The Journey Is Amazing
Life isn't just something that happens to you when you're busy making other plans. It's also something that makes your plans for you, which is why I believe it's a good thing to just remain flexible and roll with the punches. Be like the reed and bend with the wind.
I was wrapping up a series of shows in Virginia and North Carolina when Hurricane Irma began her shifty, slidey trek towards Florida. Evacuees languishing in the parking lot of northbound I-75 on Thursday must've wondered aloud at the lone motorhome flying down the southbound side.
"Hey! Haven't you heard? There's a HURRICANE comin', ya dipSHIT!"
Yeah, I know, and I'm just making sure that everything is cool on the home front before I head out for the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas - big deal show. Got home and battened down each and every hatch, cleared the yard of potential window-bound missiles, picked up beer, wine rum, orange and pineapple juice on top of the basic necessities (some would consider ingredients to mix Hurricanes a necessity in this state), took Jae to dinner for her birthday and then settled in for a weekend of waiting, and riding, it out.
When all was said and done, we'd come out more than a little alright. Based on close observations of Irma's movement and de-escalation, I rightly figured that we'd be in no worse situation than when Charley's well-formed eye passed over Orlando in August of 2004. No damage then, so I expected none this time. Minor things - some flooding, the kind of damage that takes place during one of Orlando's howling mid-summer superstorms, was evident along with loads of downed tree branches but, again, we were very lucky.
Luckier than many. Luckier than some.
There was plenty of time to reflect upon that as I hopped back in the motorhome and headed northbound on I-75, practically the only wildman actually following the storm while the southbound parking lot stewed in frustration, fear and worry for what they might find upon returning home.
Today me, tomorrow you.
10,000 miles this summer and most of it was spent in silence, just listening to the roadway and letting the stillness work wonders in my ADHD-addled grey matter. Someone's made the analogy about how a human being can be sort of like a duck. On the outside, on the surface of the lake, they are a picture of grace and calm, while hidden from plain view, the feet are paddling like hell to power the illusion. Ain't that so? Ain't that right? Wouldn't most of us like to be so chilled and mellow that all problems seem to, truly, just roll off like water from a duck's back? That's a legitimate question in my head due to the existence of some folks who seem to thrive largely off of some kind of manufactured drama. If you could tap drama, harness its power, make it a source of renewable energy, holy hell - you could power the universe.
I often get the comment that I'm "really laid-back" and that's always nice to hear. Relaxing doesn't come naturally for me, though I've gotten good at it with copious attention to diligent practice. For the most part, when the game is in motion, I'm generally satisfied that what's in place is in place. No amount of fretting, worrying or hand-wringing on my part is going to do anything but increase stress. Go with the flow, have a Plan B, go with the flow. Smile. Enjoy the test.
And know that everyone else you meet is going through the same thing, though they may not admit it. We're human. We want to get along the best we can and minimize any evidence of not having our collective shit together. Call it a survival instinct. The more we can see ourselves in the eyes of others, the closer we are to all winning this thing.
And, in the process, discovering just how amazing it is, this thing.
Give yourself two pulls on the imaginary bell behind the bar if you've reached this point, and are wondering where this narrative goes next. Well, that's the fun part of the journey, isn't it? Sketching out a rough map, planning and plotting your course, hitting the road and then having to think on your wheels while dealing with some kind of surprising bit of roadwork. As long as it doesn't find you ending up as roadkill then you're doing far better than many.
Far better than some.