“What’s the matter?” I ask.
“It’s so different.”
“Everything. I never could see over your shoulders before.”
The sunlight makes strange and beautiful designs through the tree branches on the road. It flits light and dark into my eyes. We swing into a curve and then up into the open sunlight.
That’s true. I never realized it. All this time he’s been staring into my back. “What do you see?” I ask.
“It’s all different.”
We head into a grove again, and he says, “Don’t you get scared?”
“No, you get used to it.”
After a while he says, “Can I have a motorcycle when I get old enough?”
“If you take care of it.”
“What do you you have to do?”
“Lots of things. You’ve been watching me.”
“Will you show me all of them?”
“Is it hard?”
“Not if you have the right attitudes. It’s having the right attitudes that’s hard.”
After a while I see he is sitting down again. Then he says, “Dad?”
“Will I have the right attitudes?”
“I think so,” I say. “I don’t think that will be any problem at all.”
And so we ride on and on, down through Ukiah, and Hopland, and Cloverdale, down into the wine country. The freeway miles seem so easy now. The engine which has carried us halfway across a continent drones on and on in its continuing oblivion to everything but its own internal forces. We pass though Asti and Santa Rosa, and Petaluma and Novato, on the freeway that grows wider and fuller now, swelling with cars and trucks and buses full of people, and soon by the road are houses and boats and the water of the Bay.
Trials never end, of course. Unhappiness and misfortune are bound to occur as long as people live, but there is a feeling now, that was not here before, and is not just on the surface of things, but penetrates all the way through: We’ve won it. It’s going to get better now. You can sort of tell these things.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
What is seeing now so much more clearly is that although the names keep changing and the bodies keep changing, the larger patter that holds us all together goes on and on. In terms of this larger pattern the lines at the end of this book still stand. We have won it. This are better now. You can sort of tell these things.
(Robert Pirsig, Gothenburg, Sweden, 1984)