Road Weary the Wanderer (the Blur)

I was trying to figure out how many times I’ve driven across the country. As I passed that scraggly little tree where I-84 crosses the 45th parallel. Halfway between the equator and the pole.

I can only get back so far before the memories blur. The histories get confused. It’s all a tape on fast forward: jerky figures flashing by.

I know this much. I have spent my life in motion. My “rest” is a kind of motion. I feel a kind of home settling into me when I travel fast enough that the scenery begins to blur.

This has been a dangerous impulse for me. At my worst moments, set on self-destruct, I would uproot anything that grows to get that feeling of blur. I would risk anything to escape the weight of gravity. I could lose my life, running away from the weight of it.

Still, I hold my sense of place with an open hand. Is this lucky? Or the opposite? Nick came home from the Bahamas in time for me to drive away on retreat and when I get back he’ll leave again, and then we’re spending part of the summer in Colorado. I blinked, looking at our calendar this year. It is a value of mine to be tied to the land. And yet…homebound I am not. I wonder…what could hold me? 

The energy of new things is a magnet to me. I don’t want to spend every month of every year in our yurt in the mountains. We’re old enough (and have had trauma enough) to live each day like we are mortal: in other words, to live each day like it’s the only one.

This is a philosophy we call “Do whatever we want.” And we take it quite seriously. 

When Nick and I broke up, years ago, the underlying root cause was a split between our dreams for the future. I wanted to go somewhere. And he didn’t want to go. We both sacrificed. We were treading water, neither of us taking a step for fear it would be the step that would break us apart. And as that space opened up between us and our desires, it was a distance between us and ourselves.

When we rebuilt our marriage we said, no more of that. We said this time, we’re going to do whatever we want. No holding back and no martyring. No kicking under years of dreams for an illusion of shared stability. No blaming each other for the things we haven’t done. We’ll risk the blur.

You don’t have to scroll down very far in my feed to see that I sometimes pay for that. And Nick is home at the yurt today (mostly offline, so I don’t know), but maybe this weekend is his turn to pay. Running the place without me while I drink way too much coffee and write a new prologue for my book manuscript, wordsmithing all night long in a cheap hotel room in the Dalles.

I miss the baby-who-is-not-really-a-baby anymore. She and I have never before this weekend ever been apart. But I needed to get free. I needed to run. The blur does this for me: it breaks up the whole fiction of must-do’s and really-am’s. It breaks up the illusions of need and hardship that constantly creep in, trying to control me out of freedom in abundance.

In the blur I recapture this truth. That I am home. In this moment. And this one. I am home. In this odd, tiny town and this hotel room. I am home. In this city and in this relationship with good friends I haven’t seen in years. I am home. At the scraggly tree where I-84 crosses the 45th parallel. I am home. Already.

Home. Home. Home. And this is rest.

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  1. Caiobhe says:

    Enjoy the rest! I like the philosophy of do anything you want to . I’ve just started trying that one out too – for similar reasons . We are all different – that’s the thing we have to get our heads round isn’t it? Have a great weekend .

  2. This truly spoke to me. I reread it three times yesterday. Thanks for not being afraid to share the radical way that you do things, and for committing to whatever kind of life makes sense for you and yours.

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