Friday, October 16, 2009

Psychosomatic Illness

When I was five years old, I suddenly got two little brothers through adoption. I responded to the change by getting sick. I would wake in the night unable to breathe and have coughing spasms. My mother, a nurse, was wise enough to avoid a diagnosis of asthma. She called it croup and treated me like a coughing infant, assuring me I would grow out of it. She would send dad across the alley to the hospital to get a steam tent and set me up in my own enclosed world until I felt good enough to face reality.

These memories came back to me as I lay in a steaming hot bathtub, treating the chest cold to which I have succumbed. I'm taking some time out to recover my usual robust health while I adjust to sudden changes in my life.

Mike, my boss, didn't have much choice but to lay me off. Cyclotopia doesn't need as much staff during the winter. When I announced that I'd be gone next summer during the busy season, I painted Mike into a corner. But I don't regret it. I know I'm on path.

This will be my third transcontinental Bike4Peace, converging upon DC on 22-Sept, World Car-Free Day. In 2006, led by Ron Toppi, I rode across the north on a tandem with Ananda Portal stoking. In 2007, I rode across the south with Michele Darr and three of her children in tow. In 2010, I aim to ride across the middle - San Francisco to DC - with Cynthia McKinney, six term Member of Congress and the 2008 Green Party nominee for President.

We hope to demonstrate that bicycles are transformational tools which could solve oil wars, global warming, the health crisis, and the economic crunch. Along the way we'll facilitate community discussions about how we can support each other to live up to our highest ideals.

I'm very excited by the prospects, but I've got a lot of work to do to get ready. First, I need to grieve the loss of a good job and recover my health. Back to my steam tent...