I am Ocean

Day 4: Sunset Bay SP to Gold Beach


Ocean.  I chose this name.  Or did it choose me?   The long story involves a certain herbalist from Ithaca named 7song. He was barefoot most of the time, looked a lot like Jesus.  7song was leading a group on men’s spirituality at the Finger Lakes Mens Fest, fall of 1990.  ‘Choose a spirit name’ he challenged us. ‘Ocean’ was the only thing that came to mind.

Ten years later, Intaba & I spent a summer on our newly acquired land, preparing for ritual and cleansing.  She took on her name ‘Intaba’ that summer, and I decided to take on Ocean in earnest.

Since then I’ve taken on many more endeavors, and through the restaurant years I fear ‘Ocean’ has garnered a reputation in Corvallis I am not proud of – heartless manager, arrogant business owner, evil stepfather, insensitive jerk…

As I left on this trip, I wondered if I’d need a new name.  At least, a new perspective, somehow to reclaim what I intended Ocean to be.

A healer.  A friend.  A lover.  A person working to make the world a better place. 

And a thousand miles lie ahead, cycling along the ocean, miles of tears and rage, time enough to cleanse and restore Ocean.

Got on the road this morning at 6:15am, riding in the dark and drizzle over Seven Devils Road, a series of devilish hills my friend Don told me is one of the steepest on the Oregon Coast Bike Route. A biker before me had painted each hill with Devil numbers, along with quips like “Devil #2, don’t ya love it?’

A nice break in the weather as I stopped in Bandon to work on the blog and plan out the next days ride.  On to Gold Beach for the night, riding over Humbug Mountain. 

Just past Humbug, I encountered the terrifying painted outlines where two cyclists had been hit just that morning, one was killed.  I didn’t dally there, knowing my sensitivity and tendency to obsess about death.

We bike tourists know the danger of our quest.  Yet we ride on.  In denial?  Yes, knowing we are playing the odds – ‘It won’t be me’.  Just as you play the odds whenever you drive 60 mph facing opposing traffic that often includes numerous drunk drivers.

But this does bring me back to yesterday’s post.  If this were my last day, how would I want to live it?  What would I want to tell the people I love? 

How about you… how would you live your last day?

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