As someone who is often so terrified about any even moderately substantial change in my life, I sure don’t do much. It’s taken me so long to learn obvious lessons that everyone else sometimes seems to have simply been born with, and sometimes it’s overwhelming, seeing the time I’ve wasted in the pursuit of—well, I don’t know what of. Still trying to figure that out. And I’m still looking for it, I guess, but there’s no better place to try and find it than the road.
Or maybe I should say The Road. Towns have roads; I drive on roads to work every day and I drive on roads home. But that’s not it. I’m talking about the magic of The Road. North on I-15 through Idaho, jump through Montana, come back through the tip of Idaho and head west to the Pacific. Big-horn sheep walking through grain-laden valleys. Skies taunting you with rainclouds and teasing you with beams of light jutting through them, bright enough melt a snowman.
I’m in western Montana. The truck is driving parallel to a railroad track and I wonder what it must’ve been like for Carl Sandburg to travel across the country and back again, hiding from brakemen in cattle cars and seeing every imaginable set of American imagery from a perpetually in-motion vantage. I briefly roll down my window to catch the smell of the heartland I’m watching fly by me, but the late-November weather and the 80 MPH wind chill are too much. Which is a shame, because if it smells even half as wonderful as it looks, then I’m being denied the aromas of beginnings and promise.
I see a tumbleweed and immediately hear a lonesome harmonica in the back of my brain.
I can’t quite explain what it is about The Road. There is certainly something to be said for leaving everything back home behind and making a new, albeit temporary, go of things in an element that is decidedly not your own.
More to come. Including what is surely a highly anticipated post about "gratitude" that, in all honesty, will not be satirical or fun-making. Swear.
I've got a whole bunch for which to be grateful these days. Not the least of which being the good people at Pixar for making such reliably fine films.