I draw great solace from the open road. There is a gentle satisfaction to be had, from the glow of the hi-beams under the soft light of the moon, lost in the thickly forested hills and sleeping farm-hamlets. My hands are humming from gripping my steering wheel, my eyes are dry and clear, the air has that crisp rain-on-asphalt edge from this afternoon's thunderstorms and the empty embrace of this sleeping road stills something inside me, like water ebbing in a receding tide.

The six-year-old in me likes to think of these insomniac evenings as though they were deeply important nocturnal missions; someone, after all, has to check the roads and make sure they're still there. You never know when these ornery and lonely roads might up and decide not to be there anymore. Best to check them periodically, do the rounds, as it were, flash the hi-beams about and keep an eye on things.

Roads, solitary bus-stops, and incandescent lane stripes all strike me as tremendous acts of faith, in the middle of the lonesome night. I sometimes forget, in this ongoing malcontent, that there is such a world around me, and it is when I'm alone on the road and in the dark that I see these things and wonder at what a world there is. This road leads through so many places. Buses pass that post, and sometimes people pass that way. These lanes are kept, even when there is no one to keep them, and I follow all these things like a ghost, for whom they were all laid out just so.

These are tokens of a numinous and intimated world that I do not know; different from their appearances in daylight, because then they are something different--perhaps lesser, perhaps diminished and mundane, but also perhaps simply something else entirely--whereas tonight, in this light, these lane stripes and that bus stop hint of a sleeping reality that isn't mine, not even in daylight, and perhaps my longing for this other world is an expression of my lingering malcontent. Perhaps.


Thank you for your expressions of concern and support or otherwise; I assure you I am quite alright, thank you very much. I'm just rambling on now, and I'm not looking for help or attention or anything of the kind. To clarify and/or reiterate; the purpose of this site, amongst a great many other purposes, is to act as a mode by which I engage the world around me, and maybe harness/hone my craft as a writer in the process. I am not needful of anything in particular from anyone. Which is not to sound ungrateful, for of late I have received a number of e-mails and/or random acts of kindness/strangeness in my waking world, of which it has been my privilege to be so honored. (I spell this out more for myself to read, in truth.)


Last night I was talking with my roommate when quite suddenly, and apropos of nothing, a longing to once more visit the Hopi Reservation came upon me. And in describing to her what I was longing for, I very nearly walked out the door and into my car, in order to find again that magical memory in my waking world. To watch the sunrise from the lip of the high mesa, to smell the baking flatbreads and the roasting sweet corn, to feel the rhythm of the kachina dolls drumming in my feet and in my chest, to see the vastness of this world enclosed in the limitless horizons of the Arizona desert and the San Francisco Mountains and the endless stare of the Hopi Creator glancing into my core.

There is a post office on the Reservation, in the village of Kykotsmovi, where I used to send and sometimes even receive mail via General Delivery. I sometimes wonder if perhaps there is not some letter still waiting there for me, in the dusty antique mailbox. And that perhaps I ought to go and retrieve it...




Sallyacious said...

I know exactly what you mean. My graduation present is a week with the sea turtles just north of Cabo. Quiet, ocean, good food, late nights with achingly starry skies and turtle nests, and hardly any other people.

The last time I did the turtle trip, I came back more relaxed and refreshed than I had been in years. Right now, it and the diploma with those three little letters, "MFA," are the only things keeping me going.

paulmonster said...

Every time I pass by the Fred Meyers here on Hawthorne, and there's a truck awkwardly backed into the strangely misplaced loading dock which spills over the sidewalk and into the street, so that half the truck seems to be timidly peeking out of a shell of peach-painted concrete...

...I think, "wow. That place really wants to be a turtle."