Bill—My New Bicycling Partner

Nova Scotia
July 29, `82

The weather has been super, and so has the traffic. I’ve waited a
long time for that kind of luck. Until this trip, I had been under the
illusion that, yes, biking is a tough-it-out experience. It doesn’t
have to be that way, and this trip proves it. I’m sitting on the back
steeps of a hardware store in Sheet Harbor, Nova Scotia. Bill has gone
to dinner, so I have time to write. Bill has been an excellent
partner. I almost forgot how enthusiastic he could be. When he’s up,
he’s just like a little kid in a candy store, and he’s been up the
whole time.

Two days ago we biked along freshwater lakes and rivers, while
yesterday we enjoyed the even more beautiful scenery of ocean inlets
and off shore islands. Last night we camped in a picnic area. Bill was
still bubbling over with spirit, the kind that Nova Scotia draws out
of a person. Sitting around the campfire, we got to talking about the
“good life.” When the conversation turned to God, I did most of the
talking, but judging from Bill’s questions, he had an uncanny
understanding of what I was trying to say. I certainly didn’t expect
that form him; religion was not his bag. By the end of the evening I
began to understand better. He was describing the mysticism of Meister
Eckhart, but he could have been talking about my own belief system.

Bill had just finished taking a class at CMU. The students were given
a marketing paper to write. The product, or the idea that they had to
sell, was drawn from a hat. Bill picked the name Meister Eckhart. The
Meister was a 13th century Christian mystic, but when Bill read the
name he thought the guy was the founder of Meister Brau, the first
brewery to market can draft beer. Maybe he was joking when he told me
that. I’m still not sure. Anyway, he took the assignment seriously and
came away from the project with a basic understanding of Eckhart’s
religion, philosophy, mysticism??? By the end of the evening, I was
surprised to find a lot of “Eckhart” in my own religious views.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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