Profile Response: Matthew Cazalas, Spring Valley, CA

HWWLT Logo on yellowI made a note in the margins of my notebook, “Matt is my kindred father.” In truth, he’s only a few years older than me, which makes him my kindred older brother. Either way, his story is my story, a few years further along. I am still in the midst of my bicycle adventure. He has completed his, which gives him the perspective of hindsight.

Matt divorced in 1991, a few years before I did. He diverted his career while his two children were growing up. Ditto. Once they were established he embarked on a bicycle odyssey. He travelled for three years, over 30,000 miles throughout the United States. “The bike is like a magic wand. It brings out the best in people. It opens doors to people’s houses and their minds.” I started with a route defined by social and economic hotspots. He began with an itinerary of landscapes. “I set out with expectations, but what I didn’t expect was the amazing vignettes. It’s really about the people. Everyone has their own story. Every morning I couldn’t wait to get going. I knew something remarkable would happen.”

imagesMatt’s trip was longer than mine, and didn’t have the 48-state structure. “I never went to New Jersey. Nothing drew me there.” Toward the end of his journey his sister Michelle asked him to move to San Diego and help her run the medical practice she’d bought. Matt returned to full-time work; he lives in her big house. “I felt so transformed by my trip, I wanted to know if I could ever reintegrate into mainstream life. Eventually I did. I forgot the feeling of a warm shower after a long day and just how good cold water can feel on my face. Now I get bent out of shape when my Starbucks is late. Everything fades.”

How will we live tomorrow?

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 9.29.49 AM“It depends on where you want to focus your thoughts, on social, environmental, political, or economic issues. We have so many ills. Consider economic misallocations; they are getting worse Consider the environment. If you choose the rosy outlook, people are depending on tech to work our way out of this. But we are ruining the oceans, depleting the forests and poisoning our land.

“I think it is tough to be an optimist. I am an advocate for gun control. Look at Sandy Hook. That should be an event to create change. But it didn’t. That’s what makes me think the future will be bleaker. We keep putting things off. There is no political system or legal system. Money runs everything.

“When you’re touring you don’t see the news everyday. You’re focused on your ride, your climb. That’s your world. But in reality, the world sucks.

“It’s going to take some Messiah to come along and get people’s attention. Who can do it? Gandhi couldn’t; presidents can’t. It has to be a religious person that changes people’s minds. But I haven’t given up hope.”

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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3 Responses to Profile Response: Matthew Cazalas, Spring Valley, CA

  1. Jeanne Large says:

    I hope you and Mathew will focus on at least some of the social, environmental, political and economic issues we have. It doesn’t take a Messiah to make a difference. It takes individuals who work together and try to be optimists, even if it’s tough.

    Like

  2. paulefallon says:

    I like your approach. the challenge I have with a Messiah is that Machiavellian truism that all power corrupts. Can we spread power around? All of us make a contribution and all of us have a say?

    Like

    • Jeanne Large says:

      Thank you. The first step is to know ourselves. Next, we need to listen to and seek to understand each other. Then we may be ready to act. What we think and say is important but what we do is even more so. Power is like education and money; when we spread it around to everyone, there will be more than enough wisdom and ability to make the changes we need.

      Sorry I misspelled Matthew’s name.

      Like

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