Sunday, November 30, 2008

Omega Man

I headed down the bike lane early on Thanksgiving. No cars on the road, and no tracks on the trail. It was just what I wanted: a moment alone in the chapel.

I spent my first holiday without parents in 2004 when I had lost my Mom. That year I renovated my garage. I installed cabinets and painted the walls. I put up hooks for bikes and made trips to the dump. I squeezed in a ride before going to eat with the in laws. I wanted to be exhausted so I didn't have the energy to think about what I had lost, and what I was about lose. On the steps of my Mother in laws house, I fired my management partners in New York and called my producer friend John to get out of our production deal. We had been released by Elektra and I was circling the wagons in a last ditch effort to save the band. I knew the barbarians were at the gate, and I didn't have a clue what to do next.

The next year after watching a movie about Jackson Pollack and I went out into the garage and started painting. I built frames and cut some drop cloth and went into an abstract frenzy. I painted almost every day until Christmas. The product was infantile, but the process was pure joy.

This year I was determined to keep the manic demon at bay, and take all the energy out to my favorite trail to let the roots and dirt smooth out my kinks. I came to a favorite spot where necessity and lack of air used to make me pause when I first started riding. I decided to take a picture and I sent out a secret prayer to my parents. I decided to be thankful instead of cursing how cruel fate can be. It was the best Thanksgiving of recent memory.