Wednesday, July 27, 2011

run away

Even the heat loving Bermuda grass has gone brown and crispy now. What sounds like rain outside my window is the drought stressed river birch dropping its leaves. The temperature's 108.1 °F according to the constant bringer of bad news, Weather Underground, and it's like this day after day after day.

Some of my earliest memories are of wanting to be somewhere else. There have been years in this life when that wish to be elsewhere was spurred by an internal distress. That's long since resolved and still this feeling is with me with some regularity, a lot of late.

I can't capture the essence of it in words. Maybe you've felt it too, this itchy restlessness, a sense of things missed, of other worlds. Lying on my back under a full moon at the top of a mountain in New Mexico, looking at that endless sky, the urge to go, to see, to experience everything in this world is so strong as to be near irresistible. The voice inside whispers run away, run away, just go. I've felt it, too, in the thick of the bird-filled mangroves on the Black River in Jamaica, at the top of a downtown high rise looking out at the city lights. It struck me with wrenching intensity standing alone on the edge of the Grand Canyon watching the sun rise and sparkle on the snow. In my younger years, the urge was always for the city, but these days it's for a big emptiness, for mountains, for the endless horizon of ocean, the rush of a wild river.

Recently, along with the run away urge, comes an awareness of time passing much, much too fast. That, coupled with these dreadful hot days of summer, feeds the sense of urgency. Escape. Where to? I fall asleep reading the GAP Adventures catalog that comes in the mail a few times a year. Where to? Nepal? Overland through Zambia? Mountain trekking in Morocco?

I don't know where I want to go. Actually, that's not entirely true. I want to go everywhere, I just can't settle on a single place. I want to see everything, experience everything, get out and away and on the road. I want away from the sameness and the drudgery of working day after day after day. Time's wasting and this is no way to spend what remains. Had last year's plans worked out as intended, I'd be writing this from the terrace of our Mexico house. The different-ness of that place would be a welcome change, but surely after a while, even there, it would again be time to go.

Do you want to go? Where to? Tell, please.

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17 Comments:

Blogger Y | O | Y said...

I have friends all around the country so my thoughts of travel generally involve visiting them.

For fantasy, I want to see the great migration in Kenya. Rent a car and drive around the perimeter of Australia from the great barrier reef to Perth. Likewise along the coasts of Chile and Argentina. Or to finish cruising the cities lining the Mediterranean. The first leg took me from Lisbon to Barcelona. (I'd love to live in Spain!)

I also have an odd draw to visit Holocaust related sites in central Europe.

So many ideas, so few funds!!!

July 27, 2011 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was much younger my recurring thought was not to "get away" but rather "I just want to die". As I grew older and faced with my own mortality that thought has morphed into..."I just want to go home...". Problem is I'm not at all sure where that is exactly.

July 27, 2011 8:12 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I often want to go. Anywhere. Everywhere. Back to West Africa. Back to Spain. Back to Hawaii. Back to New Mexico.

To India. To Thailand. To Iceland. To Nova Scotia. To Maine. To Berlin. To Stockholm.

And it's not just about escaping to, it's about discovering.

And yes, time passes. Too fast. Sigh.

July 27, 2011 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Florence again is on my mind almost daily. Most of the time, like you, I just want to go everywhere. I understand Croatia is awesome and Belgium is fascinating. The thought of driving from Maine to Florida along the east coast makes me want to get in the car now and drive away. My mind is dreaming of faraway places to visit, to see, to smell, and touch. Let me go and just do it! g

July 27, 2011 9:16 PM  
Blogger Marc Olson said...

...many places, but the nice thing for me is that for some reason the urgency is not what it used to be. I think I am becoming more and more content. I will see some of the places, and others, not. I feel OK about it.

On another note, I am very glad to see you posting again.

Is your blog changing? I wonder.

July 27, 2011 9:48 PM  
Anonymous lynette said...

YOY ... yes, yes, yes. I am particularly drawn to Chile and other parts of South America. Maybe a previous life? :-)

Anonymous...I am sorry that you experienced that growing up. Finding home is a whole other post. I used to have it within me and thought it was rooted to a single place, but that's changed over the last 10 years. I'm not sure now either.

Joe, yes, that's it: discovering. Aaron travels A LOT and for long periods of time. Not sure how he manages that. I'll have to ask him when he gets back from this latest jaunt. I want to jaunt.

Anonymous g : Florence, Croatia, Belgium, all of it. And that east coast drive, and the west coast drive. Sigh.

Marc... you have been lots of places. Do you think that influences your present state of content? As for changes...don't know. I guess we'll see, yes?

July 28, 2011 8:40 AM  
Blogger Jolie said...

I wanted to stop by to thank you for your blog post years ago about Amy Winehouse, which was my introduction to her and her music, which I fell in love with. Her death would have been more painful if I had not had a chance to hear her music until after she was gone.

Although you're not blogging frequently, I'm glad to see you still write poetic, thought-provoking pieces when you do.

July 28, 2011 8:42 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

..."Time's wasting and this is no way to spend what remains."....this is often the feeling as we get older, and I'm there with you! Many times I'm wanting to just hit the road in the RV and see my country, and yet so many other places call to me as well....Africa, Greece, Australia, So. America, and my roots in Scandinavia. But, being a Cancer, I'm sort of with Marc....if I never get to travel again in my life, I'd be content with being home...regrets?...yes! Discontent?....no!

July 28, 2011 6:29 PM  
Blogger dianefaith said...

I once had that urge to get away, and I always imagined myself driving west into the sunset. Maybe I'd simply seen too many westerns? Anyway, that persistent beacon is gone now, replaced by the opposite: please everyone, let me sit in this house by myself just one day! Please.

July 29, 2011 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Beryl Gorbman said...

I want to visit India. Years ago, a friend told me of the wonder of entering New Delhi for the first time. She was so stunned at the elephants and naked old powdered men walking down the street, that she just had to sit down and stare. Other friends talk about a great train voyage from north to south. Every time I planned to go, once down to buying a ticket, something happened and I had to cancel. I've traveled a lot, enough to know that there is something going on here that prevents me from going to India, so maybe it will always be mythical to me.

July 30, 2011 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes.
Everywhere and nowhere. When I was young, it was NYC, Paris, London, Barcelona that drew my fire. The thriving, buzzing, and fashionable realm of possibilities. The mystery of falling in love in any other place and time, of slipping my skin and unremarkable history, the act of becoming anything I dreamt of without the tethers of family or place. I traveled inwardly with the aid of the cheapest ticket I could afford (blotter). :)

Nowadays, I yearn for a quiet place where I can live and sustain myself with my own two hands. Somewhere with big skies, fertile ground, and abundant wildness. Not as a hermit, but as a piece of something interconnected, micro, and nurturing. I am fascinated by the ideal of communal living, but as a burg or village of friends rather than all under one roof.

When young I wanted to know and experience all of humanity. Now I want to escape the petty, cruel, greedy, moral righteousness and accompanying hypocrisy of being human, and dwell in the natural world. Tomorrow I will want something else. Perhaps an integral part of my flawed condition is the painfulness of grasping. Maybe its part of addiction, or addiction is a result of never finding contentedness in the now? Chicken or egg. I just know that it is hard to find peace where ever I find myself. I read your list of places, and nodded agreement. I felt your underlying frustration and said an "amen". Our answers are a similar shrug of shoulders with a heaping dash of "what if".

It is good to revisit here, I have avoided blogdom like the plague. Reading you is never a disappointment, and I hope that your life is as rich as your heart.

Tater

August 01, 2011 8:32 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

Jolie... thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you found Amy here; I found her via blogger friends too. We pass on the good stuff, yes?

Chris, I envy your RV-freedom. I think I am content on some level. And then I read about some marvel I haven't seen, some magnificent something out there I never imagined.

dianefaith... ha! i hear ya. i've noticed my urges to run are directly related to the stress in my life. pretty high now, ergo let's hit the road.

August 01, 2011 9:59 AM  
Anonymous lynette said...

Beryl...I am also drawn to India, and to train travel in general. I feel fortunate to have spent a lot of time on trains in my youth. A better way to get from here to there, I think, though slow. Which might still be better. But yes, India. A dream.

Tate...I wish you were not avoiding blogdom. I miss your voice. Yes, yes, yes. Drawn to the glamour and elegance of the grand old cities, and now to quiet, self sustaining life with others. Funny that you'd mention that too. I've been checking out intentional communities throughout the US and South America. I don't know, chicken? egg? addiction? just human nature? Or maybe just an inquisitive nature and an openness to new experiences? Whatever it is, I am glad you have it too. Good company to be in with this particular affliction.

August 01, 2011 10:05 AM  
Blogger Croft said...

"It is not the destination, it is the journey itself!" or something like that...

You have all that it takes, the desire to go. Most of our friends stay home and redecorate, we take our money and RV through mainland Mexico stopping in little villages where no one speaks English!

I like you Blog, you have talent in your writing. I will be watching it and who knows, one day that motorhome next to you in Catemaco just might be us!

We are heading back to Mexico this winter after freezing our butts off in the SE USA this winter. Thanks for dropping into my Blog!

August 06, 2011 4:38 PM  
Blogger night clerk said...

Part of me just wants to go home - a little house on Lake Erie right around where I grew up. But another part of me wants to go back to Vancouver Island, the Bavarian mountains, Montana, South Dakota. I don't know. All I know is I am not meant to be in Pittsburgh as much as some people love it it is not my home. It's hard to put into words when you live somewhere where you're not supposed to be. It feels like you're wasting every second of your life. I also feel like time is running out - the time we'll be able to travel. I think that's why a part of me wants to go home and hunker down. But I haven't gotten the urge to see more out of me yet. I hope there is still time.

-- Keith

August 06, 2011 7:31 PM  
Blogger ewe said...

I am very often reminding myself to go to the current moment where i find i have no problems and miraculously i gain serenity every time. It's a place i strive to be.

August 06, 2011 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Mike in NYC said...

Great post Lynette. I also have this wanderlust. I actually get a lot of satisfaction and happiness from looking forward to a trip....almost as much as the actual trip itself. The anticipation helps to stretch the feeling of freedom I get from travelling.

To me, travel..if done correctly, is a lot of work. I like to experience and discover places as if I were living there...not as a tourist (i.e. in a resort somewhere, walled off from the real life going on at my destination.) Sure, it's nice to be pampered now and then...but I don't need to travel thousands of miles to do that.

I hit a goal last year...all 50 states by my 50th birthday. (Alaska was #50, North Dakota was #49.) I think I want to hit 6 continents by 60 (not sure if it should be Africa or Antarctica.)

August 21, 2011 3:25 PM  

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