Photographs and Memories

29 Dec

Often, when I tell people about my funemployment plans (Practice road trip; Trip to Turkey; Epic Homeless Vagabond Couch-Surfing Adventure), they reply by asking, incredulously, “By yourself?!”

I have a hard time answering them.

Yes, it’s true, no other human has signed on to accompany me during the entirety of any of the 3 stages. So, technically, I guess I’m spending the next 5 months “by myself.” But that’s clearly ridiculous, right?

During Phase1 (practice road trip), I stayed and played with friends and family for hours each and every single day of the journey. I consciously, intentionally spent more time in the company of other humans during this “solo” road trip than I have at any point since my brain bashing. And I did so joyfully and with success — no melt-downs, no shut-offs, just happiness.

And even when I wasn’t intentionally enjoying the company of others, you can hardly say that I was alone. First of all, there was Zolie (the dog) — with her cuddles, and curiosity, and sweetness, and fly catching skills, and her hatred of Pelicans (which she clearly got from me).

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She’s a great trip companion, that Zolie-girl (and, yes, she succeeded well enough to earn a spot on the Phase3 Epic Homeless Vagabond Couch-Surfing Adventure journey). But even without Zolie, it’s still not quite right to say that I’m alone on these journeys. Many of you are with me at various points during these trips as well. Usually you will be transported to me via my iPod.

Pseudopod plays and there you are.
Neil Diamond plays and there you are.
Okean Elze plays and there you are.
I switch to podcasts and Serial, or This American Life, or The Dear Mattie Show play and there you are.

I could go on, but the point is: You are with me. I don’t just think about you and the moments that we shared when we experienced those songs/cultural outings/learning opportunities; I actually picture you there, in the passenger seat, holding Zolie on your lap. We look out at the passing hillsides–magically transformed from the dust bowl of the summer into lush, verdant splendor by all the recent rains. We gape silently because no words can do justice to this scene. You are with me. Can you feel it?

And there you are, again, when I’m riding my bike along the seaside cliffs and a man walks by with a huge owl perched on his arm. Or when a golden hawk keeps appearing on various posts/branches as I climb through the Auburn hills. Or when a pack of friggin pelicans fly in flanking formation as I approach the San Luis fishing pier. Your love of birds (and practical jokes) are with me. You are with me. Can you feel me thinking of you?

Good wine and bad weather.
Fat Tire beers and flat tire bikes.
Shopping for sparkly things.
Losing my keys (but not dropping them in the toilet).
Sunshine.
Rainbows.
Happiness.
This.
Now.
Always.

Am I alone on this journey? Never. You are always with me. I am always thinking of you. Yes, YOU.

But we haven’t ever even met, you say.

No worries. I’m thinking of you, too.

When I write.
When I compose trial blog posts in my head.
When I take pictures.

I am thinking of you: Would he like this? Will she?

You are with me. We are not alone. Can you feel it?

(Follow my photo essays on Instagram @justadventures #roadtrip #funemployment #333project. This medium is proving highly useful for this trip. Don’t miss out.)

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2 Responses to “Photographs and Memories”

  1. Anonymous January 1, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    Like it

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