I’ve always been fascinated by the way the mind changes when driving down the open road; how one’s thoughts spread across the miles. At least, such is the case with me.
When the road is given a chance to unfurl beneath me, so do the long ribbons of thought within my mind. Thoughts held tight and constricted like a ball, loosen. Like tightly weaved fabric, once the threads relax, they soften. Released are the concerns that once held my mind knotted. New ideas suddenly move in where previously there was no room. Fantasies are given a chance to whimsically dance. Hopes and daydreams take center stage without conformity or boundary. Old memories long forgotten suddenly reappear. And sweet recollections are played over and over, allowing me the chance to savor every nuance that escaped my focus while in the moment of doing.
If you didn’t already know, now you do – I’m a driver. I tend to like that spot that lives behind the wheel. But then again, I like that spot when it comes to my life, as well. During times when my mental senses won’t loosen, characters sit speechless and the only thoughts filling my mind are one’s of frustration – I go for a ride. I escape. As the rpm’s and music elevate, all that tightened my mind dissipates. I’m given the chance to meditate with the miles.
I have to believe that many of us gravitate to this place of physical movement, as it provides us with the tangibility of the energy that moves around us. We become one with the movement that forever swirls without our notice. As our gaze is directed forward down the road, our peripheral is entertained on both sides by the world gliding effortlessly past us. We are the embodiment of energy on so many levels, our form, our thoughts. It is no wonder we resonate with the feeling of being propelled across the earth.
I have solved more problems, arrived at more revelations and had the most delicious thoughts behind the wheel. Many a scene from my novels was scribbled onto the back of envelopes while traveling down the road. The title for my second novel, Chasing Nirvana, fell into my mind while driving through the twisting Hollywood hills. And so did the irony that rests invisibly behind the title.
One day I will take that long road trip along Route 66; maybe not in a vintage convertible as I see it in my head. I do like my comforts, after all. But one way or another I will make the trek. And when I do, I’m certain a trilogy of words will emerge, a new invention will be conjured and some of my fondest memories will be allowed to play on a continual loop.
How it is that moving down the road allows me so easily to move within, I do not know. Quite honestly, I don’t need to know. What I do know is, we all look for a way to loosen the tight threads of our mind; strings of every day life; the bundled cords of routine and obligation. Just like our body longs for sleep, our mind longs for release. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t look for the subtle liberation of a good drink, meditation that takes us to that place of stillness or the open road where our mind is set free. And with that, whether you are chasing, escaping or just allowing your mind to run untethered – enjoy the ride.