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  • Does where our stuff is define where our life is? What it is? Why it is? I'm pondering this, as well as the 900 miles I think I can drive today. I'm pondering whether my tie downs are tight. I'm pondering if the tarp will rip to shreds. I'm pondering the endless blue sky. I'm pondering the open road that could engulf me like a flea.

    This is part of the plan. The future one, the one after the journey that opens in a month. A journey before taking my life in the direction it has been aiming at for a while. This is how it is supposed to go. I take this journey to take another journey to take one more.

    In the back of the truck is a large office desk, an entertainment center, my brothers rocking chair, boxes of books, office supplies, the framed print from the Grand Canyon, a mountain bike, an office chair, my father's drafting table, a printer, and more stuff I cannot even recall packing.

    I'm a camel crossing the Mohave desert, and I bear a blue ragged tarp of life's accessories. I spit too.

    It's a seed. I'm planting the seed for my new life. It's the one we both talked about for a long time, dreamed of. It was to be.

    Here I am in Chino valley, pondering where I am, going, where I am leaving behind. The GPS told me to go south on I-17, then over to Prescott, then north. My instinct said no, take the Lake Mary Road to Flagstaff. Why am I trusting the machine and not my gut? On the other hand, why does it matter, the routes may vary, the destination is what counts.

    I'm singing:

    I will buy you a garden
    Where your flowers can bloom
    I will buy you a new car
    Perfect shinny and new
    I will buy you that big house
    Way up in the west hills
    I will buy you a new life
    Yes I will

    Am I the you? It's funny, there were no real questions at this time. This was as certain as the directions of the GPS, there was a GPS in my head telling me which turns to take in my life, and I knew I had the right destination plugged in.

    My pal Marvin was along for the ride. He may have tried to talk reason to me, but I ignored him. He was only there to sit on the corner of the truck bed, to pose, to be scale.

    In this day I wil drive across the wind whipped Mohave desert, and recall the rocks that race silently across it. I wil thankfully buy gas for $5 a gallon. I will wind over mountains. I will struggle to pronounce the name I read on the sing Tehachapi "Tuh ha chappy?" NO "Tee HA Cha pee" NO Why is it hard?

    When I stop trying it comes to me.

    I will drive up a long dry valley fed by water that does not belong there, and see signs of the farmers who disagree. The light will fall and I will eb so tired. I will gladly drink bad coffee from machines at rest stops, and dine at a nondescript Denny's full of other road worn savages.

    I will roll into the city through a crazy maze of road construction. I will be holding on to my awareness with the same frailty of the wind torn flapping tarp on the back of the truck.

    And I will arrive after some 17 hours behind the wheel and collapse into the warm arms of the reason I did all this. The sureness of all this is what kept me going.

    Here, here, here, is the new life that's been but partly painted dream. This is one small step. But it happened because it is supposed to.

    It's but one load, but it is part of my life, and it got here, along with me.

    I am using Cowbird to share the story of a 15,000 mile road odyssey I took in 2011, which started with me quitting my job in March and setting out in June for a loop around the US and Canada. It's less of a day by day narrative and more of an attempt to tell a story of the story, with some amounts of imagined bits that emerge on looking at the media from the trip, including the more than 1400 images, videos, and audio files collected in my digital time capsule, the Storybox.
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