An existential crisis

The empty challenge seems simple enough. And maybe it is, if you are taking pictures of objects that contain something. But a lot of things that are empty are actually full of something else. The landscape could be empty of people, but full of trees. The farmer’s dam could be empty of water, but full of dust. Or it could be full of water, but empty of ducks. What makes something empty? Nigel has said before that he feels empty inside, but I see him as full of anger, sadness and trauma. Oh dear, this challenge is making me think too hard. Is overthinking something a sign your brain is too full?

So the guys and I went for an overnight ride (just missing the holiday challenge by riding the day after Halloween and the day before the Melbourne Cup – which is a public holiday here). I’m not so sure we found too much emptiness, as even the moon was pretty much full. There was the empty sky (very few flights have resumed), but I’ve covered that before. Anyhow, I submit the feature photo for the empty challenge. This is a 22 square kilometre swamp that is empty of water (but full of grass, and probably weeds).

You can read about the rest of the ride here:

Nerdy chick in Australia who loves to ride and is accompanied by the crew: 'The Commander' Verne and the 'Mental Health Specialist' Kermit.

17 response to "An existential crisis"

  1. By: Seasidejanet Posted: November 3, 2020

    Hey there……been a long time since I checked in! As always I love the detail in your stories. I love the analogy “empty but full” and those great old buildings now empty but full of history and so many stories to tell. I hope that your recovery went pretty well and am sorry that you are dealing with this long term illness……..yes, today is Election Day and I am too afraid to turn on the radio or the internet (no TV thank heavens) but how sad is that when I was a kid I loved watching and listening to election results……may not have always been what you wanted/expected but it was usually something you could “live” with…..good to see you. Take good care.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: November 4, 2020

      I’ve been fielding questions from Aussies all day about how Americans could be so suckered in by #45 when he does not act in the interests of those who vote for him, only acting in the interests of rich, white, conservative males. I tell them I’m stumped and apologise on behalf of the Americans.
      I hope you are well and getting in some rides now that hopefully the smoke has cleared. I’m riding as much as my body will allow – this secondary bartonella bacterial infection is a beast. Your friend with Lyme probably knows about it- they are often co-infections and both very hard to ever get rid of!

      • By: Seasidejanet Posted: November 4, 2020

        Yes….Lily has not been doing well since before SIP so I have not seen her since February!! She just recently was well enough to start walking a little. We are riding, it is our sanity drug of choice! I had surgery in August and they removed my thyroid so now we are working at getting my dose of Synthroid correct. That’s a science experiment of it’s own…but all in all I’m doing well. Yes, the question of the day is how low are Americans going to go to support 45?

        • By: The Navigator Posted: November 6, 2020

          All the best to you and Lilly. Removing the thyroid is a pretty tough situation – I hope it doesn’t take too long to find the right dosage. So many other hormones interact with the TSH and T3/4 that it can be frustrating when you get one thing right but it pushes something else to go out of range. Hope you are feeling better soon, though. I hope Lilly can keep making forward progress – doing well and then crashing again is quite demoralising.

      • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 4, 2020

        In fairness, there were 3 million more of us who voted for change, but we apparently aren’t going to get it.
        Because, while we are all ‘equal’, it appears according to the Electoral College, some of us are more ‘equal’ than others.
        3 million votes, and regardless of their distribution pattern, the fact is, they won’t matter because they didn’t originate in the ‘right’ places.

        This is twice now that it has happened. 🙁

  2. By: Suzanne Posted: November 3, 2020

    Wonderful description of your days out on your bike. Looks like a successful ride in all respects – hope the days following were ok, too, and that you have determined that a multi-day ride at the end of the month will be fine!

    • By: The Navigator Posted: November 4, 2020

      Thanks, Suzanne. I seem to be recovering okay. I just booked a cabin at a caravan park 40 kms away for Sat and Sun nights this weekend. The idea is to ride over on Sat, do a day ride Sun, then ride back home Monday. This is the last weekend before the Melbourne city people are allowed out into the regional areas, so I wanted to get a particular ride in before all those city people descend on the area like a deluge. There is certainly pent up demand since they’ve been confined to their homes mostly for three months and then could only go 25km from home the past two weeks.

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: November 3, 2020

    Full of something? Empty of something? All very metaphysical. I sometimes refer to some of my favorite landscapes as “overflowing with emptiness.” Anyway, glad to see you were able to get out for an overnighter.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: November 4, 2020

      Yes, maybe it was more of a metaphysical crisis than an existential one. I was just thinking about some person who was in dark place with total loss of purpose and wondering who they were (or maybe a country like that) thinking about such things as: is it really empty? Or is it full of something else? I think if I had more urban areas for subject matter, it would not have perplexed me quite so much!

      • By: Bill Stone Posted: November 4, 2020

        I’m feeling full of emptiness this morning, although some hope remains. I think the best medication is a bike ride, but I might be too depressed to get out on two wheels for awhile.

        • By: The Navigator Posted: November 6, 2020

          I think it is like the movie Finding Nemo where the fish says, “Keep swimming, keep swimming.” Just keep riding, keep riding!

  4. By: gregblood Posted: November 3, 2020

    Very good point about most things that seem empty aren’t really empty at all. I’m saving your Ramble Out Yonder post for tomorrow. I think I’m going to need some good reading material as a diversion from all of this political crap.

    • By: Laura Posted: November 4, 2020

      I hear you Greg! To go along with Em’s idea, bet we could find a lot of politicians with empty heads and hearts and full of crap. I wonder if the winners will start campaigning for their next election the day they are sworn in. It never seems to stop.

  5. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: November 4, 2020

    Everything’s looking nice and green over east, stay positive if you can, the sun will rise tomorrow. Cycling is the best therapy I reckon.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: November 6, 2020

      Yes, La Nina has been helpful in October. Still below average on rain for the year and dams still have heaps of capacity, so keep the rain coming.

  6. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 4, 2020

    Great you got out for some quality riding — enjoyed the photos and description.
    And Kermit was happy too!

    • By: The Navigator Posted: November 6, 2020

      Thanks, Rich. I actually unintentionally left Verne and kermit at Nigel’s place when I left Monday, so they won’t be able to ride with me this weekend! They probably don’t mind though – Nigel has beer, chips, chocolate and lamb… all things I don’t eat or normally have much around, but I’m sure they will enjoy. I’ll get them back next weekend though and I’m sure Verne will have some harsh words for being forgotten!

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