Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pendleton, Oregon - 10/11/2015

This trip has been a dream, but i would be lying if i said it has been a total breeze.  The good things have been connecting with friends and family, seeing what home is all about, seeing new places, having to really use my brain, and feeling a sense of freedom I've never known.

I don't even know where to begin.  The past few days have been dizzying. There are no words to describe what i have seen as i drove west through Wyoming and Idaho.  Every time i rounded a curve, another incredible vista would appear before me and I would gasp.  The altitude troubled me.  My head felt muddled and a little foggy.  I really do feel like Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy on the yellow brick road.  L. Frank Baum was tripping, and so have i been.  Seeing things i have never seen before in such a short time has thrown me into sensory overload.  I keep having to look down, because the brilliance is so blinding, at times.  I have been taking photos, but it is senseless (!) because the images in no way convey the enormity.

"Addiction & Grace" is a book I read many years ago, when i lived in DC.  Gerard May, the author, caught my attention with his compassionate style. In this particular book, he wrote that the spiritual root of addiction is fear.  It is the fear that we will be overwhelmed by the brilliance and power of God.  The intensity of God's light is just too bright for most people to handle, and that is where addictive substances come in.  They serve to dim the brilliance, lower the intensity, numb the spirit.

I finally understood that as I drove across vast, wide, open spaces over the past several days.  I am a very small part of this vast universe, and i am awe-struck.

The negatives, thank goodness, have been few and always end up positively.  the biggest one is that i am my co-pilot on this trip and i can natter myself crazy, if i allow my mind to run wild.  that is why my mind is not allowed to run wild.

Music helps to soothe the wild mind. I don't know how i would have gotten down those steep inclines in the mountains of Idaho had i not had my SiriusXM.  As Van Morrison's voice filled the car, my heart calmed, and my eyes stayed riveted to the road.

 Bland motel rooms with cable television do the same thing.  My eyes get a huge time out and my body gets to stretch out on a comfortable bed with lots of pillows.  These rooms are part of my traveling writer's retreat.  there is really no where else to go in a room like this, so i pull out my computer, pull up my tabs, put on my music, and i am home.

In the past, i have been really vocal about my disdain for corporate chains. My vision for this trip is to support local merchants, as much as possible.  But after being so far out in the high desert this past week, i have never been happier to find a Safeway and a Starbucks, so i could get some provisions for the next few days of driving.

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