Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Down By The River

I cannot go a whole day without thinking about it.

Like any good addiction, it claws at the edges of my thoughts, chewing, cutting, brittle snapping sounds emanating from the places where conscious thoughts were once laid out like clothes on the bed the night before a big day.

I ignore it and go back to what I was doing. It takes a flying leap into the center of my thoughts, like a cat you have not paid attention to and now it is sitting on your keyboard. No longer demurely purring and looking for my attention, it has now slammed itself into the whole of my worldview so that it is all I can see.

It is done waiting for me to acknowledge it. It is here. The time is now. What are you going to do about me? it asks.

I know what I will do....I will think about it. Until it is my every thought. Then I will sulk, after I've given it the attention it needs and I will resign myself to the thought that it cannot be. However desperately it wants to exist, it cannot. Or can it?

The dream of just chucking it all, selling off everything I own, buying a used (because they aren't made anymore) VW bus and living in that, travelling to wherever the weather is best for the time. This dream is the most reality there is. The ability to shed convention and go where your heart takes you. Spending the summertime in sweltering heat in Phoenix? Not in your dreams! I'll be in Northern California, Oregon, really anywhere in the Pacific Northwest coast or somewhere moderate and dry. Wintertime blizzards in North Dakota? NOPE! I'll be down here in the desert, hanging around San Diego, Texas, Florida and Louisiana with the rest of the snowbirds. Hawaii, South America. Any place where I won't freeze to death in my bus.

This could be wanderlust, it could be that I know I can do good things for people without the constraints of my modern computer based life, and it could just be my flighty nature. No matter what, it is a dream I harbor seriously. I have looked at a LOT of travel trailers. I am a gypsy at heart. I don't think I need a lot of  square feet in my 'home' to make me happy. I want to be in the world.

I used to think the best job would be to travel the country and then the world and getting paid. I always wanted to meet people with stories to tell. I saw travel photography and journalism as possibilities. In the end, I realized how much time they spent back at a desk too. The urge to wander was etched into my earliest dreams, and I've settled onto this island of desks. I know I can do better than this.

When I was ten years old, I told my mother that I wanted to be a stand up comedian. I was dead serious (and I kind of still am). She said "No, you don't want to do that. They have to live in a bus!" That was a mistake. I perked up..."BUS? You get to live in a bus?" I was already hooked.

Fear of instability and homelessness and not having warm showers has kept me from doing the most important, soul searching work of my life. I should have done this when I was younger, when it wouldn't have been as noticeable. Now if I wait too long, someone will catch me washing my clothes in a stream and call the authorities, thinking I've escaped 'the home'.

No worries, though. I will reel them in with tales of my life on the road, make them an amazing cup of tea, treat them to the best seat and we'll watch the water together. I'll tell them jokes. Maybe they'll go get their own van. Then I'll know I've done my best.

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