Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another Answer to the Question; Why? A Back to The Future Post.

Wandering For Most is Just a Trip. For Others, It Is The Blood of Life.

Sometimes, though my values and vision remains unchanged, I still get lost... The never ending din of society is hard to resist... and I begin to question where I belong.

I find myself spending some time in the settlements... such a time is useful... it quickly clears the confusion.

The road's siren call stirs the yearning in my soul for the wind in my face. My eyes turn to the horizon and my ears strain to hear the singing of tires on asphalt. Though those things swell my heart with joy...

... that swelling occurs in combination with competing feelings of guilt. I fight the self accusation of selfishness for chasing the horizon that gives me such contentment. Though I love my Freedom more than life, the ties of family and friends remain painful strings to cut yet again. 

Leaving is always a sad time. A gypsy is the owner of a melancholy soul. I can not stay... I must go... for something in my soul, roaming is the breath of life... yet some small part still wishes I could stay.

I tease myself with the idea of a camp from which to circle out. A camp where I could have a base closer to the friends and family I treasure... but... a few weeks now in one place... show me the discomfort of that stationary life... even a few short weeks become an impatient wait for the Leaving.

I'm soon wondering what the sky is looking like up in Anacortes. I dream of the scent of the wind coming off the ocean. What the Going to the Sun road is looking like this season... If the surf is thirty feet high crashing against the Oregon rocks like it was two falls ago...

I yearn for the view across Lake Pend Orielle...  and the twisting lanes that follow the Lochsa river in Idaho...

The past two years and more have let loose the gypsy cowboy I hobbled so many years ago. I might entertain fantasies of him taking root and building fence again... but I believe fantasy is what it will remain. The Freedom a restless spirit enjoys on the open road is too strong a pull to be resisted. Roping him back into that life is likely to suffocate the part of him... that is him.

Waking up with the same view out my window month after month is as painful to me as the RA a precious friend is enduring.  She is forced to take some truly noxious medicines to fight the inflammation and pain. Seeing her ordeal made me stop and think about myself...

There are no pills to moderate the affliction of my blessed curse. The only effective salve is to put my knees in the wind and chase the receding horizon.

I can try to fight it like the drug addict or drunk that goes to rehab. But it is an inexorable, irresistable force. The pressure grows until I'm left with two choices... Employ the only effective treatment... or suffocate.

The only treatment known to man for the way I am; that some refer to as an affliction, is to roam. I am truly one of a small minority. There are those who "Retire" and wander for a few years... but they are not True Gypsies. 

They wander for a bit because they think it would be fun. They see a few places. Collect a few trinkets and then go "Home". They are but "Traveling". After a few years they become bored... They sell their rigs and return to the settlements.

They tell me that I will do the same. "You will get bored and you'll stop."

As if I'll get bored with breathing? So I'll stop?? While they collect trinkets I close my eyes and feel the breath fill my lungs without pain... without pressure... Without panic. The life giving breath of Freedom... The feeling of contentment and of belonging.

They simply don't "get" what I "See". The only place I have ever been content in my life... has been the road... Not getting anywhere... but the road.

I have to just smile, bow my head and nod. To argue with them is akin to throwing up your arms in Wyoming and ordering the wind to cease. They "Know" and tell me so... but they don't know me.

Have you ever had anything that caused you true panic and fear? That going anywhere near it causes your chest to constrict, your stomach to churn and the bile rises in your throat until you fear you'll choke on it if you don't get clear... and get clear NOW! ?

The thought of losing my Freedom... my Freedom to roam and wander is that "It" for me.

I don't expect many to understand. It's a thing that can't be fully or adequately explained. It's not a thing that provides some giddy, silly sort of joy... it's a deeper, sustaining, contentment that fills a heart and a soul. It's the feeling of being whole.

It's the sort of thing that; as the sun just breaks over the far ridges in the morning I don't hyper ventilate and laugh hysterically. It's nothing spectacular. Just the morning sun lighting an empty plain in northern Arizona... or a Montana mountainside... or the beaches of Oregon...

I see it and take in a deep breath of cool crisp morning air, scented by the pines, or the surf surging up onto the beach... and a soft smile creases my face.

This... this place... this time... this life... is where I belong. It is where I always belonged. It is where I should have been. I smile and nod... only to myself... because few others understand... and they can't put words to it either.

I hear the descriptions of folks like me made by those who have no understanding of us...

The words selfish and shallow float through a tired ol' brain. Am I being selfish taking myself off yet again to the far out and lonesome? Or... am I having mercy on the residents of the settlements?

I consider it a kinder and more responsible decision to keep myself out on the fringes and borders of civilized soh-sigh-uh-tee.

There is no doubt; I miss my Daughter and my Granddaughter and Grandson when I'm out in the far country I love. I do. I miss the precious friends I have as much... but... Does it make any sense at all to try and be what I am not?

What you give to others is nothing but a reflection of what you see in your own life. If you try to force yourself into a mold that doesn't and will never fit your personality and your spirit only because it is an "accepted" mold... You are being a fraud and you know it. You are finished before you start.

You are doomed to failure and unhappiness. If you try to be what others wish you to be... rather than simply treasuring the person you are... you squander your opportunity.

Though I may fail to adequately explain myself, and you might never understand me... accept that my spirit is only whole on a ribbon of highway taking me to or through Far Country... and yours is far better off... with me out where I belong. ;)

Heading Back to Where I Belong...


Box Canyon said...

We keep taking the words out of each other's mouth!
Box Canyon Mark... up in the Colorado High Country.

Grace said...

Well, Brian, I can think of worse things to be obsessed about. Keep on traveling and writing your blog. I sure enjoy it, too!

Cindy Kingma said...

I think I understand, Brian. Does Heidi feel the same way as yourself or does she like a foot in each kind of life? Just wondering....


Hey, just left the Lochsa..Lolo hot springs..Now on the Clark Fork by Thompson Falls..You can't lose...Up here...