Monday, November 24, 2008

The Road

Orycon is over for another year, and it was a lot of fun. My daughter enjoyed herself, found the classes she chose to be well worth the effort, and in general comported herself in a very responsible and mature manner. This was our first trip out of town together, just the two of us. Before, I've either gone alone or with a friend, or the whole family. It was nice to spend that time with my older girl and see what she thought of things and hear about her ideas and impressions. I found her to be a relaxing travel companion, as she didn't argue about anything, wasn't high maintenance, and was way more help than hindrance. I love Portland, but we still got lost twice--once in finding the hotel, and once in finding our way out of town. It was all those ramps and bridges...and MapQuest's bad driving directions. I've come to the conclusion that I really need a GPS unit.

In talking to my daughter on the way home, though, I had an epiphany about why I love to travel. When I'm home, I'm always on duty, and there's always something else I "should" be doing. If I'm sleeping in after a night's writing, I "should" be awake doing housework or teaching the kids. If I'm awake at night working on a book, I "should" be sleeping. If I'm helping the kids with schoolwork, I "should" be working on a book or doing housework or errands, and if I'm running errands, I "should" be at home helping the kids with schoolwork. It's hard to organize time well enough that at any given time, I'm not neglecting one thing in favor of another (though I may actually be doing better at organization lately....) But when I'm traveling--when I'm in a plane or in a car, I am, like the fae, in a liminal place--a between place--and I like it. It's a place where I don't have to do anything but the traveling. Especially if I'm driving, I can't do any of those other things that usually clamor for my attention, so there's no pressure. I never realized before just how mentally freeing that is, but it's true. During the time getting from here to there, I'm free to let go and just be. Who'd have thought a long strip of blacktop could be such a magical place?

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