worried about the terrain than traffic. Eventually, the route got off the road and was a path through the woods. I kept checking the map to make sure I was on the right path but the map said yes. The path was mainly pine needles and half hidden tree roots. As it got steeper, I left my bike behind and started to walk instead. After what didn’t seem like any time at all, I ended up back in LA by the coast where I had started. The last thing I recall was a guy driving me out of town to get back to where I had left my bike. We passed a building where a black woman was standing in a window playing a stringed instrument that I didn’t recognize and singing (to me, I think) as I passed. Interpretation, anyone?

This morning, the person who will most likely be my last student had his Bar Mitzvah. I listened to some of the recordings I made for him 5-6 months ago. I had to listen for a while before I could actually acknowledge that was my voice. This Bar Mitzvah was particularly poignant in that thirteen years ago, on a rainy November afternoon, I spent some quality time with his parents. And eventually him. In his speech, he mentioned that I had been there for his birth. He thanked me for being a big part of the two most important events of his life so far.

Bike and arm modifications are finished. Thanks to all who participated. Have a couple of wrist and thumb braces to give my hand stability. No, the bolt does not go all the way through but might actually be helpful if it did. I also have an adjustable head and neck support that clips on and off as needed, to my riding shorts.

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I have an elbow brace which I do need but weight is an issue. The wrist brace weighs a few ounces but even that adds an extra layer of difficulty with arm mobility. May just save it for days when I have lots of downhill. We put a bar across the top of my aerobars which, along with the wrist brace, will hopefully stop my hand from popping off the bars every time I hit a pothole. And as an added bonus, it also doubles as a GoPro mount.

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Lastly, I have a shoulder brace. My shoulders don’t really need bracing but I could do with the padding on what I see as the inevitable falls. Is it comfortable? No, but it may be the difference between finishing the ride and not. I looked at more substantial gear with better padding but I looked more like an extra in Game Of Thrones, so went with the minimalist approach.

IMG_8286Whether I’m awake or asleep, it appears that this is the ride of my dreams.  Although these are not exactly the circumstances under which I envisioned doing it. It’s been almost ten months to the day that the neurologist suggested we do the ride this year. Ten months since the idea was just a germinating seed. Ten months since I thought… there’s no way in hell I can be ready this year. Yet here we are. There are so many people I owe for the fact I’m actually about to do it. I needed pedals. Pedals were donated. I needed back-up wheels. Wheels appeared. The cycling community donated money for the spare parts I’ll need on the ride. Drew, my mechanic, came in on his days off to get my bike ready. Tomorrow it all comes together and we hit the road (hopefully, just figuratively). Took this photo on my last Illinois ride. I’m guessing the scenery will most likely be a bit different tomorrow.IMG_2417

I keep a journal. Have for as long as I can remember. It’s where the seeds of most of the ideas I write about come from. I wish I knew if the difficulty I’m having holding the pen to write is because the weather is getting colder or disease progression (yes, this far in I can still find a use for denial). I am constantly revising what I will do with the available time we have. Certain tasks take precedence based on which parts of my body are being affected. I try to come up with a tentative timetable of ability. But unfortunately ALS presents a moving target. The only time we can ever be really sure of is now. And now! This is what’s about to go down.

At dawn

Peace, love and midwives

Ray

23 thoughts on “Dreams

  1. Ray, my sense is that the woman in your dream is singing with you, or perhaps for you. The old Negro Spirituals were deep laments where the one singing is expressing sorrow and love and commitment with the one suffering and experiencing pain… Ride on, Ray! … Just my sense.

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  2. Rock on Ray…….obviously the obstacles ( branches and pine needles ) are weighing on your mind, but we ( your support ) are all the woman singing to you ……telling you that you can do it ….you have already accomplished more than most humans and for the greater good ! Love, peace, and positive energy heading your way…..most of us cant’ be on your journey with you ( even if we wish we could )…..but we still go with you in spirit……soak it in…you got this !!!

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  3. Have you ever read The Stand – Stephen King. If you have you know that after the plague you will end up on the good side. If you haven’t there was a lady sitting on the porch playing guitar with chords she could no longer play due to age. She was a good woman collecting good people. You are good people. x

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  4. **Had my first ride related dream last night. At least that I recall. Started out in a big city by the sea. The map said LA.

    Angels near the ocean. the ocean being where all life comes from.

    **As I was riding out of town, there where lots of roadworks (although not much traffic). This makes sense, I think, since I’m more worried about the terrain than traffic.

    the road is your life. Not many people travel the same road as you. Roadwork is self-explanatory.

    **Eventually, the route got off the road and was a path through the woods. I kept checking the map to make sure I was on the right path but the map said yes.

    Life has not gone the way you expected, but you have been assured that this is, indeed the path you are to take.

    **The path was mainly pine needles and half hidden tree roots.

    this is the unexpectedness of your life, “half hidden tree roots”, bumps and inconsistencies. “pine needles” must be slippery under bike tires (i am not a bicyclist, but i know i don’t like riding my motorcycle over pine needles any more than i like sand or fine dirt on pavement).

    **As it got steeper, I left my bike behind and started to walk instead.

    Progress, even slowed and with increasing difficulty, is progress, nonetheless.

    **After what didn’t seem like any time at all, I ended up back in LA by the coast where I had started. The last thing I recall was a guy driving me out of town to get back to where I had left my bike.

    Life is a circle. You know that better than any of us. it is a process, and we all return to the place life starts. The ocean, the angels. you are going back to where you left your bike – on overview of your life until that point. you are not alone in your review, never have been, never will be.

    **We passed a building where a black woman was standing in a window playing a stringed instrument that I didn’t recognize and singing (to me, I think) as I passed. Interpretation, anyone?

    you are being given a glimpse of those that watch, those that guide and those that encourage us, unseen.

    Of course, everything i believe may be wrong.

    Brightest blessings on your continued journey. I wish i was on your route.

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  5. Ray,you are an inspiration to us all. You touched my family’s lives in April of 96. Dr Doom gave us all kinds of bad news. In your soft spoken voice,you calmed us, and reassured us. I will follow you on this absolutely cool ass ride you are taking and hope and pray that you complete it without incident. YOU AIN’T FUCKING DEAD YET!!!!!!! And neither am I.

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  6. Freedom ahead as the roads beckons. You are alive to fulfill your dreams. A life fulfilled is the ultimate goal for us all. Be magnificent.

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  7. Ray, you’re gift for expressing yourself goes beyond any words that I can find in response. Your spirit, your wit, sense of humor, and insights, are razor sharp in their incisiveness, with your strong sense of presence and being present in each moment, each thought, each point you share…Amazing. I’ve read each of your engaging, tactile entries. The words, the way you say what you say, are crystal clear and alive and filled with such beauty. You are a traveler, a journeyman, on this road, the ride of your life, RaysLittleRide.

    I remember our brief conversation about the words of the Torah, about getting them right during the readings when called up to do so. About that perfection. I’m hearing even more of where you’re coming from in reading your blog, to give a glimpse of you living your own sense of Torah.

    You’re right. None of us knows how we will respond given our set of circumstances, conditions, the cards we’re dealt. So, we play it where it lies, and and sometimes, we are called upon, feeling as if we have no choice, but to face what we do head on, in that headwind, to stand our ground. Henani. That’s right. “I me here”. “Here I am.” That affirmation. That sense of being alive, of life itself, of being a part of all that, right now, at this time – the Shehecheyanu…

    And, yes, how right on about “the fuck it list vs. the bucket list”, like a celebrity death match, the fuck it list is geared toward life.

    Stay your course as best you can. To keeping your body and purpose strong. Right on, Ray. Ride on. –Mick

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  8. Ray, you’re gift for expressing yourself goes beyond any words that I can find in response. Your spirit, your wit, sense of humor, and insights, are razor sharp in their incisiveness, with your strong sense of presence and being present in each moment, each thought, each point you share…Amazing. I’ve read each of your engaging, tactile entries. The words, the way you say what you say, are crystal clear and alive and filled with such beauty. You are a traveler, a journeyman, on this road, the ride of your life, RaysLittleRide.

    I remember our brief conversation about the words of the Torah, about getting them right during the readings when called up to do so. About that perfection. I’m hearing even more of where you’re coming from in reading your blog, to give a glimpse of you living your own sense of Torah.

    You’re right. None of us knows how we will respond given our set of circumstances, conditions, the cards we’re dealt. So, we play it where it lies, and and sometimes, we are called upon, feeling as if we have no choice, but to face what we do head on, in that headwind, to stand our ground. Henani. That’s right. “I am here”. “Here I am.” That affirmation. That sense of being alive, of life itself, of being a part of all that, right now, at this time – the Shehecheyanu…

    And, yes, how right on about “the fuck it list vs. the bucket list”, like a celebrity death match, the fuck it list is geared toward life.

    Stay your course on this ride das best you can. To keeping your body and purpose strong. Right on, Ray. Ride on. –Mick

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