Yesterday, I drove over the river from Missouri and across the entire state of Kansas and into Colorado, and the sky spoke in 360 degrees.
Aside from the occasional glimpse in the rearview, road trips seem to be about looking ahead. Letting go of the past has been a more difficult and tricky endeavor than I’d have liked it to be. Driving helps.
A whirl of images flits through my mind from the past year, so many flights, trains, sights, people, countries, cities, words, laughter, tears, moments. Somehow, stillness, too. A machine whirring with the sound of incessant memories, the soothing comfort of white noise, of things we take for granted.
I’ve had actual traumas, brushes with death, as it were. Catapulting moments, in my past experience, are brief and terrifying. But recently, the slingshot was pulled back with dramatic emphasis, and released slowly as if deliberately, and I have only begun my arch through the air.
I fix my attention on the horizon, and hold still for hours and days at a time. The horizon moves and morphs before me, sometimes grey and bland, sometimes bursting with color or blinding light. I fling myself across a continent, and yet, at the end of the day, I have to stretch because my body hasn’t moved at all.
I’ve started to think that the balance between dreaming and living can be easily struck, prevented only by our tendency of cluttering it up, making it difficult for ourselves. But I’m also starting to feel lighter and more agreeable to human nature, to forgive myself. To laugh at how hard I’ve made it in the past. To enjoy that it gets simpler, if not easier. Effort is required, but not hardship.
Perhaps what we call “time” is part of our divinity itself, and that is why the passing of time seems to add to our wisdom.
This trip, this effort without hardship, sending myself westward towards the hope of sunshine and a dream, is healing me, when I thought it would drain me. Oh, how many times have I anticipated that in reverse? I am beginning to know the simplicity of moving forward, and enjoying the fact that it is impossible to know in advance what will hurt and what will heal. Perhaps this is where fearlessness comes from: to not know what to expect. And then, to not need to know. But just to follow my instincts gently forward.