Friday, January 22, 2010

Book 15: Journeys.

There have only been a couple of times in my life where I picked up a book and it was perfect for that moment. You can’t plan it, you can’t try for it; it just happens. And when one of those books comes along, it just speaks to you in that moment. You simply have to take it in for what it is and cherish those moments.

When I selected a few books to take with me on our road trip down to Orlando for our honeymoon, I just grabbed a few things that I “might” want to read. Travels with Charley was one of those books. I only knew that it was a travel narrative and nothing more. I didn’t know how perfect it was going to be for a road trip down to Florida and back.

From the moment I began reading, I was touched by Steinbeck’s words:

“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do all the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it,” (4).

How perfect an analogy for the journey Matt and I started on that trip down there. When I first read those words, we were only a couple of hours into our trip, stuck on the highway in a blizzard. We were starting two journeys then; one to our destination in Orlando, and the other with each other. And the journey has swept us along with it in the process. It has/had a plan of its own and we were merely along for the ride.

But I also felt a much deeper connection to this because of this blog. My blog and this challenge to myself is an odyssey; that is what inspired the name. And in many aspects, this blog has taken a hold of me and I am merely along for the ride. I never thought anyone would read it outside my family and I never thought that I would already feel something for doing this. With each book, each side trip if you will, I am already feeling a sense of accomplishment and like I have gotten somewhere. I never would have picked up these books if I hadn’t challenged myself to do so and I KNOW that there are many other great things waiting for me in the covers of the books I have yet to read.

Steinbeck set out in the fall of 1960 to see America and to figure out what America was, much like I set out in the fall of 2009 to find purpose. He had questions in mind, but got no definite answer. I am merely hoping that I get answers to the questions I’m not even sure of.

1 comment:

  1. Inspirational... That is why I love to read and go on trips, even to the same resort over and over. Each time is a new journey and experience. Love, Mom