2019 started with a journey and ends just the same. I’m getting ready to travel across the country again for work. . The odometer on the car shows 114466 miles. When I bought it new in 2016 it had 13 miles on it. Lots of roads and sky. Many generous and interesting people. Beautiful things. Ugly things too. Life on the road is a mix of adventure and survival….
For full disclosure, I have become completely homeless this year. Not my choice. The reality of a changing living situation, travel, expenses and the rising costs of rents have basically left me with out a permanent place to live. For me this is not a comfortable place to be. I like home. A nest. A place for stuff and kitties. I am doing my best to keep it real and just keep doing the right thing. That’s all I can do. So I do. I am looking to up grade into a van. This will afford me more of a living space. This takes time in order to do it right. For now I live out of my car and stay with people as I travel. It’s humbling and I know I’m not the only one struggling with this issue. I am fortunate for what I do have. I have many many Blessings.
Life is all a learning curve. Traveling as a woman alone has its risks and rewards. So far nothing bad has happened. I have been fortunate with my work to have people I know almost every where I travel to stay. I live pretty simple. I eat pretty simple. My only real vice ( although it is not a vice…) is good coffee. I have many methods to make coffee in a bag I carry. It’s kind of a super power. I can make coffee any where and under any circumstance. (There might be a coffee blog some day)
The hardest part of the mobile life is things like a regular shower, having enough drinking water when the weather is hot, finding shade in the summer in the flat lands of the midwest and Texas, keeping warm in the colder weather. There is a bit of mythology about it costing less. It doesn’t. You trade paying for a space with paying for daily gas. There are still bills to pay, storage locker, and cellphone, groceries, etc…. I have my concerns about the environmental impacts of driving all the time. All and all I’m making it work. I have to. And like all things this to shall pass. One day at a time.
From this perspective I have seen the country in a different way. Driving puts one the level of everyone. I drive through towns and cities. The rural and empty places. The rough and dirty…The dried dead places where metal doesn’t rust and the sky is huge and blue. The red rocks and the mirrored reflection of the sky in the salt flats creating a surreal landscape in Utah. Tent cities along streets, in empty lots in Oakland and Santa Cruz. The vacant buildings, gas stations, faded rusty signs, worn down homes of people struggling and forgotten under a merciless sun in the flatness of Kansas and Oklahoma. Wind mills in Texas.. The blooming valleys of almonds and oranges in the Spring as the snow cover mountains rise above them in California. The snow covered peaks of alpine ridge in the Rockies…. trucks carrying bees to pollinate nut and fruit trees. The stirring colors of yellow, purple and red in the Sonora desert in Southern Arizona… Oil refineries, flooded fields, mountains of rotting soybeans… Sunset in the Mojave desert, the Mississippi river swollen far beyond it banks… the insane traffic in Houston. Sun rise traveling on the Tappanzee bridge over the Hudson river… grid lock in Boston… a small quirky art colony in Lucas Kansas….
So much diversity and richness. Love and fear. Life without surrender. It chugs along. Clanking and sputtering… coughing… and weezing. Then shifts gears. It finds its pace and purrs along… covering time and distance. Buildings rise. Fields are harvested. People commute to work. Networks hum. The remains of the day set with the sun to sleep it off until next morning ready to repeat it again.
All that life force and more mixed with the kindness of strangers and the opportunities to witness people living their lives as best they can. Some are racing a clock that is counting down their usefulness and defining the worth of their spirit. Some fear a God who knows all their failings and bargains with them a heaven if they turn themselves over to his son.
The long slow sunsets across the midwest that burn the sky down along a seemingly flat earth giving way to a great arch of the milkyway from horizon to horizon….
There are days when it feels like I am timeless. I’m passing through the world in a different kind of time. There are the deja vu moments, lonely moments, silly moments and in awe moments. Each of these moments linking up to make the pattern that becomes the road ahead of me materializing… mesmorizing… disappearing behind me. I’m this traveling strange figure of androgynousness rolling through places curious and aware of the fragile persistence that holds all this together.
2019 has been amazing, demanding and asking me to push beyond what I know into a lot of unknowns. I am wondering what 2020 has in store for me.
I want to give a shout out to all the wonderful people who have been generous and kind.
You rock my world. Thank you.