Thursday, January 24, 2013

Suicidal Ideation

What's wrong with me?

I understand that it's an extensive list.  The specific flaw I'm referring to is the fact that it's maybe twelve degrees out and I've been staring at this photo for quite a few seconds ...

Taken with my iPhone outside my building some time this summer, I would describe my desire to own this exact motorcycle as ... as ... well, there's no polite description.  To paraphrase The Kinks, I'm dying to get at it.

I particularly like the blacked-out exhaust.

Are you familiar with the term suicidal ideation?  It's a psychiatric term for thinking of killing yourself; sometimes thought to be a precursor for actually trying to do so.  Certainly a red flag for shrinks everywhere.

Me?  Remain calm -- I have no particular interest in killing myself.  But you could argue that the lusting after this thing, this black Harley-Davidson V-Rod, this rocket ship of a motorcycle, this reincarnation of the Hammer of Thor, is a sort of suicidal ideation.  Can't you?  I mean, surely I would be either dead or close to it within days of buying the thing.  Government-mandated helmet not withstanding.

I had you pegged as a Ducati guy.

For you completists, I'm wearing my Triumph Motorcycles t-shirt and a cardigan sweater as I type this.  I'm listening, of all things, to No Doubt sing "I'm just a girl."

What's wrong with me?

Brief personal recollection:  I was watching an interview with a famous motorcycle racer once and the interviewer asked him what his most important work-out was.  He said hands and forearms.  Why? he was asked.  Because, he explained, when you put the hammer down the bike is leaving, whether you're coming with it or not.

This made a big impression on me.  Not so dissimilar to the common phenomenon in the arts where the project (painting, book, music, whatever) appears to take over the creative act and you, the artist, are simply along for the ride.

Can a phenomenon be common?
Dunno.  But you hear about it all the time.
Is Lindsay Lohan a phenomenon?  You hear all about her all the time.
That's different.  

I wonder if Richard Phillips felt that way when he painted this.
I doubt it.
Suddenly I want to go to the beach.
Me too.


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