On Travel, Thoreau, and Writing

Traveling is an expensive way to commit yourself to writing, but I find it works for me. Something about the open road, and watching the country slide past you on your way from here to there. Something about hotels, and room service, and new cities to explore, new people to meet, that I find oddly conducive to writing.

That I find oddly conducive to life.

“I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear”

I find travel… feels for me, like life. And staying still too long, I find to fit the above Henry David Thoreau definition of… not life.

So I travel. And I live.

Three days in Raleigh, a 120 pages of writing. Not bad.

I’ve had various people tell me things about Raleigh, some not complimentary, but me being me, I never write a person or a place off till I’ve looked them in the eye and taken their measure, and they have taken mine.

I find you learn a lot, if you have the courage to wander beyond your preconceptions and your comfort zone.

Everything informs you.

You meet interesting people, and have engaging conversations, where you least expect them.

When I’m out and about, people tend to feel comfortable talking to me. Never sure why. Perhaps seeing in my eyes some knowledge that what they say will be more than heard, but understood. But maybe it is simpler than that. We spend so much time conversing with people who will discuss with us trivialities, even when discussing the most significant items of the day, people who tend to not penetrate the topic, but talk upon it in only the most shallow way, the way the media teaches us to talk on topics; so that we are all hungry, antennas up if you will, for someone who is actually interested in anything of real substance.

For someone who is technically adept, I have very little use for technology. It’s acceptable for communication of generalities or to generalities, but in the specific, in the personal, you’ve got to put down the computer, the phone, and be of the moment.

Because that is… all we have.

In the dining car of a train, moving at speed past landscapes made myth-like by that speed, sharing the table with a young lady, of Peruvian descent, a congressional aide who had been to most states of the union, and many South American countries, or speaking to a teaching Administrator in Raleigh, in a bar at the top of the world, she spoke in almost Tennessee Williams’ terms of a life of sports, dancing, and lands searched for; sought for first without, and then within.

Everything informs.

If you have ears to hear, and heart to listen.

Everything informs.

If you let it.

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