An excuse is forever

I walked out of my tent the last two nights around two o’clock and ended up staring at the Milky Way, so close you could lick it.

Red Mars, the angry planet, the sign of war, so brilliant in the sky and full of fury, it made me shrink back.

The more I looked the more rooted I was. It’s all there. Everything that ever was and ever will be, in the skies, endless, forever. And Chaucer: “Altho we had it sworn, so stood the hevene whan that we were born.”

I’m deep into this bikelifesoul journey thing and don’t see an end to it anytime soon.

It’s a kind of dream come true, or rather, a life finally lived.

One day I was going through the motions, doing things that required little but that cost a lot, and the next day I was so far beyond my comfort zone that it wasn’t even a zone, it was a dirt trough on the back end of Sycamore Canyon State Park, suggested as an emergency sleep spot by Chris Hillier.

To whom I owe a thanks … without that tip I’d never have made it past Day One.

I’ve ridden and written all my life but have never dedicated my life to either. Because, excuses. Reasons. Rationalizations. Justifications. Fears. Explanations. Analyses.

Like I said, excuses.

But there is one outcome from which no excuse will save you, and that is the Final Outcome. As a lady said to me in the craphauler park, “Never seen a hearse towing a U-Haul.”

In other words, do you want to run out of life first, or out of money? Because if you make sure you always have enough money, you’re never going to spend your life. You’ll always keep a chunk of it saved, where it will eventually expire, untouched, unused, unloved, unseen.

What chunk?

The chunk of life called the edge. The chunk where you pressed your shoulder, grunting, against the envelope’s filament, and burst it to discover what lay on the other side, that odd, curious, unfamiliar thing you always suspected was there called You.

If you run out of life before you run out of money, you never walked the tightrope without the net. You never paddled out on the big day without the leash. You never dropped off the snow-crusted ledge in the backcountry, where they’d never find you if you didn’t make the drop because no one knew you were there in the first place.

But if you spend every last nickel in pursuit of life, the worst that will happen is you’ll die penniless. You’ll have invested everything you own in freeing yourself from the chains that having enough money was supposed to free you from, but never will unless you actually spend it.

The best that will happen is you’ll roam guided by your passions, and if you have none, you’ll find that when you’re unchained the passions will come to you.

The worst that will happen is that you’ll die under the stars on a clear night, unburdened, contemplating the infinitude of your most imminent home.


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9 thoughts on “An excuse is forever”

  1. This is so good, Seth! Thanks for helping me appreciate life more than I did before.

    Your writing continues to evolve and explode in a good way. I look forward to your entries every morning.

    Keep the wheels turning, sir!

  2. Beautiful Seth. Thanks for shattering my excuses for not riding AND fishing this weekend. Like the T-shirt says: It’s All Good in the Hood.

  3. My favorite post ever. “A life finally lived.” The hubs and I are getting ready to do just that. No regrets. You might even inspire me to write – we’ll see!

  4. As I eagerly share some of your stories at the table, my wife listens with a look that says, “that Seth kid is a really bad influence.” I must follow my local passions for a few more years.

  5. Those are questions…or answers that have been in the back of my mind as long as I can remember.That answer stared me in the face some years back on a beach vacation (Coquina beach OBX) with wife and kids we encountered a very happy man at the beach obviously not a vacationer, he was weather worn and scrappy but dressed decent enough with a pack, in stark contrast to our little American dream affair… turns out he’s spending this part of his life walking from Maine to Florida repeatedly with the seasons four trips so far. Could my wife see it in my eyes?

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