Thursday 29 September 2011

The Wedding in my Present

It was a cluster of obstructions I navigated on my way home today: Pedestrians squirreled about the bike-path or leapt out of seemingly nowhere into the street; fellow cyclists abled up beside me at intersections only to wobble & weave into my path upon green; more often than not there was a cyclist already at the red light when I arrived, and they either took their sweet time pedaling off (we do have an anticipatory yellow here), or were engaging in extracurricular behavior which would preclude pedaling at all; one woman, rooting through the bag on the luggage rack behind her, eventually produced a handful of something and then looked up and smiled at me whilst scattering birdseed onto the walk beside us before she finally rode off.

Sharing much of my journey with four-wheelers, I am used to automotive interference; today it was the un-caged humans' turn at that pun: the guy in full-business garb and helmet whose "forward momentum" tron'd me into a rare both-feet-down full stop; the woman whose first step into traffic caused an uncommon skid; the guy and his two dogs completely blocking the door waiting to be buzzed in: Yet, their oblivious actions put me in a more conscious mode than usual.

The experience serves to remind me how alert I should remain regardless of circumstance, but the sudden cluster of hindrances brings to mind a trip from Jupiter to Mars: As if I'd just ridden through the asteroid belt.

There's also something I had been contemplating recently which, though it renders the asteroid analogy more obscure, is appropriately apt & analogous:

My life's journey has been taking me to Berlin-Wedding with a frequency unknown to me until this summer. I have been to Wedding more in the last four months than in the nine years previous. Some of it is foreseeable and corresponds to one demographic of my world: a business move involving collaborators. Other aspects might have to do with a general migration, which happens to bring my varied worlds into congruence.

I formally recognize these as patterns, even if I cannot extend the asteroid analogy to include the cause of increased interference on today's ride. It'd be tempting to say it is more recognition than pattern - like, it's not the events themselves, but the interpretation of the events, which is coincidental - but I am just esoterically inclined enough to think that that would be an oversimplification. Or maybe that makes me more a statistician than woo warrior. I dunno.

One might also say that something about my behavior today (as a result of my state of mind, perhaps) led to this cluster of encounters. This is a bit more to my liking, yet still hard to completely swallow:

The number of times I had to dodge someone not looking out for themselves was too high and 'd more likely be coincidence than my doing. Still, the count is too high to be chance, too much a departure from the norm to be anything other than part of a larger, more complex picture.

I recognize parts of these patterns and believe that somewhere beyond mere cognizance of the clusters lies clusters of an entirely different kind.