Ooamerica: USA Road Trip (2), an Epilogue, My Life Philosophy?
All in all, it’s been a great trip. But I know there’ve also been a lot of hard times. That the frictions of travel have at times exposed Redrik and I to our worst enemies, however cliché it sounds: the worst of ourselves.
That we did in fact make it, and pulled through together, stands as a testament to our friendship. Perhaps what seems, at first, like a somewhat damaged, beat up friendship. But stronger nonetheless.
It’s been about three weeks since we parted ways. We’ve exchanged few communications since then, mostly in the form of text messages.
Redrik calls. We chat, have some laughs.
“I * B the other night.”
Y’know… after all we’ve been through, the thousands of miles, the staggering landscapes and the dozens of whiskies, I think that’s what he needed all along. Some things solve themselves simply after all.
Why don’t I just shut up for once? Let’s just sit back, relax and enjoy.
Been working on updating the online content, and have finally caught up. I think I’ve also been lingering in order to procrastinate on the real product: the movie.
But things have changed. Life looks bright. I’m ready. It’s time to get to work.
Speak again with Redrik. I think we both needed this down time to cool off, sort things out within our respective life ‘plans’. Chat around, discuss maybe meeting up later this summer.
We even muse over the possibility of returning the car back to the East Coast together at the end of August (uh-oh…)
As I etch these last notes, I wonder what could be shared about my own life philosophy, a question which I’ve repeatedly heard – and even more often asked. I gave some inklings of an answer in this post from Colorado.
(Wanted to include a link to a reader’s blog post who, inspired by this idea of simply hearing out people’s different views, shared what they had learned from that experience – if you’re out there could you include a link?)
Perhaps some of you were hoping for a more complete, circular, tidy thought or opinion. That a journey of revelation and self-revelation would yield a ribbon-packaged outlook on life.
But I don’t have an answer. I’ve tried to share some bits and pieces of what may constitute an answer. I’ve tried to share stories about life, of one of its innumerable (personal) journeys, and of its intersections with the others met along the way…
I would hope the example given to be, if anything, more nominal, not so much in the spirit of describing a positive path or exemplifying a model to follow, even less to set ‘The’ Way.
Rather I’ve tried to expose some impressions along this path, some evocations of life’s beauties, its griminess, its diversity and richness and through it all, through the feelings felt and expressed, its deeply underlying humanity – at least through the lens which we use to perceive it. I’ve tried to be honest with my weaknesses, shortcomings, desires and loves.
But there is no single, simple answer I would yet feel comfortable to formulate (or perhaps the one which I’m thinking of would be of such simplicity that I fear it may be self-defeating to pronounce it in that manner).
I have, however, begun to write an essay on this topic, prompted by questions and comments by readers, so perhaps will have more on this soon.
Glad to be able to settle down for the time being. Within any path, whether trodden or less travelled, there remains, under any condition, the pleasure of breaking into a new habit after having gotten used to the last.
As you may have gathered, I don’t take a particular liking to endings. Few people do. I would rather see them as an opportunity for new beginnings. I’ve tasted tar. Now’s time for something else.
Before… who knows… hitting the road again?
I’ve forgotten to mention that when interviewing someone in Butte, MT, I learned that two academic researchers from (was it) University of Portland (?) had been doing a similar project, going about asking people about their life philosophy and application in daily life. Other similar projects probably exist.
I don’t know how they came about the idea (and though I cringe at the now obsolete originality of ‘my’ concept) but had already learned of another concept entitled “Fifty people, one question.”
There have been several variations on this theme and I suppose the idea of going out and talking to different people to gather an answer on a given topic is unsurprisingly common – and for the better.
There is though, a lot more that can be done in this direction, with this particular concept, and I’m thinking along the lines of the opportunities opened up by the Web and social networks.
If anybody knows more about this academic project / researchers / other similar projects, has ideas or is interested in this, I’d be curious to hear about it.
Next up, some thanks, recaps, and the next steps concerning the movie and large ooamerica photo project. Thanks to all for following!