4.05.2007

The Highway Confessional

I hit the road, well, really the air, and landed on rich red clay that spent all week trying to henna my feet. When it came time for me to head home, the clay tried to come with me not knowing how good it had it where it was. But aren’t we all that way, unable to appreciate the beauty that greets us daily, the beauty we grow accustomed to?

On the road I tasted a life rich with quiet. The phone never rang, no messages to check, no email to answer, no news to read. I unplugged by choice, and once breathing this air, I said, “I can’t go back, at least not to what I’d become.” Over there, I remembered the me I once was: adaptable, flexible, curious, in movement, in conversation, gasping in laughter, pushing myself right up against the edge of tears in experiences richly felt.

But I had to come home. My life is here. However life and I had a little chat, and we’ve both agreed to change. I promised to walk forward more and detour less, for while detours are delicious, they can evolve to distraction, a reason not to cross a much-desired finish line. I have some finishing to do. In exchange, life offered to lend a hand, to keep me mindful of the present and not allow me to obsess about the unknowable future. Life offered me delusion, for only in delusion can I walk the path I have chosen. Life also offered to prod me to action, which has thrust paint swatches onto my bedroom walls and paint stripper onto my bedroom doors. These days, everyone gets a makeover.

And then there’s the other confusion. Here. As in here. Today is the one-year mark of this site, and we’re having some relationship issues. Here has become a detour rather than a forward march. In the clarity of away, in the over there, I couldn’t deny it. I couldn’t ignore all the hours I leap around the internet visiting other voices while the finish line waits with hands on its hips, looking at its watch, wondering what’s taking me so long. I have things calling, and I’m not sure how to reconcile my confusion.

So if I seem distant and unavailable, recognize the behavior as my dance with processing. How can I stay and not have an affair with distraction? How can I leave and turn my back on those I’ve met and what I’ve learned?


5 comments:

kristen said...

I'm distracted beyond belief by the internet and all the lovely words I read, yours included. Thank you for that reminder. xo

QT said...

I will take small doses over complete withdrawal -really I will!

I agree, there are so many people to meet and talk to, it is tough to stay away.

Mo said...

I'm sad that you feel this is a diversion, instead of a creative expression. Blogging and making connections with others through it has been wonderful for me. I haven't been someone with a large social circle, and this has filled a gap in my life, giving me support and encouragement and new friends. I love reading your writing, it's inspiring to me, but I understand you must do what you must.

jen said...

this was amazing:
However life and I had a little chat, and we’ve both agreed to change.

it's exactly that, isn't it. how you are able to personify things i don't think of in this way amaze me over and over.

and over.

Neil said...

I have no answers to your questions, but I'm glad you were inspired. Welcome back to the jungle.