"What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? It's the too huge world vaulting us and it's goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies." - Jack Kerouac
Packed up and hit the road today, leaving my life in New York behind. Carlos came rushing over in his familiar way and we said goodbye on the frantic streets with the sad calmness that only a certain ending can bring. I cried in the car after, the vague notion that things would irreparable change but not sure how. Parties up and it's all done. The trip of a lifetime, New York, now just a memory.
I'm ready for the big open.* I'm ready for solace and love and meditation. I want to find myself in the quiet places. A soul that has been thirsting for so long...knowledge that only the rugged outdoors and people of different landscapes can bring. I am leaving behind the part of myself that can only exist in New York but taking with me a lifetime of who I am, a person New York has taught me I can be.
(*At this time this was just an idea I was starting to form, not sure yet what it meant.*)
First part of the drive we hit Pennsylvania. The sky was wide and big. Haven't seen sky like that in a long time. Seemed like it could go on forever. I know they say Montana is Big Sky country but have they ever seen Pennsylvania? Seeing it with eyes that are free, choosing what I take in for the first time*. Maybe that's why it looked so open and vast and welcoming. Because that's what I want to be and I see a part of myself in that sky. Felt like I could dissolve into it, becoming a part of the big blue and that wide open air. The most natural way for a spirit to be, connected and free.
(*This was the start of my development of the idea of living deliberately however I hadn't yet figured out that idea in a more concrete way.*)
Next day we woke up in Cleveland. I slept the sleep of the dead, exhausted from the weeks of moving. For the first day today though I felt free in my being. I felt like I could live and breath and like everything was on the up. We hit the road and drove through Ohio. Man, was that something. The rolling plains, the picturesque red barns with the miles of fields and crops. I wonder what those farmers think about, all day long while they're out there. I've never seen anything like that but boy it was something. Next we made our way to Detroit. Giant, dark smoke stacks rose out of the sky. Slanted against the backdrop of the city, they looked like gods of steel huddled over in their self defeat. It reminded me of that book, "Guns, Germs, and Steel." How those machines have shaped this city. How many men have given their lives to something of that sort. Men blindly aligned to something they will never understand, giving their soul to a factory in return for a pay check. And when the corporate gods are gone, they turn into a city of lost men, having ground their souls away long ago in the steel of the machine. The corporation, lacking even the decency to remove the corroded factories, leaves them there, as if they are some crumbling monument to the power they used to hold. Leaving the rusting cemetery, we enter Detroit. A stark contrast, it's a city of proper coolness, art and culture. Having risen from in the shadow of these factories, Detroit has found its voice. The people, have a youthfulness and an energy. They are proud of the city they have built, whatever challenges they may face now, at least they have their independence.
Made our way out of Detroit to the Great Lakes, headed for Lake Michigan. Over a 4 hour drive between the two so not the longest in our journey. Michigan is relatively flat with greenery along the way, although not the most scenic. We did drive past a few wind mills, big and white and majestic yet lazy, sprinkling the countryside. I had a realization on my way out here: I want people to see something beautiful. I want to capture the beautiful parts of this world and share them. Maybe it will inspire or encourage others to care. To truly raise awareness to living outside of the cities and streets we have become so accustomed to. Once we arrived at Lake Michigan, we setup camp and walked to the beach. Drank beers and looked at the lake. That lake is so big it looks like an ocean. Nothing like sitting by a lake with your best friend having a beer after you've been on the road for so long. Elana told me to believe in Gods plan. Keep believing in what I believe, was her advice. We slept in the tiniest two person tent and I swear every person in the camp ground could hear us laughing for miles. It was freezing and we only had sleeping bags that were 50 degrees plus. We grabbed all my fancy fur jackets and laid them over us, huddling together for warmth. From the Met to Michigan, I bet these jackets had never been put to such important use.