Saturday, January 3, 2009

Looking around whilst looking AHEAD

There's not much more boring or exciting than driving nearly 160 miles on Texas highways. How can both of these situations be concurrent, you ask? I answer that it is all in the CURRENT state of mind.

Have you droned on down the same road or roads that you've traveled a hundred times before? Are they Interstate Highways that spawn similarity in the cultivation of one shopping center after the next until the number of customers is so low that a living cannot be made off them? Each shopping center is built and stacked of one chain store after the next, straining and struggling to be the BEST possible store of that chain...or are they? When they look like the cookie cutter just stamped them out or the cookie cutter stamped them out 30 years ago and their edges are crumbling and the paint is faded and the awnings are rumpled and there are letters missing on their signs...can they be the best?

Or, you've just turned down a road that is new to you with houses you've never seen and signs you've never seen and trucks you've never seen with signs on them that say things that will interest you. And people you've never seen wave at you as you drive through towns you've never seen. Even DOGS you've never seen seem to look at you as you drive by with SOMETHING that attracts you to them. Your attention is captured in whole and in part by everything around you. You couldn't go to sleep while driving if you tried.

But then you get close to home. No matter how novel your direction of travel, there comes that time that you are traveling on roads you have been down before. Now, the heavy lids and sneaky sleep crawls around your defenses. No matter that Coke or cuppa coffee you just drank at the last occasion to stop. Eyelids droop and head is shaken...slap yourself and then a moment of clarity. You exclaim to your traveling companion(s). "I am getting sleepy." To which they reply, "But we're only a few miles from home."

Head getting heavy and heart pounding, you try harder and harder to NOT GO TO SLEEP. The last few miles are past and you're pulling into the driveway. You put on the handbrake and turn off the ignition.

Looking around whilst looking ahead, you've made it home again.

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