"It's only a machine."
Too many feel the need to point that out, the scorn, disbelief, or jealously on their faces creating ugly lines. The desire to change, to influence, to tear apart, to hurt…burning indelible patterns in their spirit, coloring their outlook, and determining their future experience.
I sigh once again. Why do they feel I should justify myself…my feelings…my experience? I only respond because some, a very few, are able to understand. To help even one see life as a journey instead of goal is worth enduring the many that refuse to comprehend.
"Yes, she is a machine."
That gives them a moment's satisfaction…sort of…they don't really like the "she".
Then I drop the bombshell.
"Of course, she does have a soul…"
Things often go downhill from there.
How can a man love a machine?
I don't really. I love the spirit, the companion, the union, and the experience that the machine represents. I love the sharpening of my senses, the extension of my range, and yes, I love the power and the freedom.
I love it that I can dream. I love it that I can fly.
There have been many before her. There will be more after. It is in the nature of her existence and purpose that she will not physically remain with me forever. We both know it, and it matters only a little. Someday her body may be replaced.
Her spirit is an entirely different matter.
Her and her kind have carried me, disciplined me, protected me, and taught me.
They have also thrust me into the storm, led me into the heat, and exposed me to the chaos.
I have learned …much…from the chaos.
Her spirit grows as mine evolves. She learns as I learn. With each new incarnation, with each new machine, her influence upon me becomes more powerful. Her lessons clearer. Our relationship more comfortable, less tenuous. The gestalt seldom interrupted, even when we are apart.
With each of my pains, with every loss, for each failure, pieces and parts of past people and events remain with me and my machine. With every joy, with every friend, more tidbits of my experience ingrain themselves into our very core. The ride brings them alive, allows examination, communication, and renewed intimacy. The ride integrates who I am, and who I have been, into who I can become.
She has shown me the four elements; earth, wind, fire, and water, and the additional incarnations…and danger…found when they are combined. She has introduced me to the spirits of this land, not all of them benign or friendly, reveled with me when we could dance in harmony…and carried me away when our encounters have threatened my existence.
She has taken me places that I did not want to go, to do things I did not want to do, for people that I did not know. Things that needed to be done, and I was the one to do them.
Together we have journeyed to the edge of my endurance, and beyond.
Restless spirits have spoken to me on the ride. Ghosts have risen.
Yes, I have learned much from the chaos.
The ghosts of my past, the pains of my present, and the echoes of my future, all concentrated in the complicated union between the man and his mount. All blurred by the connection between flesh, blood, bone, and steel. The whole is so much greater than the parts.
Where does the man stop and the machine begin? What is it that the man sees in the machine that he equates with a soul? With life? Is it a soul? A spirit? Perhaps a ghost? Is the machine alive? Or does he simply see himself? Is he reflected in the power and freedom of his mount, or enhanced by it? Is the gestalt a strength, a weakness, or something else entirely?
Good questions all, but alas, never to be answered. See, the only one capable of answering simply doesn't care.
Love is blind that way.
Many cannot understand, a few already do, some will at least try.
There is a spirit, a connection. Some see. Some don't. Some won't.
Can you see? Will you see?
Or have you seen already...are you one of the few?
Have you…perchance…already met them?
…these ghosts in my machine?