going somewhere


Driving home from Asheville last night, Sparrow crying in the back of the minivan towards the end of the trip, rain coming down hard, I could not help but think of all the wet miles I’ve driven in my life.

I’m no sailor.

I haven’t lived a life on the sea.

But I’ve spent a fair share of my time hydroplaning in different areas of the country…driving through the unfamiliar…sheets of water trying to drive me down into a more stationary orbit.

And a good bit of it was done before I had my family with me.

That’s a different type of feeling, to be driving by yourself in bad weather.

When I was alone, I was always going somewhere,though.  I was going to be somewhere soon if I just kept enough gas in the car and could stay awake.

I was in between the place that I wanted to be and the place where I was.

I had a destination in mind but no good maps.

I remember one trip back from Alabama in an old fastback Dodge.

The car had a slant six and a three speed transmission with the gear shift on the column.

It was a brown car.

It started pouring rain…and when I turned on the wipers, one of the little greased plastic pieces in the wiper linkage broke…and the wipers wouldn’t go.

I remember crossing the state line into Georgia with my head out the window, rain stinging my face…trying to get home in bad weather….trying to see what lay ahead for a young man driving a bad car.

I think that your choices set the tone for your adventures…I chose cheap old cars…so my adventures were often of a comically mechanical nature.

I broke down sometimes.

Now, I travel with my family…and my choices have to be different.

It’s hard to break down with a family. It’s the “communal discomfort” that gets to you…agony and confusion compounded when things go bad out on the road.

So now I make an effort to drive vehicles that hold together a little better.

My family doesn’t need that kind of excitement…and neither do I.

I think that I read the phrase “Wherever You Go…There You Are” on a t-shirt or a bumper sticker somewhere.

I know that’s true….but it’s a truth that I tend to forget sometimes.

I love road trips still. If I could do anything, it would be travelling. I love to travel.

I love it when the “going” isn’t just in service to the “getting there”…when the miles aren’t something to be tolerated until I arrive at the final destination.

I love it when I don’t have to “push through” to get somewhere in a hurry.

I love it when I notice that sometimes the vehicle that I use to get somewhere else is just as important as the place that I hope to arrive at someday.

Maybe it’s the “journey” that’s the life? More important than the place I’m going to? Maybe the “getting to” is the part that I need to wake up and pay attention to?

“(You Were) Going Somewhere” David Wilcox


photo by Zoe Rorvig

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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