It will protect you from nothing. It is a tool for falling. For failure. But also for freedom. For living.
I’m not a skateboarder. Never was. Grew up in the country. Too many dirt roads. Too much snow and ice. Too many competing rushes/dangers to lust after for asphalt surfing to offer any real allure.
I’m also not a parent. A son, yes. But not a father. So no procreation surfing for me either.
No skateboarding and no parenting. Yet Michael Christie’s post “All Parents Are Cowards“, a wrenching rumination on both, hooked me. The author of The Beggar’s Garden and If I Fall, If I Die offers a sparse but powerful peak into the worlds of agoraphobia, parental paranoia, and the fear-freedom pull of skateboarding.
If you’re hungry for poignance read the the whole essay. It’s short. You’ll thank me.
If you want to cut to the pithy takeaway that resonates most for me, here it is:
A skateboard is the most basic ambulatory machine. It has no gears, offers no assistance. It will protect you from nothing. It is a tool for falling. For failure. But also for freedom. For living. On a skateboard you must stay balanced in a tempest of forces beyond your control. The key is to be brave, get low, stay up and keep rolling. ~ Michael Christie (NYTimes.com)
Be Brave and Keep Rolling
I almost pilfered that last line for my title, but it’s not the marrow. That honor goes to “a tool for falling… failure… freedom… living.” Almost inspires me to invest in a skateboard. Mostly it rhymes with the germ that infected me, the germ that become the 40×41 project. Midlife inside out.
Why create a public scrapbook of this bizarre passage from immortal to mortal? It protects from nothing and trips me often. Fall. Fail. Freedom… Live!