|Photo by Wally Pacholka|
by Roscoe Mutz
I do not consider myself a particularly religious person in the traditional sense; I abide church services and rarely find the sacred in holy buildings, but when the sun goes down and the sky is clear I feel the spirit move within me; an ancient impulse to worship returns and my pulse rises. As I bike through Tucson at night, my thoughts on the sacred echo those of Emerson:
To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
Clipping in both the LED headlamp and flashing red strobe tail light and rolling up my right pant leg constitute the ritual preparation of the elements for my two-wheeled eucharist. The clearly cratered moon with its twinkling celestial counterparts are an ever changing and astonishing natural stained glass memorial of the dynamism of the eternal. Orion guards and guides my spiritual journey. The pungent aromas of wood smoke a suggestion of incense. In the silence, a prayer. The wind whipping by my ears is the whisper of angels, or, perhaps, the voices of my ancestors that reside within me. The hum and buzz of the wheels send soothing energy to loosen my knotted inner self, a sensation similar to how a meditative ohm or belting out the chorus of a familiar hymn can reverberate down into my body, soothing the gnarled visceral being hardened by the rigors and stresses of weekday living. And with a little faith, releasing the handlebars to come up out of my bow and spread my hands wide, truly giving our envoys of beauty a reason for such admonishing smiles.