On The Road

August 21st, 2012 § 58

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”
–Jack Kerouac, On the Road

I’m a firm believer that routines are beautiful and necessary and meant to be broken. There is nothing that ripens our souls quite like a good trip.

I had the privilege of traveling a sizeable distance this summer with four very special travel buddies, three of whom are younger than I.

This means I ripened my soul while also growing my sense of humor.

For those lamenting that I chose not to write about these newest adventures, I apologize.

I can tell you that if you ever decide to drive across country with pre-adolescents, you’ll find yourself jotting down quotes like, “I’m gonna drug my kids from here to St. Louis.” and “You’re really getting on my casinos!” and “Uh oh! I lost my underwear.”

Around mile 3,000, you begin laughing hysterically at road signs that say, “Beware of dust over road” and “Don’t be fooled: grade continues for 4 miles.”

That’s when you know you’ve been on the road a little too long.

But then you pull out the plantain chips and string cheese and peanut butter M&M’s, and you believe anew that you can make it another 2,500 miles.

For those who want an even clearer picture of the trip, I compiled some rough documentary footage. I’m pretty sure it will feel long and painful to viewers who weren’t along for the journey, but then so do parts of a 5,000 mile trip, so there ya’ go.

21 days on the road in a nutshell.

 

 

Life in the Black Hole

August 7th, 2012 § 46

I found a sweet, little card in Kirkwood with a quote that grabbed me.

It says on the front, “Life is between the trapeze bars.”

It’s actually a birthday card, but I bought it for myself because I needed those words.

These days I feel like I’m drowning in big, existential life questions.

Where am I to be?

What am I to do?

How am I to know?

The irony is, for however existential these questions feel to me, they are extraordinarily practical. And when you don’t have answers to them, you feel as though you’ve been sucked down an identity-less, black hole.

In this black hole, you have plenty of time to wonder at what it must feel like to be a good computer engineer, to know early on that you’re wired in ways that make you a great numbers-cruncher or kindergarten teacher or phlebotomist. How commendable these things are!

These are the kinds of paths that responsible parents must dream for their children.

Clear. Straight. Accessible.

Turns out, it’s quite difficult to translate big, wild, unruly passions into acceptable categories. Outlandish hopes don’t feed you when you’re hungry, no matter how deeply they’ve sprouted and stretched the seams of your heart.

And so you are between the bars.

Free-falling.

Suspended only by the love of God, the Creative One who says, “I am making all things new.”

Hallelujah!

There is life to be found here.

In the black hole.

With the God of grace.

Where am I?

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