11 March 2009
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
I have dreams now, of desolate roads, and lonesome motels, ingrained on elapsed lands that offer shoddy rooms with cobwebs and lingering shadows, and anonymity to a drifting soul.
I think I’ll drive, all the way, to California, blaze the boundaries of my country, east coast to west. To drift through space and reminiscence, in the sleepy bones of my scruffy Volvo, its twin windshields, gritty and encrusted with remnants of northeast winters, framing the shifting terrain further on and following.
I crave the sweet delirium of insanity, of summer when heat crawls on exposed flesh, eating away the mind’s good sense. My need for a definite destination is absent; the stained maps of inked routes of purpose are to be abandoned. I wish only, to go.
The widespread dream of traveling is not unlike a castle in the sky. We gaze upon it, marveling at all its promise suspended in air, but we venture to guess that it is far above reaching: too pricey, too uncertain, not now, we’re busy, perhaps, later…
We consult maps; we consult costs, fishing with the tips our fingers in the lining of our pockets and tousled couch cushions for extra change to pay our way to the locations we daydream of.
Don’t go with a plan. Don’t go to be guided throughout on a tour. Don’t go to reside in a resort. Don’t go for luxury. Take a battered suitcase. Take any vehicle that runs. And take to the road.
Traveling is at perspective, merely a state of mind. We go for the prize of poignant liberty. We go when deadlines begin to chew away at our sanity, when our minds clatter into a dead end, when the days all look the same. We go to be aware of ourselves. We go for second sight, for vigor to flourish in our essence, for the emergence of character, for igniting light within.
Then there is the lack of limitations, the stretch and scribble of well worn roads. The curtains of undone hair, delicate like bicycle streamers in the wind, weaving through widemouthed windows, then snapping in the rapid shift of regions. The melodious breath of youth-forgotten freedom, fluently filling our lungs once again...a revival of our spirit, and of our soul.
How often do you travel? Do you wish to travel more, or to travel at all? Where do you dream of going? Why? If you travel, has traveling taught you anything, about the world, about yourself? Other thoughts?
Note: This entry's photographs are by Brooklyn photographer Bradford Gregory, who graciously allowed me to feature a selection of his captivating work, and kindly provided me with copies in larger formats. Please do visit his site, blog, or Flickr for a more extensive collection of his images.
Title Quote: Henry Miller
Photo Credits: Bradford Gregory at www.bradfordgregory.com & www.bradfordgregory.blogspot.com.