Monday, July 8, 2013

Manna from Heaven

I love roads trips. For me they are something akin to a religious experience. Seeing as we just returned from a 3,000 mile driving trip, I’ve pretty much merged with the divine.

Arriving at a new destination is exciting (and we had several fun destinations on this trip), but the driving itself is half the fun for me.

Lucky for me, my kids also adore road trips.









There is something about being out in the wide open spaces that allows me to think clearly. When I am in the middle of my crazy life and surrounded by people and deadlines and endless stimulation, I can’t seem to organize my thoughts. Coaxing a fully-formed thought from my head is like birthing a child.

Ask me what I had for breakfast. I'll look at you blankly and blink a few times.

But when I’m on the road, it’s as if the trap door under my brain is opened and all the mental effluvia fall out. I am left with pure, creative thought.

I. Love. It.

Since I’ve started this new life chapter, I’ve been mulling over what to do in so many areas. What to do with my blog. What to do with the house. What to do with the rest of my life! When I try to sort these questions out, I just feel muddled.

I was amazed at what 3,000 miles of road could do for my brain. Okay, I’m still sorting out the whole rest-of-my-life thing, but I did have about a bazillion writing ideas. I came up with some collaborative projects I want to try out, wrote scores of posts in my head, even outlined an entire book (in my head). I could clearly see the direction I wanted to take my writing – the whole trajectory – and it felt exciting and perfect. 

Whenever we’d pull over, I’d start jotting it all down so I wouldn’t forget it when the effluvia crept back in (and it will, trust me).

While I’m sure half these ideas will never materialize, that’s okay. If only a few do…win! The bonus for me is that the creative juices were flowing for me in a they haven’t in years. Three years, to be exact.

I’m really excited about that.

The kids were, too.

  





Am I the only person who does this? There has to be someone else who writes like this.

It wasn't just that my creative gears were humming on this trip. It's the way being in the open spaces allowed all the crooked bits to relax and shift back into place.

I felt happy. I felt hopeful. I felt confident.

In short, I felt like I found my center again. Or at least I'm edging closer to it.

Nevertheless, it was good to get back home again at the end of it all. I love traveling, but it has a way of making me miss the most mundane things about my everyday life – my own bed, access to central air, a pantry stocked with something other than road food, cats to scratch and -- that other religious experience -- fresh laundry!

But what I treasure most, is what I brought back home with me. I feel like I retrieved a piece of myself that got lost somewhere along the way. I suppose it was there all along. It just got buried beneath all the fear and anxiety and unbelievableness of those three years. It feels really good to have it back.

The best part of leaving truly is the coming home.








19 comments:

  1. I love road trips, my kids - not so much. An hour in and they're bored. I love travelling to new places, on new roads. That's when my mind opens and creativity flows. Solutions present themselves and new ideas appear. I'm hoping with age, the kids will learn to love road trips, too. Or be old enough to stay home without me :-)

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    1. You know, the kids did surprisingly well on the trip. They are pretty good little travelers. The drive home was long (3 days) and they were starting to get pretty bored (as evidenced above), but for the most part they kept themselves amused, or at least occupied. Though, I have to admit, there are only so many versions of the alphabet game that one can endure!

      Glad to know I'm not the only one who needs a good road trip to unlatch my creativity.

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  2. Congratulations on re-finding your mojo!

    You almost tempted me into jumping behind the wheel and starting on a road trip of my own. My mojo, however, is best found in the shower of all places, which doesn't exactly scream road trip.

    So very glad you're edging closer to your center again.

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    1. I wonder what it is about showers that seem to spark people's creativity? Maybe the relaxation?

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  3. We love road trips too (so long as I'm not driving 'cos I tend to doze on and off !!!) but it was just the other day that K (21yo) said "Can we just drive for 7 hours and see how far we get then turn around and come home ?" - and I am sure when A is home again and she isn't working we will probably do that !!!
    I love how you get ideas and mull things over while you are driving - I tend to wake up in the middle of the night with (what I think are) great blog posts - so now I have a little book next to my bed and, if A is at home, I touch him and say "Just writing something down" and switch the light on and write it down because too many (great) ideas have come in the middle of the night only to be forgotten in the morning (clearly they weren't that great in the end otherwise I would have remembered them !!!
    Have the best day and good luck with your collaborative projects !
    Love, hugs and positive energy !
    Me

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    1. That happens to me too (middle of the night lucidity)! I always think I'll remember in the morning, but more often than not I don't.

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  4. I do love a good road trip too. The freedom, the change in scenery, all of it. i find that my creativity flows best whenever I am doing something I love. I have come up with some corkers of ideas whilst I have been showering and I have to keep saying them over and over again so I dont forget them by the time I get out of the shower. :) x

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    1. Showering seems to be a common theme. I hear a lot of people talk about that. I don't tend to get inspired in the shower -- bummer!

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  5. I love driving, I love the wide open spaces, I often think I should live in the country so I can do both. Looking forward to reading more of your writing. You are an amazing woman and mother and I hope that one day we can again meet face to face. Much love xxx

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    1. Thank you, Kakka! I think we need to make that happen. xoxo

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  7. When we're grounded at home or in work the creative impetus gets lost sometimes in the pull of routine. When we travel though we are cut adrift from the everyday and only carry within us what is important. I always find my mind is much freer when I travel... the moment of not being in any one particular place is incredibly liberating

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    1. I think there's a lot of truth to that. Maybe it's the change of scenery that allows us to disconnect from our routine and open up to new experiences.

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  8. I also love the energy a road trip gives my brain, even if for an hour or two. When I can get cell service, I often pull over to call and leave myself a voice mail of ideas ... and when there is no service, I scribble a quick note. I noticed today that sometimes when I'm driving, it is the smells that make me think of things ... today there was fresh cut grass after days and days of rain that made me think of driving to/from work in the California high desert and smelling the sage brush after the rains, or the onions drying in the fields, or the alfalfa blooms.

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    1. I was thinking I needed to find some app that would let me record my thoughts, to transcribe later. Though sometimes speaking out loud interrupts the flow for me. Isn't smell a strong memory inducer?

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  9. Road trips turn me into a zombie. It's the stepper at gym that steps up my creativity. :)

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  10. A 3,000 mile trip would be much too long for me or my kids, but yes I do love the way they are calm and settled and safe while I drive and we can chat and singalong to our favourite tunes. And whenever I have thinking space, whether in the car or out running, I always end up writing blog posts in my head :)

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