viernes, 21 de enero de 2011
Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenace
How it all started
This story all started the morning before our great expedition to la Malinche, a moutain in Puebla, Mexico. All the exchange students were wainting in the parking lot of a grocery store in the middle of Puebla, for a bus which would arrive 2 hours late. I don't remeber who or why, but either me or Cullen, the exchange student who gave me this book (http://culleninmexico.blogspot.com/), mentioned the holy two letter organization that ruled our passed few years in school, IB. An organization which brain washes us in to thinking that we are smarter then every one, but on the other hand, they give us a very very very critical mind. That's why non-IB students hate us.
The moment that followed was joined by the exact same feeling you get when you see a good friend you haven't seen for a long time, and that you really didn't expect to see at that moment, at that place. Just imagine two guys screaming 'OMG, OMG!!!! IB!!!!OMG!!!!!!' and nobody else around having one clue how important this encounter was important for both of us (me at least). It was followed by a lot of discussions about our grades (IB students will always be the same, always comparing), about the classes we loved/hated, about TOK(philosophie class), and a lot of other really, really nerdy stuff.
After the great week-end that was la Malinche, I went sleeping at Cullen's house and he showe my the book, Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and he explained to me the whole mission behind it. He and his girlfriend both wrote in the book, there thoughts, there agreements/disagreements and ideas for improvement. I had to do the same. That dude had an awesome idea and he wanted me to be part of it. I call it 'facebooking'. A verb wich means creating a community around something (in this case a book). Doing around the book what facebook did to internet, giving it life. Now this book wasnt only a bunch of page, and it wouldn't only be important to you, it meant something to somebody else, what you wrote will mean something to somebedy else.
So I agreed.
This book is actually two books intertwinned in each other. One is a people book, about a father and a son going across the United States of America on a motorcycle, the second book is about the reconciliation between technology and beauty, between classical thinking and romantic thinking. The best way to explain the point of the book is by how the adventour of me reading the book started. The book (which is technology, on a low level but still not so different form a computer), is reconciliated with beauty not because it talks about pretty stuff (Pirsig, the author, says it should be on a more fondamental level), but because what Cullen ask himself, his girlfriend, and later me to do, brought beauty into the book, Quality. Now the feeling I had reading the book was not the one of touching cold metal, but the feeling I had jumping in the waves in Acapulco. The book is, literally and symbolicly, reconciliating the people that fixes bikes,and the people that ride it across the United States. I'm not going to get into the details, however this book changed the way I see stuff on a lot of levels. Now, every time I think, I always make sure my thoughts are of Quality, but also simpler, easier to understand.
Hard to understand, but worth exploring and searching for answers. Recomended to the courageous and to the one ready to search hours on wikipedia for some explanation on the examples that Pirsig gives.