Thank You Ride #4: the One About Work

It’s been raining a lot in San Francisco, and it’ll continue to rain almost non-stop for a while, so one dry day on Thursday was welcome. I rode to work again, by now the usual: some 9.5 miles home to work in the morning, 3 miles to South SF BART in the afternoon as the sun sets down. Soon I will start riding both ways; soon but not yet!

Thursday’s cycling day was dedicated to Vita, not only the fourth sponsor to support my participation in AIDS LifeCycle, but also one of my biggest supporters in all my endeavors. In case you are just joining the readership, AIDS LifeCycle is a 545 mile bike ride from SF to LA that takes place June 2-8, 2019. In a previous post, I tell more about this endeavor and the thank you rides.

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Thank You Ride #3: the Other Side of the Mountain

Rain was in the forecast for today and the next few days. Even the official AIDS LifeCycle training ride I signed up for got cancelled, and I was resolved to take it easy until the storm passes.

But then this morning I felt a little restless, it wasn’t raining much, and I had an errand outside anyway. Also, last night’s post left me wondering about the other side of San Bruno Mountain. One thing led to another and… today’s cycling day, some 18 miles, is dedicated to David, who was the third sponsor to support my participation in AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile bike ride from SF to LA, June 2-8, 2019. In a previous post, I tell more about this endeavor and the thank you posts.

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Thank You Ride #1: Chilly Industrial Landscape Becoming Familiar

Several weeks ago I signed up to participate in AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile bike ride from SF to LA, June 2-8, 2019. One of the reasons I signed up was to challenge myself physically, but even that needs to be for a reason.

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Blue Puya

In today’s quote from “The Key of Yellow Metal” by Max Frei, Filipp and Karl are talking about Marianne North, a mid-nineteenth century botanical artist who, among other accomplishments, was the first British botanist to travel to the Andes and paint the blue puya.

The featured image is a picture of blue puya at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. You can see the painting Karl and Filipp are talking about, “Inflorescence of the Blue Puya and Moths, Chili” by Marianne North here.

– You didn’t get it at all, – smiled Karl. – You are talking about futility, because you think the outcome was the painting, which, undoubtedly, never became a major artistic or scientific achievement of the century. But the painting was not the outcome, merely a motive to begin the undertaking. A simple, specific goal easy to hook on, to get up and get going.

– Fine. What was the result then?

– The experience, of course. Marianne, having returned home from South America, was different from the lady who once embarked upon the journey. The new Marianne knew what it was like to be a person who did not care about being rocked on a boat, shaken on a mule; did not care about heavy cargo, steep inclines, or thin air. One can say, she herself was the result.

– Max Frei, “The Key of Yellow Metal”

That was a translation by yours truly. Below is the original excerpt. My readers are welcome to offer words to improve the translation.

– Ты ничего не понял, – улыбнулся Карл. – Говоришь о тщетности, потому что считаешь результатом картину, которая безусловно, не стала главным художественным или научным событием столетия. Но картина – вовсе не результат, а просто повод начать действовать. Простая, конкретная цель, за которую легко зацепиться, чтобы встать и пойти.

– Хорошо. Что в таком случае результат?

– Опыт, конечно. Марианн, вернувшись домой из Южной Америки, отличалась от леди, которая когда-то отправилась в путь. Новая Марианн знала, каково быть человеком, которому нипочём корабельная качка, тряска на муле, тяжёлый груз, крутые подъёмы, и разреженный воздух. Можно сказать, она сама и есть результат.

– Макс Фрай, “Ключ из жёлтого металла”