I’m looking forward to Wednesday.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow, too. We’re taking the car out to the east, to the falls, to hike, and see whatever else comes along the way. I love spending time in the car, and miss the long stretches of road heading home during college. I’d be alone for two days, almost; it took about 30 hours of drive time, I think, from Tacoma to Castle Rock, before my family left Colorado. After that, it was 22 hours to the minute each of the two legs I’d drive from Tacoma down to San Jose for several years running.
We’ll fall short of Craters of the Moon, which is on the list, too, for all the spooky enchantment of those kinds of landscapes might offer. We’ll have to put it out ’til some other time that we can take a few days together. Now, that time on the road is conversation, or podcasts, or music, and sometimes a kind of silence that is the resting, indeterminable and unquantifiable moment that hangs between those words, those notes and melodies, those comedic rambles recorded far away but so proximal to your deepest personal recognition.
Driving is when I first listened to In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, and was the venue for many listenings thereafter; for long stretches of nonverbal rhythms in the years that I was fascinated by trance and goa, which can really only be truly heard as immersion, though that stands for any music one so wishes to be enveloped by. I remember driving Colorado the most, and California the least, in the long blankness of the I5 corridor between the more lush stretches of Washington, little in Oregon besides the southern passes and less in California once you clear the mountains heading south into the valley, long ways from the ocean that defines the state and the mountains that still make it humble.
You get to know the weather driving, as well; never more does rain make you know what it can do than when thousands of pounds of petroleum powered steel and glass can make no headway despite all the electric force behind high beams or foglights, because when wind pushes us from our footing we feel our smallness, but when it pushes and heaves a vehicle on its suspension then we glimpse its enormity.
You get to know yourself, too, I suppose. Along with the techno or electronica or EDM or whatever genre the same substance has evolved into being called now was the Nostalgia of St. Paul Simon or Cat Stevens. And feeling yourself projected into decades in the past while seeing memory mingle with those recollections, driving 84 through La Honda talking Beats with babe in the next seat over, musing on the Pranksters’ departure from what was before, talking Kerouac and misogyny and experimentalism and sexuality with Ginsberg and the Youth who succeeded Kesey, who was then already old. Realizing that the norm of the day in 2018 grew from the foundations of such a kerplunk in fomenting the culture of the North American state that in its time shaped all that which pursued and encouraged its Day Glo psychedelia as well as all that opposed and sought to restrict and diminish it, and between the walls of tautology, even now little remains unaffected.
And now, here in this new place. Looking up the tribes of the nations that first called it home, millennia past. Trying to see it for what is was, is, and will be. Looking into the unfamiliar and still finding a place for your own memories to be sensible, and relevant, and so being, revelatory. Letting oneself breath calmly through the estrangement of a new home and not forcing the heart to feel at once at home, and to feel an ache for a home that lives only is the places where too one’s memories can coexist in peaceful sensibility.
I look forward to these nights now, and feel more at home on the keyboard, where I’d long been a foreigner and my fingers all the less gracile on the keys which I seemed to feel to punish for want to words; instead the keys took the force of fingers heavy with expression and held up by a kind of meekness tat lives sometimes in my heart while stirring a fire inside that mostly feeds on what it should instead make.
And so too to the Wednesday, trying, doing, the climb to Bogus Basin on the Wabi, some 17-odd miles that succeed in climbing from 2,700 feet in elevation to just clear of six grand and an endless horizon of a smoky veil as the mountaintop’s prize offering.
Ye gods, I can’t wait. For today, for tomorrow, for the day thereafter. For the words and the music with the closest soul I know, for the sights that have never clamored to be as grand as they are, for the sweat and breathless submission to the simplest human act I know, that one foot before the next, ye gods, as the late Doctor oft said, ye gods, I can’t wait.