you happen to have a driver’s license, when was the last time
you just drove?
mean no destination, no directions, at times no idea where you
I first got my license… back in the days long before GPS units
and cellphone apps… we used to drive around and occasionally get
lost. (Then we’d stop for pizza. But that part is probably best
saved for a different story.)
thing about driving around. If you can manage to stay on a decent
secondary road and continue along a fairly straight path, eventually
you’ll find yourself looking at a sign for a major road. A highway.
Maybe an interstate. Usually with numbers you recognize. You will
find that every road can lead you back home. (Just follow some
of the best literary advice ever: “Don’t panic.”)
beginning to wonder at times though if the magic of getting lost
has been lost. Everything has an app, right? And those apps keep
getting better. Dirt roads are being identified. Business names
are shown. We’re probably not that far away from real-time video
displays on your screen that have moved on from pictures or animation
to actual footage of the path you’re on. (And someday, they’ll
even include accurate depictions of time of day and weather conditions.)
lot of times we seem to try and place our life into the concept
of a journey. An origin and a destination. Points of interest
along the way. And, for many of us—heck, for all of us—literal
and figurative moments of recalculating and lost satellite signals
and… frankly… lost us. We need to find our way.
is the point where I could split off into a number of tangents.
We could talk about those that are lucky enough to know the route
they have always wanted to take. We could talk about the joys
of having someone great sitting next to you, helping to navigate
and share the excitement. We could investigate why so often we
ignore the best advice and panic. We could. But we won’t.
I’m just sticking with the basics.
Swift is a great writer. One of his books, The Big Roads,
does a wonderful job of covering the history and importance and
even meaning of roads in the United States. On its pages you can
head out on a drive with family and friends, discover the stories
about towns and restaurants and gas stations, and learn about
systems and meanings for numbering and more. It’s a fascinating
Burke did a wonderful job with projects like Connections,
where he offered explanations for developments that depicted how
a web of events and efforts needed to be drawn together for an
accomplishment to be realized. (He also adds to his argument by
saying that the weaving of activities and the pace of development
brings together a staggering rate of motion that can sweep aside
things we all currently take for granted.)
not doing Swift or Burke any favors in tributing their work. I’m
missing a great deal of detail and effort that they brilliantly
offer. Check it out for yourself. Definitely worth your time.
But the idea is the same.
journey is never a straight line. It’s a tangled, woven, spreading
endeavor with options and decisions and choices and alternatives.
There’s never one way to get to where you plan to be.
day. Full tank of gas. The right station playing on the radio.
are you headed today? (Time to get lost and find out.)