“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes “Awww!
– Jack Kerouac, On The Road
I left the Pacific Northwest on a grey, stormy day. Back at the wheel of my car for a road trip to Arizona where Cradoc and I will spend the winter.
I love road trips through the Rockies and the Southwest. Through rugged snow-capped mountains. Through red rock mesa country and the brown treeless landscape where dinosaurs once roamed. Through deep canyons, along clear rivers, out to the open fields where antelope and deer grazed and train cars rolled by. .
We drove 1582 miles in five days of silence. No audio books, music or podcasts. The temperature was stunningly cold and that kept us inside the warm cocoon of the car where even talking wasn’t necessary. We’ve driven these roads many times before, usually in a rush to get someplace. But this time was different. We slowed down and drove fewer hours each day, which created an ease between us and the world.
There’s nowhere to hide in a landscape where the big sky meets the endless horizon. Only wide open spaces to release dreams into. In the long hours of silence I contemplated what was most important in my life. Who did I want to expand into and where and how could I best do that? What was I willing to do and what was I willing to give up to become the best version of myself I could be?
This kind of road trip rejuvenates my soul. It reminds me how big the world is and how little I am. Which is a good thing. I got to move forward towards my destination by simply sitting still, the space within as vast as the space outside.
We’ve stopped in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a few weeks to visit with friends and family. It feels like I’ve come full circle from when I lived here thirty years ago. So many paths taken since then, on the way to everywhere I could find.