Gregory Ormson writes, rides his Harley-Davidson, plays guitar, and teaches yoga for bikers at Superstition Harley Davidson. He lives in Arizona. In July, he was awarded the Eastern Iowa Review / Port Yonder Press Issue 3 long form lyric essay award for 2017.
What others say about Ormson’s nonfiction writing:
“These essays show us the soul of a father, a woodsman, and companionable philosopher shaped by beauty and grace . . . it is wise, lyrical, reverential, and above all wild.”
–Jonathon Johnson Ph.D., professor at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, the MFA program at Eastern Washington University. Author of Mastodon, 80% Complete, Hannah and the Mountain: Notes toward a Wilderness Fatherhood, and others.
As a fellow midwesterner who has, like the author, lived in many places outside the region, Gregory Ormson’s essay, Midwest Intimations, rang true. From the typical Midwestern reticence to our love/hate relationship with winter, I found myself, as I read, loving even more, the place I chose to return to, the place I’ll always call home, no matter where I live. As Ormson said so eloquently, “I hang my hat on these anchors: a deer in the woods, the dragonfly hatch in May, and the startling retort of hardwoods in frigid February.” Ormson reminds readers what it’s like to be a Midwesterner and how region helps shape us into who we are and who we will become. (Kelly Garriott Waite, contributor to Eastern Iowa Review, Issue 3, summer 2017, Honoring the Lyric Essay.
“He’s working his best vital swirls when he’s taking risks or defining spirit quests: we follow his voice as naturally as ‘lizard, spider, dragonfly and sun.”
–Russell Thorburn M.F.A. Wayne State University, author of Approximate Desire, Father Tell me I Have Not Aged, and more.
“Like the tangled roots of trees, his words reveal visible and invisible sensory connections: the accommodating heartbeats of a drum circle, the thirsty tap of weasel claws which reverberate up to the moon, the archetypical pleasure of a warm fire on a cold night.”
–Kathleen Heidmann, M.A. Northern Michigan University, President, Save the Wild U.P.
“The common earthly elements of seasons and land and water present almost secular liturgies and litanies of heartbreak and loss . . . and tamed hope amidst a jaded world . . . they reveal a ‘dimension of depth’ and ‘ecstatic reason.’
–Bob Ahern, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology and Social Work The Ohio State University.
I WALK to my bike and notice my heart rate speed-up. Life shifts as I throw my leg over and sink down into the soft leather seat. I push the start button and feel the frame twist. I squeeze the throttle and a rumble opens the throat. I plan a casual ride; leaving the driveway, I start slow.
I’m at ease and positioned at a red light ready to merge onto the highway. Seeing the green arrow, I squeeze the throttle and gravity thrusts me back against the seat. Testing the Milwaukee iron, I feel the wind buffeting my face.
Two lanes converge and I jump to the 202. The green blinker light on the chrome instrument panel communicates my intention. A small white car in the next lane moves left, so I shift lanes and lean into gravity; in seconds, I’m slip-sliding past the car at 80 mph.
We’ve see them on the highway in stale containers messing with their cell phones and Cheetos while squinting through dirty windows. We sit over power and ride into the wind. Our hands and arms are engaged – NO DISTRACTIONS – as we listen to the language of the big twin’s explosions.
Ahead of me, a black truck is spilling small rocks from its bed. I squeeze the throttle and my back hugs the leather seat. The engine’s roar quickly sends me past the hazard. I sink deeper and notice the sound. It’s a sound I enjoy, and a smile crosses my face as I decipher a language fueled by a rich mixture of heat, highway, and Harley.… read more...
Thanks to Sivana east for publishing my 70th yoga piece (yogainspirationals).
Thanks also to: Yoga International, Yogi Times, elephant journal, Asana Journal, Do You Yoga, Hello Yoga, Tribe Grow, Seattle Yoga News, The Yoga Blog, The Health Orange, Medium, Boa Yoga, and AZ Rider Southwest.
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