I don’t even know how to get out of town.
That is a line I wrote in a journal found in an old backpack I discovered this weekend. The backpack is mine, but hadn”t been opened in a few years (yikes!). But the line? Who did I lift it from?
Maybe it was me. Might have been you. Might have been a friend who was lost one weekend in Pittsburgh – everywhere he turned, there was another river he had no way to cross. The who doesn’t linger as much as the how. As in: how does it happen — one day we wake up and can’t remember the way out. Or we can’t remember the last time we went there.
Naturally of course and no doubt, comes the road block.
I wanted to back up and go around. The view along Fiddler’s Creek Road was outstanding and only an extra seventeen miles. But really, there was no danger in this washed-out road and really, Sherry, really. Must you always be so willing to give in to mild fear?
Getting there, for me, involves giving in to something bigger than myself. Something so much bigger that there is no way I can be prepared enough, be in control enough. A favorite author, Pam Houston, talks about why she spent so many years in the wilderness (despite her own set of fears.) “I learned . . . my place in the universe, learned why I need the wilderness, not why “we” need it, but why I do. That I need the opportunity to give in to something bigger than myself, like falling into love, something bigger, even, than I can define.”
So, you find the way to get out of town. And when I say town, you know, right?, that it isn’t about geography. You find the way out, and you figure out that you cannot prepare for everything and that you cannot bring everything with you. Some things must get left behind.
Along the way comes the hunt, the fishing, the search. Pam Houston reminds us about Jacques Lacan who believes men desire the object of their desires but women more often desire the condition of desiring. That search, that hunt, that fishing! Pam Houston again: ” While a man tends to be linear about achieving a goal,
a woman can be circular and spatial. She can move in many directions at once, she can be many things at once, she can see an object from all sides, and, when it is required, she is able to wait.”