August 12, 2018
The HA spent a few days in California with her grandparents. Currently MBW and I are en route to pick her up at roughly the halfway point, specifically a casino about twenty five miles south of Roseburg, Oregon. I believe the HA’s excursion benefited everyone. Her grandparents get grandkid time, MBW and I enjoyed some child-free time, and the HA, I assume, enjoyed being spoiled.
Hours on the road offer time for extensive thought. I’ve often worked out stories, plot-problems, etc. while travelling from one point to another with the miles passing steadily by. Today I was considering the dwellings we passed — the farmsteads, the isolated houses, the communities clustered around off-ramps — and wondering about the lives of those therein.
What choices lead people to live where they do? Why this place and not that? What is that life like?
And that life must be different here by mile post whatever than fifty miles back (or farther ahead.) Because location molds a life. It provides and delimits the options, the employment, the recreation, the people one can interact with. And here I am zipping past all of these lives. There is a certain freedom inherent in that motion, eluding whatever gravitic pull draws someone to existence any any particular locale. Life on the road (even day-trip life on the road) must be a different animal. We pass by RVs and long camping trailers pulled by trucks. How, I wonder, does extended life on the road change the dynamic? How does it affect your life when your location is not fixed?
Like a yo-yo at the end of its string, I will soon be recalled back to my own fixed location, my life circumscribed by house, office, grocery store, the handful of establishments I frequent. What would my existence by like if my location were other than it is?
That, I think, is why we read. A book is a window into countless answers to that question, whether the book is fictional or not.
Anyway, that’s the sort of thing that went through my mind while driving. MBW is driving now, obviously (I don’t have some sort of dictation software.) I probably should have asked her to drive twenty or so miles back while we were still in the long, unwaveringly straight sections of I-5 passing through the Willamette Valley. These winding stretches lead to a bit of motion sickness if I’m typing. So, I think I’ll wrap this up.
Oh, and buy my books. Thanks.