Road Trip Chronicle Installment I

in the accumulation of mileage there is, for a while, a sense of loss of self; distinct formations of place and circumstance become washed under by a flash flood of constantly shifting information; there are squatting hulks of red desert rock; then there are trees, pines, aspen, fire-charred, green, yellow, barren; there are haphazard stones piled on stone like giant rock piles against the rain pregnant sky; there are giant windowed edifices of neon built up out of the promise of money; then there is just road, curving endlessly to some point known to some strange people simply as home. where is your place in this? you stop to gather pictures to study and make sense of this wonder later, or perhaps simply to share with others, to point at what you have seen and give it name, as if it were something you have known. but there is really only one wordless moment of perception, where the thing in passing becomes defined in your mind, before you could ever capture it, or claim it, or settle into its city limits–and this moment exists only in juxtaposition and knife-edge balance with the cosmic extremes of non-existance and eternity. how could you hold onto a stream of water? i stood at the ramparts of the Hoover Dam and looked down at the massive construction of concrete to which so many underpaid workers had given their lives–and i did not feel overwhelmed by the ingenuity and brute power of money and technology. no, for water can perhaps be dammed, and re-directed, and bottled. but it is in the end the water which controls us.
so it is that the journey defines us. we craft our narratives and drive our vehicles out through the vast stretches of mountain and desert, passing like flies through the stationary lives of small towns, through the electrified grids of cities, through the barren rock strewn remnants of sea-beds, through the winding snow dusted mountain passes, through the on-going daily struggles of life and death and movement.
who i am is a constantly shedding piece of everything. i am a window, sometimes reflecting the sun of the world outside of myself, and sometimes, in the night, you can look inside and see the sun in my lampshade, where i am studying myself here to learn my way into now.


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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