There was nowhere to go
So just keep on rolling
Under the stars...
Jack Kerouac - On the Road
Pardon the redundancy, but I am reading Kerouac now so I am thinking about travel, the path, the road, life as something that is constantly unfolding right in front of you. Even if you circle back to things, place and people you have seen before, they are forever new because you have changed as have they. This constantly evolving life is such a miracle.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been in my life and felt like nothing new is going to happen. I am just going to go to work, raise my kids, hike, read, write, spend time with people I love and that it will always be this way. Safe, secure, settled. Routine.
But my heart calls for more, recently and coincidentally, it has been calling for travel and the open road. I have felt this command to go...and it doesn’t even really matter where...
I have found myself with nowhere to go...but everywhere. The simplicity of my life has created a willingness to go wherever life takes me...on the road, off the road, on the path, off the beaten path. It is like I have turned my life over to the moment which has left me with this feeling that I am rolling forward with the future wide open under the stars sole supervision.
In reading Kerouac, I am reminded how much I love words, their combination providing strength and interest and salvation. The commonality of everything expressed in succinct prose that captures a moment or a feeling or a touch in the most beautiful way.
What I am feeling is amusement at how I ever doubted the universe...how I ever didn’t believe that life would provide me a path to walk...and that path would be my salvation, my undoing and my redoing. How the path would teach me all I needed to know. And all the people, places and beings that I would meet on the path would light up my life in a new and amazing way, but I had to let it and I had to be willing to go. I had to be willing to follow the path though the destination was obscure, was out of the way, was through a place I thought I was done with, or never needed to go.
How often in my life have I wandered in the wrong direction, but how often that misstep placed me in a position to have something new and different happen. Sometimes it seemed that my detour was just a delay, a frustration of purposes and how often it proved that this detour was just how my path fell. Where I was couldn’t be wrong or right, it was just where I found myself at the time, and that place was perfect even if I misguidedly thought otherwise.
I love this idea that there is nowhere to go but everywhere, that the future looms open and large. That my past is freed from having to come up with what comes next, that next can and always will be something that is best guided by the stars.
I am traveling now for work, completely at the mercy of others - where I go, what I do and the like. I am not resisting or even caring. I am just happy to be here on the road and this time the road is in the air, flying here and there and seeing what I see. It is beautiful and tiring and every moment the night falls, I look up at the sky and wonder at what crazy beauty that brought me right here to this moment where I find myself, with myself, for myself.
I am not sure when it happened but somewhere in the past few months, it all just opened up, me, my world, my life, my heart, my mind. Everything just stopped trying to control it all, script it all, force it all to go the way I think it should...it just all fell into place by first falling apart...and today resting in the knowledge that it has always and forever been just like this. There is nowhere to go but everywhere, which includes all the places you have already been.
Today we set off for places unseen and new after spending time in a place that never stops calling me home, even though it hasn’t been home for me in a long time. Today, I am grateful for the road, the destinations known and unknown, felt and missed, seen and loved. And most of all that I know that anywhere I go will always be under a blanket of stars...gratefully.
The road is life...and I love my road...