Author Jack Lyndon Thomas’ Lights on the Water/Impressions in the Sand: A Motorcycling Odyssey is much more about life than it is motorcycling. Though the narrative follows Jack’s physical journey on the “War Horse,” a BMW K 1200 RS, as he journeys across the U.S. and Canada, its purpose and real interest is in the emotional and spiritual experiences along the way. In the text Jack continually recounts memories of pivotal times in his life; his time as a soldier in Vietnam, tender moments with his daughter, a flood that destroyed his home, and even back to his days as a boy growing up in Texas. The book frequently switches back and forth between a memoir and a travelogue. One minute the reader is on a farm in Oklahoma as Jack recalls his summer working there, and the next it’s back to the present moment as he approaches the same area on his motorcycle forty years later. It’s this weaving together of present and past that makes this book truly unique. There are quite a few stories here, disconnected by time yet tied together once again by 18,000 miles on a motorcycle.
Though these are one man’s personal stories and recollections, I suspect that they strike a common chord with many of his generation. As motorcyclists, it’s easy to relate to the introspection that inevitably comes as the miles roll by. We too often revisit those beautiful, hard, and, at times, painful memories from our pasts as we travel on our motorcycles. For a lot of us, it’s a big part of why we ride. And this is what makes Thomas’ writing so appealing, it’s immediately relatable while at the same time entertaining.
You won’t find a hard copy of Lights on the Water/Impressions in the Sand as it’s only available electronically. Check out Jack Thomas’ website for links to purchase and download the book.
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