I am traveling. Not to Italy, Spain, France or Greece, all places of my dreams. No, rather I am headed to Oregon to be with my ailing 91 year-old mother. It was an amazing feat organizing flights to get me there. As Kim said (see previous post A Very Mini Artist’s Colony in New Mexico) it was like I was trying to get to China or something, not to Roseburg, Oregon. But I am finally on my way, sitting in the Salt Lake City airport on layover.
Throughout my experience I’ve been made aware of several things: Travel has changed since I was flying regularly and the WORLD has changed around me while I’ve been living my quiet, simplified, life up there on that beautiful mountain in Truchas, New Mexico. I am antiquated. My MacBook is huge and its carrying case even huge-er, as compared to the hundreds of smart phones accessing the internet in the palms of hands, or iPads sleek and slim on countless laps. And everything is fast, so fast. There is no eye contact. I search faces for, what, something… something old and human and visceral. But people are focused on their devices. I feel the regular country bumpkin with everyone swirling and buzzing around me seeming to know what to do while I stumble along in the fluorescent and metal reality that is currently my world to navigate.
I take some solace in the book I brought with me to read: Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. First published in 1968, he is beautifully describing my world, my way of being (But even IT shows how old-fashioned I’ve become. Who lugs a big, old, book made of paper and pages these days when slim, metal and glass readers are available?). But Edward is with me, none-the-less, comforting this tired duck out of water. I KNOW he would approve of my carrying his words in this heavy, out of date form.
Here is my home, MY world left behind…
… the last walk on my land yesterday morning before sunrise:
The land grant road:
Kim and the hummers:
Our picnic area on the edge of my land:
Preparing for guests:
These are the things that give my life meaning.
But this trip is putting a fine point on what I have already known: The people we love are important. Life is transient. We must do for and appreciate them and it every minute of every day, or at least as much as we are able. And I think we, in this rampant, disconnecting culture, must reach for connection, that seemingly ephemeral, gossamer thread that binds us all. Let’s raise our eyes up from our computers and acknowledge the other.
Let’s travel to the ends of the earth, if necessary, to comfort or even say goodbye to the people who matter–those who make up a life–in my case, the one who GAVE me life.
Love to you all,