Sunday, October 28, 2007

Silence is stunning.

Indie Rocker and I spent the weekend in Astoria for the Cross Crusade's annual Halloween weekend party and race. He had a great time, and when I wasn't working on my midterm, I did too. His race went really well, which he's very pleased with. I got to pick up my six-pack of beer that I won a couple of weeks ago and the weather was perfect.

The most interesting and moving part of the day, however, was silent. No cowbells, no shouting, no cheering, and no music. Last week, the Cross Crusade lost a racer to a terrible incident. In honor of Brett, the organizers of the race decided to hold a silent lap, where anyone was welcome to participate. Before it started, we all gathered at the start to listen to a gentleman speak about Brett, about the Crusade, and about the community that has formed there. We could barely hear him, but it didn't really matter. The energy alone was palpable. After he was done speaking, the bikers silently started to ride. Brett's Bike Gallery teammates went first, with "800" bib numbers--Brett's race number--pinned to their jerseys. After they rode past, the rest of the field fell in behind them. It was awe-inspiring to watch somewhere near 500 people, in all manner of outfits, costumes, and gear, silently and solemnly ride through the entire course. Indie Rocker and I watched them ride by with tears in our eyes.

We slowly followed the bulk of the riders around the course, watching them go by and holding onto each other. The sheer enormity of it was overwhelming, and the emotions were flowing freely. I almost think it was more powerful for those of us watching, since we got a clearer picture of the scope.

Lots of thoughts came and went, but the one that kept coming back was the realization that we are here for a finite time, and we have to make as much as we possibly can of that time. If in that time, we manage to create lasting friendships, become members of amazing communities, and love and be loved, then we have clearly done something right.

We are part of something amazing.

Quote of the Day: "So you take a picture of something you see/In the future where will I be?/You can climb a ladder up to the sun/Or a write a song nobody has sung/Or do something that's never been done/Do something that's never been done." Talk, Coldplay.

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