Next day was MotoGP. And then I left for Claypool, IN, where I'd rented a room in a farmhouse for the night.
The place was awesome. In part because the setting was so idyllic and charming and in part because the couple hosting me represented an archetypal alter-life that I've imagined living myself. He was from TN and she from Chicago. After using the house for years as a second / vacation home, they decided to sell it all and move in for good. So while I had expected to be living for a day with some simple 'country folk', instead had the pleasure to stay with two cultured, cool, artistic, genuine and super-awesome people I wish I'd spent more time with. If you're ever driving through Indiana and need a place to stay (or if you're just looking for a place to retreat and perhaps do some metalwork, paint or write the next great american-novel, hit them up on Airbnb)!
Over a bottle of wine we shared on the porch I saw my first fireflies flickering luminous moments of sublimity over the cornfields. They looked like tiny shooting stars (I was amused to the point of complete distraction). But we did talk about art and effort and life and the merits of both po-dunk towns and metropolitan jungles. But the real interesting thing that came out of the topic was on public policy. Now, I've never been much for politics. Discussing it, following it, and getting all hot and bothered by it is about as world-changing as talking to your television. The only way someone really makes a change is if they get into politics (and not very many are slimy enough to do so). Short of that, politics is just a source of stress and angst.
My own personal conclusion is that if we want to change the world we just need to focus on what we love and do what we do best. In the process the world will become a happier, safer, more peaceful place because of all the great heirloom tomatoes, interesting needlepoint, indie films, metalwork, BBQ'd sausages or paintings that get created because of it. NPR and Fox News just make people think they're involved and changing the world, but nothing ever comes of it except feelings of gloom and doom, anxiety and stress.
Doing what we love, swinging on swings, riding motorbikes and cuddling the people we adore has a much more positive effect on the net-happiness of the world than agonizing over whatever it is that they talk about on TV or the radio. Just a thought.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming....Indiana is one of those states that no one ever has a clear idea of what it looks like. I didn't, at least. So here's a day in the life of traveling on a bike through the state to help combat Indiana's anonymity:
Yes I stopped on a freeway, took off my gloves, got off the bike and took a picture....just a hint of the apocalyptic future I'd see in Detroit: