Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Thanksgiving in New Jersey Misadventure

Lately, it has been all about the rediscovery of truths and necessities in my life: those things that sometimes we file away and forget, and when they are missing for too long we wander around our heads and hearts and houses seeking something impossible to find because it isn't laying about anywhere.

One of the things I love about Texas is its wide, wild, open spaces. I love driving through them: seeing barbed wire fences, cows, cactus and sunsets. Oh the sunsets! The mile markers, the Texas shaped highway markers, the vultures sitting on power lines, and the oak trees. The grass and the light. The scrubbiness of Texas countryside and how the texture of the plants and light changes as the day advances from misty morning to dry afternoon and dusky evenings. Even at night the land makes a noise as the wind blows across the dust and the weeds: when you drive with the windows down the perfume of the land blows through the car and just makes you realize where you are.

Late Afternoon Texas Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush and Live Oaks

I love driving, always have. I love driving long distances in the day and at night. I prefer the day because I love to stare off into distances and see what is coming. I love to look out at fields and notice the animals living there. I love to watch clouds change as I drive underneath them, and I am a sucker for sunsets.

Today I drove from Philly to New Jersey, to my cousin's house for Thanksgiving. I had some new records to listen to, a box of knitting projects and a snack or two and took off up I-95 towards Morris Plains. Just south of Trenton, I hit terrible traffic and crawled for an hour and a half and traveled two miles! Luckily for me, this was not caused by a truck spilling industrial chemicals all over the highway but just accidents and road work (I hope everyone is okay).

A Road at Night

After I found my alternative route, it was dark. I turned off my GPS because I looked at an old fashioned map in the Service Plaza and figured out my way. I listened, in the early dark, to Beirut's new album from start to finish, and had a beautiful drive, by myself, through the night.

A Candle's Fire

Tonight's drive made me think of all the drives I made between Austin and Houston all those years ago when that was a drive I made all the time. That drive is all countryside, while this one is almost all city...but the driving is the same. The sense of moving through space, of shifting and getting away from the day to day, of controlling your destiny more so than when you are in a plane. I love it.

I realized tonight that one of the truths about myself is I need space. I need space to drive, space to live, and space to bicycle. I need wide open sky and stars and trees and fields with cows. I need open windows and sunsets and time. Time just to be, just to listen to records as the clouds pass overhead, as the asphalt passes underneath, as mile after mile passes by and you get to where you are going.

Good to know...

Leonard Cohen has a new song called "Show Me the Place". I just listened to it four times while writing this.

1 comment:

  1. I have come to know lots from this blog. Thanks so much!