“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” Bertrand Russell
Road tripping does good for the soul. Adventures that involve new sights and minimal deadlines and space to freely roam open my eyes and mind and provide that mind space that is so critical to creativity. It’s not so much about inspiration as having room for new ideas to move around, stretch out and work to grow in the background. And it’s not something that I find easy to manifest at home. Home is work, the road is play.
We have been gone for ten days and we spent time in Durango, Scottsdale, Prescott, Flagstaff, Telluride, and Ouray before heading home. We did the touristy thing at Four Corners and met a talented Navajo artist and business man and found lovely art and artists, in some unlikely places. We mountain biked in the desert, in a cactus forest on Brown’s Ranch which boasts over 100 miles of beautiful single track, and we rode our road bikes along Lake Mary Road in Flagstaff for close to 40 miles on a pristine road that wound around lakes with wide shoulders that went for miles and miles. We spent a misty Sunday morning in Ouray and met a woman living my dream, the one where I have a storefront that is also my studio and where I sell my own art. We drove over extraordinary passes with mountain ranges that had us wondering what the price of land was.
We watched two kittens play and drank tequila, and ate pulled pork with dear friends and I spent some time playing with another friend’s dog and found that though the lump in my throat remains, the one that has been there since Tigger died, I am healing. Before we went to sleep, we stood outside and listened to coyotes howl and woke in the morning to eggs and bacon.
I met an entrepeneur outside of Salida, the owner of Tiny House Coffee, which is housed in a tiny house on wheels, and drank a honey latte that had bee pollen sprinkled on top of it and told the young man that I would be reaching out to him soon to learn the story behind his young shop.
I had never heard of bee pollen before so on our drive I googled it and Rob and I learned something new and we thought, let’s try this. We look things up a lot on our drives when we pass something unfamiliar or suddenly wonder at the meaning of something, like Gunga Din, a term of endearment Rob calls me (it’s a poem by Rudyard Kipling). We learned a little about Navajo Nation and compared the vibe of Telluride to Ouray and talked about our dreams and got out of the car in the dead of night at Kenosha Pass on our way home and we hugged in the mountain silence straining our ears to hear wildlife.
I discovered in Ouray, where every shop owner greeted us the instant we talked in the door and chatted that though I tend to experience those too-soon initial hello’s by cringing, I could let go of that a little when the owners are not doing it by rote. We talked politics with a woman who owned a jewelry store and met a talented shop owner who was a potter and who’s husband is a glass blower and, in part, because of her enthusiasm and knowledge, we came home with a unique set of wine glasses.
We gave our leftover dinner to a homeless woman on a street corner in Durango and something about the shame in her eyes touched me and I cried. At dinner our final night a drunk man at the table behind us mistook Rob for a man he had met while letting his dog play and we didn’t tell him he was mistaken.
Everywhere we went we met people who had a story, and these things are the moments that remind me of my story, that remind us of the story we are living. We road tripped across Colorado and lots of Arizona and held hands in the car and said, what a wonderful trip, and then when we arrived home, we said ah how wonderful to be in our own bed again.
We drove through desert, prairie, mountains, and mesa and we did not waste time.The ideas we allowed to play, those ideas that were given space to grow for a few days are now ready to come to life.
Nothing happened. Everything happened.