Doug Bruns

Restlessness is a god of liberation.

In Adventure, Life, The Examined Life on November 4, 2015 at 6:31 am

I have no notion where I will be this time next year. This is not a statement of philosophy. I’m not suggesting one of those squishy notions like, We have no inkling what the future holds, or, Embrace today, for tomorrow may never arrive. Nothing like that. It is a simple fact, I have no idea where I will be this time next year. Next spring, Carole and I are moving into our Airstream trailer and will become nomads.

I do not trust most things to be as they appear on the surface. I am not a skeptic nor a cynic, necessarily. I simply know that things are most often more than they appear. On its surface, this is a trip to explore North America. I’ve seen a good bit of the world, but not as much of home as I’d like. We plan to rectify that. It’s not an original idea, the road trip in search of America. The majesty of the purple mountains and all that. Too, I am a traveler. I have been a traveler all of my adult life. This pending road-trip makes sense in that respect. But these seem surface explanations.

I started thinking along these lines when it occurred to me that in 37 years of marriage we have owned and lived in six houses. The longest stay in a single dwelling was not quite ten years, when the kids were little. I have never served in the military, never moved from base to base. Nor did I work for a corporation that sent me hither and yon. Six houses, six moves, all of our own choosing. Spring will be six years in our little place here on the water in Maine. And now we are picking up and going. Again. Packing up our few belongings, renting out our home, and heading out for parts unknown, as Twain referred to such adventures.

Restlessness is a god of liberation. Tucked deep into the twists and turns of our deoxyribonucleic acid is the urge to get up and get going. That is what kept our ancestors on the move, out of Africa to all points north, south, east, and west. Most of us have grown adept at suppressing this urge, myself included. Yet there are tell-tail signs that I’m not completely successful at this suppression business. There is boredom, for instance. Boredom is the road sign you notice on your journey to a quiet ending. If you notice it at all. Liberation, on the other hand, creates a ruckus. Say no to quiet endings.

And then there is repetition. Repetition is the agent that removes what I call our innate peripheral vision. That is, as a young person the world is broad and the horizon expansive. We are born with full peripheral vision. But the very repetition of existence triggers the lessening of that world, the shortening of the horizon. Day-in and day-out becomes the sum view of things. My shit detector begins to beep when this starts to happen, when the edges move in. It appears that it takes six or seven years for me to hear it.

* * *

 I haven’t posted here in over a year. For those of you paying attention, I apologize. I am sorry to have just walked off like that. But as you now know, I have a basic aversion to repetition and I was beginning to repeat myself. And, yes, occasionally I grew bored too. Stay tuned. There is adventure ahead.

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  1. Godspeed

  2. So looking forward to your digital postcards.

  3. Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.
    They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching,
    They have soaked you in convention through and through;
    They have put you in a showcase; you’re a credit to their teaching —
    But can’t you hear the Wild? — it’s calling you.
    Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
    Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
    There’s a whisper on the night-wind, there’s a star agleam to guide us,
    And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go. -Robert William Service

  4. Good to see …the house… again. Interesting you selected a name for your blog long before the house you live in turned out to have wheels. Perhaps that’s an omen for some reporting from the road.

    • Good to stretch our here at …the house…, indeed. Thanks for reading, Susan. Yes, this “house” thing is quite a coincidence, isn’t it? However, I have registered another domain name for when we take to the road, The Airstream Diaries. I hope to write there specifically about the trip, the sights, the road–and of course post photos and the occasional video. On to the next next thing!

  5. I think a good name for you new blog from the road should be ” Say No to Quiet Endings” because your adventures will not be quiet….so looking forward to reading your musings and Lucy Goose too! Oh and all those “mailed” postcards!!
    Fly Over Country Brown Cap Gal

  6. I am so glad you came back. I missed reading you.

I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading.

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