For years I loved reading books about women who left their mundane and confining lives behind to re-establish themselves in unfamiliar territory, from the snow drifts of Sweden to the dust of eastern Texas, the islands of the Mediterranean, or the cafes of Paris. Each left something important behind and emerged, transformed. I envied their transformations, thinking my life too set, too happy for such a brutal awakening. Perhaps this is why it took me so long to recognize the Fool’s precipice at my feet, and then to knowingly and intentionally leap off the edge. I forgot my literary lessons. I forgot that on the way down, you grow wings.
Miles feel shorter at 90mph. Or maybe time means something different here. I could stop at any point along this highway and shoot for hours. And yet there is magic in racing through the changing colors into new light, always having the camera close at hand, ready to seize images in a split second that becomes a memory.
It is just after sunrise and I sit in a hotel in Idaho, looking through the images I was too tired to be excited by last night. Each shot brings back memories of the day before, but other thoughts as well. Each reminds me of other road trips, other drives through the rough beauty of the gorge, other sunsets along other highways. Is this how the entire journey will be, a remembrance as well as a rebirth? Or, once I leave behind the diffused light of overcast skies and the states I traversed in another life, will I feel the freedom of the desert wind without the strings of past attachments? Are these memories a tether or a trap?
One thing that will not change - I am still lulled into bliss by the movement of just driving.
A combination of love and loss stopped my writing over a decade ago and righteous angst resulted in two garbage bags full of shredded journal pages. Now life and technology offer a new direction, where words no longer serve as the balm for fear.
The theme of the last year has been learning to have faith - in myself, in life, in the people I care about, and in the work that I do. I thought I had a pretty good idea about what my life was going to be like, until I became trapped in the comfort of familiarity.
Now, I am collecting myself. In preparation. For something I can't quite see. It shimmers like a mirage, but I feel it ahead of me. In the desert.