Thursday, January 29, 2009

the painted desert

We'd arranged to take a small vacation after our initial move, something I thought necessary for my mental health and to assist in the transition from back there to over there. M is happily capivated by her grandparents so we took off on a mini road trip to a national park in the middle of the desert.  We've been here for three days now and today is the first connection I've been able to muster, neither cell or wireless seems to work anywhere else for miles on end. So it's been a good break, spending evenings in a tiny cabin and days running through the desert, hiking 5-6 miles a day broken up in thirds as we go from one place to another.  I've forgotten how big desert sky can be.

It's quiet here, and while it's as far away as possible from the climate we are heading to it's the entrance to the isolation and full bodied nature of our future.  Folks here are friendly, everyone is happy to talk a bit and upon hearing our story seem to feel required to buy us a beer.  I never realized how the first question you hear on the road is where are you from, and for the first time it gives us pause because we can say where we've been but right now we've got neither home or job, none of the usual trappings that define us and for a moment it's disconcerting more often to them. 

The strangeness of that doesn't escape me but at the same time it's the beginning of an adventure, one with nothing recognizable and everything a bit hard to figure out.  We wandered a ghost town today, one that has been abandoned for 100 years and while the structures were somewhat defineable the utter lack of life struck me most. Under the ground were perhaps broken tops and buttons and coins and maybe even bones, lives that lived rough and hot and one day packed up and disappeared with only the shells remaining.

I can't access my reader and probably can't for a few days more, so I'm curious as to what I am missing and of course wanting to make sure you know I am not ignoring you, just unable to find a way to get the wild west and the age of technology to collide. 

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20 comments:

Sierra said...

I love traveling. I so envy your opportunity to do such. I have been married for a year, and we have no plans for kids in the near future, but I would love to give our kids the opportunity to experience a different culture. An unamerican, overly priveleged culture. Not that this isn't a great country, but having traveled at a young age myself, I know the impact it can have on a child's outlook. So all this to say...Kudos to you and your family for taking this leap of faith. Best of luck and blessings along the way!

painted maypole said...

catching up on your posts since you've left. you are brave, brave souls, and I'm so grateful you're sharing your journey with us.

traveling mercies.

Indigo Virgo said...

you make it sound perfect.

Magpie said...

I well remember a vacation that we took when I was between jobs - not unemployed, I just hadn't started the new one yet. And that feeling when asked "what do you do?" was strange and slightly disconcerting.

The desert sounds like a good spot for a pause.

flutter said...

I just love you, jen

meno said...

The desert sounds really good right now. You are smart to take a few days to chill.

Oh, The Joys said...

You aren't missing ANYTHING. You're living!

Oh, The Joys said...

You aren't missing ANYTHING. You're living!

Oh, The Joys said...

You aren't missing ANYTHING. You're living!

crazymumma said...

You are missing the canadian winter that will never end.

joker the lurcher said...

hugs to you all.

the world is smaller than you think. we will still be reading each other's stuff. your stuff will be much more interesting!

joker the lurcher said...

i love deserts - they are huge and magical. it sounds just the place to still your head and get your breath back. hugs.

kristen said...

there is nothing to report from my neck of the woods except that we have no hot water which equals no heat in the kitchen or my bedroom.

i'm living vicariously through you. xo

Amy Y said...

I'm dying for pics!
Glad you're safe...

mamatulip said...

Hmm. What are you missing on my end? Snow, sickness, snow, subzero temperatures, sickness...and...MORE FUCKING SNOW.

So, to recap: YOU'RE NOT MISSING ANYTHING.

:)

Bon said...

it's a strange and freeing thing, being without those trappings of belonging to the status quo that allow for small talk. if you can find the people willing to get past the niceties even when your answers disconcert, you've found the interesting folk to talk to.

be safe. be wild. be happy.

Janet said...

I think you have earned the free beers, don't you?

Enjoy the time before the new time. You aren't missing anything here. Really.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

That's the best part about moving via a road trip - you have time to process the change, to transition from one reality to the other. And I understand what you mean about lack of privacy - my last year was like that and I didn't blog as much. We're going to opposite poles and climates girl, but we're making our own roads. Stay safe. You and your man and your little girl.

carrie said...

Enjoy it, all of it. And know that your story is inspiring and interesting to all you meet.

I could tell you about the couple we met who were passing thru our little town in a really, old antique car - on their way to Alaska all the way from the bottom of S.America. They had self-published books they were selling of their adventure (which included pregnancy and birth of a child) to fund their travels. Fascinating story. Fascinating.

I imagine you are just as fascinating to the people you have met and those you have yet to encounter.

I'm sending you all the luck for a happy and safe journey that I can.

Ally said...

So good to hear from you, Jen. And what a wise thing this mini-vacation is... dipping your toes slowly into the waters you're about to plunge into headlong. As for getting back to "reader" I'd say hang the whole thing and just keep writing what you're doing. You needn't feel under any obligation to keep up with our lives (or I should say, my life, I guess I'll let others speak for themselves); rather just focus on living the best life you can right now, living the dream you've dreamed for so long. xoxo