I used to travel a lot. It's one of the shared passions that drew me to Aaron, in fact. He suffered as much wanderlust - if not more - than I, and I thought then it was for the same reasons. We both get wild from being in the same place for too long. He says it is a prairie boy thing. For me, it is the need to blow the dust off and remember who I really am. I have hungered for this my whole life, as long as I can remember. A need for isolation, and unfamiliar vistas, and long periods of relative inactivity of the mind that allows one to drift along through many problems in a short period of time.
I'm driving down the road in the afternoon, on my way back to town to pick up my kids when I stop to take this picture. It's warm, and I'm looking down at the cuff of my chore coat and a sweater, and I'm driving this big truck past the muted fields that seem to go on forever in some places. I am not seeing rural Wisconsin, though. I am seeing somewhere in Wyoming, Montana, Vermont perhaps. All that's missing is the mountains in the distance.
I used to talk to myself in the car when I was younger. It was only by talking to myself out loud that I could unravel my ideas in a time of life that involved a lot of uncertainty and uncontrollable pain. I always tried to stop because I thought it was crazy. I have lived life in fear of crazy, in fear of people, in fear of being shunned and alone...and therefore crazy. Lately, I've taken it up again, along with fantasies of other states and countries. I guess some pain sinks you so deep in the mud of your old self that you start acting like you're 17 again. The inside of yourself is so loud with keening and details and paranoias that you have to say things out loud in order to hear them. You get so lost in the way you're supposed to be, the way that would make other people feel less pain, or accept you, the way that wouldn't change any of your relationships except the one you have with yourself...you get so lost there that you can't remember the sound of your own voice.
And so it is on the eve of Easter on the first year I didn't beg at the foot of a cross to be rid of all this. The first year I have spent this holiday with my very own unredeemed and unabashed self and not needed to join in the scourge that is celebrated at Easter. Like it or not, universe, I don't really have any other choice but to be myself. Even if it takes the occasional trip to the relative isolation of a different place, even if it means talking out loud to hear myself think. Even if it means temporary pain and even if it means losing some things along the way.
Maybe someday I'll go to the mountains just to see them.