A friend asked me once what riding a motorcycle means to me. I answered, “Well, it’s like having a mouthful of diamonds.” A quizzical look and faint smile crossed the face of my friend as I launched into an explanation.
But, here’s the thing: being a poet (before I was ever really anything else), I’ve always had a knack for encapsulating life’s events with an odd turn of phrase or quirky marriage of seemingly disparate words. All my life, I have been able to wring the feeling from a moment with symbols, snare emotion in a net of somewhat warring phrases, and force a union between them, pushing the words toward greater illumination and industriousness.
I have always captured feelings, paired them with words, strung them together, and then thrown the lot into a pot to make a wild, wholesome soup of it all; a soup that then feeds on a soul level. It’s like pouring caramel sauce over chicken or pairing peppers with curry and chocolate. The ingredients seem odd together at first, but once the taste hits you, once the words feed your mind, it all works. You suddenly get it and why it works.
So, when I said that riding is like having a mouthful of diamonds, I meant that it’s a mouthful, a heart-ful, a body-ful of light and movement. It’s like eating gold-leaf-wrapped candies; there is something extra delicious about ingesting sweetness and precious metal at the same time. You are eating the stuff of royalty. You become what you eat. Riding is like holding a sacred gift inside of yourself for as long as possible, a gift for yourself, one that is composed purely of the body and the spirit in its richest form, freedom.
Riding is shimmering, buoyant, captivating, all-encompassing, and unavoidable. It’s about breath and attention. It’s about keeping something for yourself instead of giving all you have to other people. It’s about knowing when it’s time to get away from others and ride your brilliance into the horizon, unravel a mystery that only you can decode and solve on that day. It’s about nurturing the self, seeing and feeling the light that you personally bring to the world through your happiness.
When holding diamonds in one’s mouth, you want to be careful to keep them all in one spot, to be awake enough to guard them, your safety, your aliveness. It’s slightly dangerous act, but with enough attention and energy, with enough joy, you know that no harm can truly come to you. Because you are happy. You have diamonds inside, after all. And, you are riding a big shiny diamond with your bad-ass biker self. It seems weird to say something like this, yes. But, when you hold the metaphor inside long enough, when you click it against your teeth, rest it on your tongue, and then roar off into your day, it settles in and makes perfect sense.