The essay originally terminated just there. All those pseudo-non-sequiturs and then it’s stopped. Nothing profound, uplifting, moral, or anything else. Just kinda dropped off.
After a recent meeting, and with the prospect of some springtime optimism, I’m revisiting. There may be some dignity after all.
I realize, in my own space, that I have a tendency to justify/lay blame as much as possible, on circumstance or persons other than myself. I will work hard to rectify it all. I will not voice my accusations, but I think them nevertheless. This is not fair. This is not just. This is completely immature.
There is a lack of identifiable dignity in the youth of today. And I refuse to let it be.
Once upon a time, I was wearing mittens in November. They were fleece mittens, polartec 300, navy blue, size large. Warm. Breathable. Basic. Necessary. We were out roaming the countryside, backpacks full of sustenance and legs full of energy. I stepped over a creek, braced with my hand on a rock, and soaked my mitten.
Never having done it before, but having memorized the various ‘insulates when wet’ claims of the miracle that was polartec, I took the mitten off and wrung it out. About a third of a cup of water dripped onto the ground. I put the mitten back on. It was practically dry, and very warm. I walked on.
This year is the third season of heavy road riding on my OEM campagnolo cables and housing. My bar tape needs replacing, as I’ve worn through the surface in all those perforation spots. I just replaced the saddle, and probably lost a pound off the bike. I toy often with the prospect of an entire makeover for the serotta.
And every time, I realize that I like better, I enjoy more, the things that I’ve fixed with my own two hands, re-vamped, re-worked, re-invigorated through ingenuity, research, and not a little bit of hard work. The old things that I’ve fixed mean more than the new things I’ve purchased. I guess it’s kinda like love versus sex.
So the youth need some re-vamping. They’re actually, probably, likely, the same youth that have always been around. Chemically imbalanced, caught between childhood and adulthood, and thoroughly confused and overwhelmed by all of it. And it’s okay. This is probably the way it should be, the way it has always been, and the only way that something great can come about. Oxygen used to be poison. Evolution is billions of chance combinations of trial and error. Flowers have to come from dirt. So there’s opportunity here. Time to strip the paint, grease the threads, start over again. Make it roll, make it glide, make it beautiful. We are all individuals.