A line ran through it. My very growing upness. A fissure.
The line between this and that.
Childhood and adolescence.
Adolescence and adulthood.
Education and a willingness to experience.
Stability and the tremble.
The mad tremble that shakes and roars and then cracks--not always wide open, but enough to know the difference between this and that.
The line of regret and its friend mistake
The line of misunderstandings. Step. One two three.
I grew up on a fault line.
I lived on both sides of it.
The San Andreas fault running straight through adolescence and adulthood--carving a mountain pass between the two: a gaping cut in the earth called the Cajon.
Precarious. The Cajon Pass separating the barren desert from what seemed like the rest of the world. Once I had my license, I couldn't stay away from it--taking me to more exotic locales, which, let's be honest just meant someplace, anyplace else. I was not picky. I just wanted to see how the rest of the world lived.
Later in San Bernardino for college, I lived directly on the fault line. Something I was conscious of every day. The fault was often unhappy and would rattle the big books off the shelf above my head. The Shakespeare concussion I called it. I rarely moved fast enough--the heavy Shakespeare book would tumble down from the shelf overhead. The trembling would end, and I'd put the damn book in the same damn spot only to fall again and again.
Shaking the line between me and childhood. I understood we were drifting, collecting new sediment, compounding ideas and textures. Finding new lands.
No one to blame. Simply bodies. Moving. Minds. Moving.
All the while, waiting for the big one. And sometimes they would be big, but more often than not, a slight tremble--enough to know that experience was changing, no more damage than a Shakespeare book to the head. Little cracks. The line between this and that. A small thing. a crack that you step over and find yourself in a new place.
We become a composite of the people and places we inhabit. If we pay enough attention, we know. We know when the tremble will begin and the cracking beneath the surface erupts
between this and that.
The stillness comes first, then a change in temperature, followed by the slow shake.
My defining moments have come from the non-thinking--the dancing, the traveling, the stolen kisses, saying yes when logic dictated no. Moving forward even when the ground shakes. This is when I was/am at my best.
We walked for miles in the sun--my daughter and I. Crossing cracks in the sidewalk.
Both of us traveling into the uncharted, together but separate.
Her, further away from heartbreak.
Me, inching forward into something not yet defined.
The patterns attempting to reveal themselves for both of us.
I live on another fault line now, the slow tremble perceptible for some time. The Shakespeare book has been falling and I've been putting it on the same damn shelf only to have it do the same damn thing. So, I moved it and stepped out of the way onto a new tectonic plate.
In two week's time I am stepping away from my bike shop life. What that means, I'm not yet sure, but I do know it's time for change. My time in the shop was a necessary stop to learn about myself and the nature of people, of using our bodies and minds with purpose, of creating a safe space so that people can find their capabilities.
Creating a safe space even when...
Creating a safe space no matter what...
Creating a safe space as the ground rumbles.
I step out, crossing the line
between this and that.
Photo: Megan Gibbons