Posted in travel, writing

A Lesson on Letting Go

The tat that helped land a new client…

Here’s my GRIN for the day: I have a new client for my freelance writing, and the “job application” I sent him consisted of (1) a link to this blog, as a “writing sample,” and (2) a photo of my motorcycle tattoo.

I regularly refer to my tats as Stories, but had never considered this particular Ink in the role of Resumé or Credential… Here we are, though—I’ve just chalked up another regular client thanks (in part) to a tattoo, and for the foreseeable future I’ll be writing a daily blog about Biker Life over at the spanking-new BikerCraze site.

I won’t usually be “crossing over” with my posts there and here, but today I thought I’d post my inaugural biking-post in both places…

The First Ride: Letting Go

I’ve been anticipating the full launch of BikerCraze for a little while now, so I’m thrilled to see the site up and at ‘em! I was just browsing the online catalog, and have already mentally bookmarked the blue dragon decal, which would pretty perfectly match the blue dragon twining up my right leg…

The tat has a story behind it, of course—as does the motorcycle inked across my chest—and as I contemplate the birth of a biking community here, I’m also led to reflect on the story of my own beginning with regard to bikes. It seems like a fitting story to start with here.

My husband of four years has a long history with bikes (he had his motorcycle endorsement well before I was born), but when we met I’d never so much as sat on one. I’d hardly so much as looked at them, to be honest—it didn’t occur to me that I might be a Bike kinda girl.

But then… It also hadn’t occurred to me before that I might be an alcoholic kinda girl (we met in Rehab!), or an unemployed kinda girl (I’d made close to six figures as a school administrator before my crash-and-burn with alcoholism), or a married-to-an-awesome-Old-Guy kinda girl, or…

Well, in short… Life turned out to have a lot of intriguing opportunities open—once I Let Go and acknowledged that it was NOT going to look like what I used to plan for myself. It was my husband’s A.A. Sponsor who facilitated my first bike ride. He had an electric-blue Harley that nobody ever touched but himself—but for reasons unknown, he handed my husband the keys one sunny afternoon and told us to have it back to him by dark.

My husband was ecstatic. I was apprehensive.

I perched uncertainly on the back, unsure how the balance should feel, and suppressed a squeak on every corner he took. If it’s possible to strangle someone’s stomach, I was probably doing that to him as well, and he finally pulled over and told me to take a few breaths.

The First Bike Ride: I was hooked!

I realized that I’d been so worried about the bike that I’d been unconsciously trying to steer it with my butt! And everyone who has ever had a rookie passenger behind them knows just how helpful THAT is.

So… I Let Go. Consciously let go of my worry, and relaxed into the turns… As soon as I did, my husband could tell the difference in his ability to handle the bike. And oh my God, what a joyful ride! From that afternoon, I’ve been hooked.

And that ride has become an analogy for our life: when we try to steer with our butts, things just aren’t going to go smoothly! These days we Let Go… and enjoy the Journey, whatever it may be.


I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :)

76 thoughts on “A Lesson on Letting Go

  1. Congrats on the new gig and great first post! My tattoo sparks some conversations, but I have yet to get a job with it..hmmmm…I haven’t lost any over it either..ha ha.


    1. Knock on wood, then, for BOTH of us! No doubt that’s one advantage to writing… And Ministering—a clerical collar hides all manner of (ahem) “sins”…. :)


  2. My wife (10 years younger) was not crazy about motorcycle but she is my riding buddy. I will have to get her to write about her getting over her fears. I just now wrote my story about that on my blog.

    Ride safe and we will see you somewhere on the road.


      1. she rode once with me for about 10 feet, I told her to hold on to me and she wasnt holding too tight and almost fell off the back, but my bike is not meant for 2 its a 09 1200 xl custom sportster but she did say I need to get a bigger bike next year so she can ride so I will be looking at a electra glide or something along that line


  3. Hubby just bought a couple of old bikes a few months ago! He thinks maybe WE are bike people. Hmmm… I’m not quite sure. I’ve ridden on the backs of a few, in my much younger days, but not recently! Oh well, I’ve got some time to figure it out, as one of them doesn’t even run yet. ;-) I’ve got the tattoos… so maybe it’s a fit! Hah! His lodge has formed a club, and I think he wants to join. However it shakes it, it’s bound to be an interesting journey to add to my own blog, as it unfolds!

    Congrats on scoring the writing gig. Someday I’m gonna have me some of those too!


    1. One of our current jokes: “We’ve got the leathers, we’ve got the tats, we’ve got the motorcycle endorsement… What are we missing? …oh yeah. the BIKE.” ;)

      Speaking as someone who does things on purpose so-I-can-write-about-them, I’m thinking you’ve got a gold mine there!! :)


    1. I had been harboring a theory that people are either “Bike-people” or NOT (first ride reveals all?)… I’m curious, though, how many people have to “warm up” to it. :)


  4. I enjoy reading your blogs! Im not a lil bias or anything! Hehehe we love you Granny! Cant wait for the day you, Daddy, Ku’uipo & I get to ride together! Tylah Boy Sarah has her motorcycle license!


  5. Steering with your butt- there’s an image that speaks to me! Happy for you Kana, and even more happy that you have appeared on my “blogs that I follow” page today, unsummoned! At last! I don’t know what I finally did right (or wrong) but welcome!


  6. Atta, girl! And I hear you on NOT letting derriere-driven decisions rule your life.

    BTW I was reminiscing about my first motorcycle ride recently – 2 teenage girls streaking and squealing through the snow at 2 a.m. on her brother’s Honda 125. Luckily the exhilarating thrill was the memorable part and not a life-altering mishap ;-) Lots of strange tales from atop 2 wheels. If you’re bored and got some time on your hands you might get a chuckle from:


    1. I would LOVE that, of all things! I’ve been enjoying the series, forwarded the first installment (Polynesian tattoos) to my very-tattooed Hawai’ian husband… (Btw, regarding the 2nd installment: he says his tutu kane’s tutu kane—his great-great-great grandfather—reported that “Captain Cook tasted like chicken.”) We’ve got plenty of tattoos (and photos of them, and stories behind them) and would love to participate in whatever way is useful. :)


      1. Lovely! Would love to incorporate some stories behind the tattoos submitted by the readers, that is a brilliant idea.
        Feel free to email me :D

        “Captain Cook tasted like chicken” Haha, I bet he did! Salty chicken probably, after all those years out on the open sea :D


  7. I enjoy reading your writing, Kana.

    The last two posts, of yours, I have read offered me some insight into the blogging world. A world in which I wander, though I wander aimlessly and with ignorance as my guide.


      1. Thanks so much. :) I’ve been doing the same wandering-and-learning… (and SHARING—when I learn from other peoples’ sharing, and my own goofs and epiphanies!) And there we have it: Community! :)


  8. Steering with your butt?! Okay, that makes me giggle. And it pretty much describes what I’ve been doing for 38 years, lol!


    1. Right there with you! It’s an A.A. saying that we should “let go and let God,” so I’ve shared this story/analogy in more than one Meeting… :)


  9. I LOVE your phrase, “When we try to steer with our butts, things just aren’t going to go smoothly!” It tells me that any movement will be in the backwards direction. Better to always “sit on a decision” but not for too long. What a wonderful post. … and I’ll end the buns … er puns.. at this! Thanks. TTFN


    1. I’m not sure why so many of my epiphanies and analogies have to do with my butt… I’m thinking of the “butt-dump” (air release) on a scuba diver’s inflatable buoyancy device–my analogy between buoyancy-control and mood management… “A brain-dump IS a butt-dump when you have your head up your ass!” ;)
      Buoyancy Control


  10. I also find that Life goes a little more smoothly with relaxed sphincter muscles!!!

    I love bike stories. My little Suzuki 250 saved my life way back in 1983. If I’d’ve been in a car, I’d be dead. I mourned the loss of my bike more than I mourned the loss of my sporting career. (at least at the time)

    Here’s to our beloved Freedom Machines.


  11. High Five on the new writing job and I agree with many of the other people here, you write really well.
    hope you don’t mind if I tag along..


  12. Great post. What a story, and what a life.
    Not wanting to seem like I completely missed the point of the post, but my wife used to steer with her butt; drove me crazy! Lol, she’d also climb up my back when she got nervous. I always knew to slow it down about the time she was sitting on top of my head :-)


    1. Oh my gosh, that mental image makes me wish I were a cartoonist! (And makes me glad that I am, “at least,” a writer…)

      Just shared with Hubby what I’m snorting about over here, and he confirms that what you describe is precisely why he pulled us over on that First Ride. :)


  13. Congrats on the new writing gig! If only my tattoos came in as helpful. ;) I love the story in this post –it’s such a great message. I’m often guilty of trying to steer things to hard instead of just going with it.


  14. This is so perfect! congratulations on finding a new client! I am so happy that things are working out for you!

    and that’s a really cute picture! :D


    1. Thank you, on all counts! And yup—one way or another, we manage to land on our feet… (Or, as we say between the two of us, “God hasn’t dropped us on our asses yet…”)


  15. Excellent debut piece for your new writing gig and you guys look great on that beautiful blue Harley. Letting go of your worries almost makes me wish I could grow the nerves of fuzz needed to ride my favorite kind of motorized bike, the Vespa. Hey, I’m the poster child for City Slicker.


  16. Kana, what a lovely post, and written with such joy. I remember trying to steer with my butt on my first ride — what a difference when I finally got it! I love these photos of you — you should never wear another color besides turquoise for the rest of your life, as it makes your hair and your face sing! Always so great to read what you have to say! 8-)


  17. Love it, love it, love it, love it, love it. And it reminded me of the first time I ever rode on (read: snuck on the back of in the middle of the night) my first bike. It’s a moment I won’t soon forget (hopefully ever).

    I adore your analogy: too true. Nothing says “I trust that we’ll come out alive” like when your passenger finally stops shouting in your ear, “ARE YOU SURE WE’RE NOT GOING TO DIE!?”


  18. Kana—I am so excited for you! That is incredibly wonderful. As always–your refreshing authenticity, joy, honesty all shine through. I know they will LOVE you at your new daily blog. hugs and woohoos to you!!


  19. Hi Kana, thanks for coming by my blog. Just wanted to say, you are an awesome writer. Your words flow beautifully and are filled with character. Congrats on overcoming your fear and thanks for the inspiration :)


  20. Congrats, Kana!!! You’re such a talented writer that I cannot see why a person would turn you down.
    “Riding with our butts” makes me remember when I used to “push” the brakes from the passenger seat. :)


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