Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Now, Voyager

The last time you looked at the total miles for your present venture away from home, you'd passed thirteen hundred fifty miles and were pushing toward fourteen.  True enough, you were watching both sides of the highway for triggering devices, things that would engage your interest and perhaps cause connections with past impressions and things you had not thought connectable.  But the road back--from Santa Fe west south west to Santa Barbara--will be filtered through a different set of anticipations.

Here we are with metaphor again because there is a connection for you between any form of composition, but story in particular, with the excitement and anticipation of the onset of the journey and the sense of return to the state you were at before the journey began.

There is a perverse sense within you of the better attractions always seeming to be on the side ofe rothad opposite the one you are currently embarked upon.  You have filed away somewhere in one of the empty rooms of your mind a series of trading posts, restaurants, and coffee shops to check out on the way home, mindful even as you file such places away of the power inherent in the sense of return.

A trip begins with a destination in mind and the distinct possibility of a specific event to attend, a particular locale to visit, and one or more persons with whom to embrace, interact, and exchange philosophies and information.

A story begin with a situation of some emotional chemistry in which a character realizes something, discovers a need for something that had not been so apparent before, or faces an unexpected challenge.  This vision is much like the sight of a person with whom you understand there is a potential for some sort of connection.  You are, at mildest, electrified, a sensation that gives rise to the conspiratorial sense of mischief and a well-defined closure.

This brief glimpse of situation will provide the power to fuel you each day you work on the project, bringing it into focus, evaluating its relative sanity, even causing you to do something not often associated with the tools in your tool kit, factoring the practicality of the undertaking.

The vision you had will not of any necessity be the place where the completed story begins.  Nor will the vision of the characters you were in effect spying on remain as tantalizing in its brevity.  You'll have embarked on an overtime-shift effort to discover more details, feelings, and secrets about the characters.

In the same way you noted things on the other side of the road for your actual trip, there will be events, scenes, revelations on the other side of the dramatic road you'll wish to visit.

In both cases, you'll have done the equivalent of those brave early explorers and fishermen who moved far enough away from being able to see shoreline or any landmark, going on some kind of trust or perhaps dumb luck or, better still, the excitement of discovery.

Because that's what it's all about; isn't it?  Discovery.  You're led farther along on the outward bound leg of the trip, excited by the potential of doing justice and service to that glimmer of an idea that got you going in the first place.

The way back is a jumble of feelings.  You've been away for a time, beyond all your familiar landmarks, buoyed by instincts, memories of interesting sights, and the slow, unfolding understandings that come to you.  You are in some ways a bit homesick for the familiarity you knew before you'd embarked.  Here's where it becomes truly confusing.  Before you left, you might have been a tad bored with the familiar.  Now, on your return trip, you're close to feeling embarrassed with yourself for wishing such a precipitous return, causing you to miss one or two of the things you swore you'd attend to.

And when you're back to the place where you began, even though you've undergone some sort of a vision quest and should be looking for ways to absorb the implications of what you've found, what you've missed, and how you've tied these things together in some semblance of a braid, there it is again.

The urge to travel, to embark, to extend yourself beyond reliable information, have all descended upon you once again.

And you are looking about for a reason to start, once again.

You like the way Walt Whitman put it:  

THE untold want, by life and land ne’er granted,  
Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.  


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