Nature is a balancing act.

By ‘nature’ I don’t specifically mean the trees, and animals, and oceans and etc. Rather, I mean the whole of the universe, and what She has planned for any of us both individually, as well as a civilization. When a void is created, it’s filled with something else. When a pendulum reaches the peak of its arc, it begins swinging back again. This is how I’m currently looking at all of this chaos outside our doors. Though I don’t have a constant grip on it, this directive is helping me maintain some semblance of sanity in the face of it all.

Yes, certainly the proverbial shit is hitting the fan, and the the fallout will continue to be extraordinary, but at the end of he day, the planet will still be here, love and fear will still be two of the most powerful human emotions, up will be up, down will almost certainly still be down, water will still be wet, and burritos will likely remain one of the most perfect foods ever devised.

I’m sure I’ve brought this up before, (upon further investigation, I have) but having spoken with an intuitive named Nita Lapinski in Flagstaff last fall about my own personal turmoil, I was left with a perspective that has become foundational to my mental well being. Essentially she described challenging points in one’s life as being torrents in a river. As you’re swept through the current, the harder you fight, the worse you get beat up. The river’s going to take you where it does. Trusting that the rapids will eventually let go to calmer waters is simply opening yourself to the faith that this balance is all a part of the story the universe has written for you.

Granted, some days I’m getting the absolute shit beat out of me on said rocks, and as anyone who’s spent any time here over the last two years can attest to, there have been times I’ve been held under the water for longer than I care to remember, so I’m far from figuring it out. Still, every so often, I get a moment of clarity, which I see as a gift that maybe I can share with someone out there who needs to hear it.

Having said that, I would like to publicly apologize for this past Saturday, and the bottom falling out of almost nine months of planning for 50th birthday party extravaganza. I had a bar, I had delicious Mexican food, and I had the big rock and roll sounds of O Zorn!. There was going to be a corpse face painting booth, there was likely to be some drunken making out in the bathroom, there was going to be a whole universe of bad decisions to be made, but then Covid happened, and it was the fart sound/sad trombone heard ’round the world.

Why, to make myself feel better about it not happening, I even made a crappy flyer;

The downside is the party didn’t happen, but the upside is the bar manager gave me permission to stay 49 for another year, and we’ll do it all over next September 19th, so mark your calendar.

What I did end up doing that evening is eating pizza and drinking beer in the woods with a few friends, which I enjoyed to the very center of my being.

But what I occupied myself with for most of the day is central to my next topic, which was putting the finishing touches on a video I’ve wanted to make for ten years.

1 (one) decade ago, I came across this video by Andy Warden, which to this day I absolutely adore;

The soundtrack is sublime, the riding is smooth as glass, and in whole, the clip perfectly depicts everything I like about riding hybrid bikes in the dirt.

I’ve pitched a concept to various people I know in the film making biz for about the last five years, but time and time again, nothing ever came of it.

Then, about two months ago I finally taught myself a few of the finer points involved in shooting and editing video. Armed with these woefully rudimentary skills, I set about creating my masterpiece, which I would like to share with you here;

Naturally, nothing is ever easy, and despite the fact that it was a reasonably uneventful few days worth of shooting, and finally editing the piece, uploading it to my desktop and then realizing I didn’t apply necessary filters, and had forgotten a small component of volume balance ended up driving the whole truck into the ditch.

Thankfully I ended up salvaging it all at about 11:00 last night.

Anyway, if you’re curious why today’s post might seem a little bit light, this is why.

Once again, proving that life is a never-ending balancing act between light and dark, yin and yang, or in this instance- work and play. I just have a meandering knack of combing the two, which still results in occasionally falling off the proverbial slackfline and smashing my nuts.

You just sometimes have to embrace the chaos, and try to remember that without fail, the universe wants what the universe wants.

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Leave a Reply

26 Responses to “Nature is a balancing act.”

  1. Gilephotography13 September 22, 2020 at 5:38 am #

    Cool video Stevil, that was awesome. Great to see you hammering trails and enjoying the slappy scene. This is still my favorite place to check in every week for some sanity in this bullshit world. Thank You for some lighter, more positive perspective and for putting it out there where those of us that need it, can read it and reflect a little. And Happy Birthday!

  2. Thomas September 22, 2020 at 6:39 am #

    Great Video Steve and Happy paused 50th. Keep on doing what you love…

  3. chambers500 September 22, 2020 at 6:41 am #

    Happy Birthday my man. That right there, is the way to spend a day!

  4. Logan September 22, 2020 at 7:26 am #

    That video was sick! I loved the cycling segment with no soundtrack, only riding noises. With fun being fun and all, you’d think we’d all be trying harder to have more of it.

  5. AJ September 22, 2020 at 7:48 am #

    Really great visual story telling in the video! I totally want to ride those trails with you after seeing this.

  6. whocares September 22, 2020 at 8:01 am #

    Nice vid. For a true homage, you should have lifted your bike over the fence and walked through the gate at the beginning.

    • dpow September 22, 2020 at 10:38 am #

      Ha ha, I thought the same thing!

    • Stevil September 22, 2020 at 10:55 am #

      I can’t raise my arms that high.

  7. spokejunky September 22, 2020 at 8:36 am #

    That’s such a great video. Happy half a century. Glad to see you made it.

  8. Adam C. September 22, 2020 at 9:28 am #

    The pandemic has until Feb to get the H outta here so I can celebrate the same milestone. Your glass is a half a century full. You don’t look a day over 49. Happy B day.

  9. Gripsgirl September 22, 2020 at 11:11 am #

    Love this!?

  10. Boise Dingo September 22, 2020 at 11:19 am #

    Second comment ever… Happy 50th and excellent video. I hope that in 10 years, I can still shred it like you.

  11. Brian September 22, 2020 at 12:25 pm #

    I love everything about that video, well done! I don’t skate even a little bit, but I thoroughly enjoyed that. Thank you for all the excellent content, as well as creative products, over the years and (belated) happy birthday Stevil!

  12. Glenn Wolf September 22, 2020 at 12:57 pm #

    Happy birthday. Pizza in the woods with friends seems pretty good to me.

    Liked the video!

  13. Dan September 22, 2020 at 2:09 pm #


  14. Caroline September 22, 2020 at 2:59 pm #

    HAPPY SECOND TWENTY FIFTH BIRTHDAY! That’s so rad. Make sure to give a solid paddle or a good kick every once in a while while being swifted down that River — to keep from drowning when this or that tries to push you under.

    Nothing like looking back 5 decades to realize that things aren’t actually much worse now than they were then. 5 decades ago folks were still reeling from things like the Holocaust and Hiroshima, or at least grass was still reeling from Woodstock. We are just WIRED FOR MOTHERFUCKIN’ SOUND, and hearing every little blip because of these damn screens.

    Some “blips” definitely need to go, though. That’s what those kicks and paddles are for..

  15. Momsue September 22, 2020 at 3:03 pm #

    Well done, You. I’m as proud today as. I was 50 years ago! Apparently I’ve said that before but I’m saying it again!

  16. Vaughan Watson September 22, 2020 at 3:28 pm #

    Between you and Shaun Palmer I am less bummed about getting old, 50 looks rad!

  17. Double Deed September 22, 2020 at 7:05 pm #

    Wait, you left your glasses @ 5:26! Is this what 50 has come to? A complete disregard for personal belongings!? You got it bad. LOL and HBD.

    • Stevil September 22, 2020 at 11:01 pm #

      Good eye. I couldn’t run up, and ride down those stairs anymore, so I left the shot as is. No Arnettes were damaged in the making of this clip.

  18. Soda September 22, 2020 at 7:49 pm #

    Bravo. Loved it.

    Happy fifty, Steev-ul.

  19. Krafty September 22, 2020 at 9:07 pm #

    Excellent video, Stevil!
    Happy 50th (See ya next year for the do-over)!
    Thanks for keepin it real up in here. I’m a big fan.


  20. JP September 23, 2020 at 4:46 am #

    I eat burritos when I’m sad, I eat burritos when I’m not sad.

  21. Neil September 23, 2020 at 9:42 am #

    Great video… congrats on realizing your vision! From the moment you hit the trail the smile didn’t leave my face, and now I want to go for a ride! Oh, and perfect soundtrack for a ride in the woods… softly jingling keys. 🙂

    Happy Birthday!

  22. Rocky September 23, 2020 at 11:16 am #

    Sick vid! I shared it with my kids (5 and 2) and they loved it too.

  23. Sloan September 23, 2020 at 3:32 pm #

    Man Stevil I love you dude! Onward through the fog!