Monday, July 28, 2014
It's a warm, blustery evening here in Talladega, Alabama and as I've been sitting here in the home of new friends and taking advantage of the New Yorker's free summer archives, I've been thinking about you. In particular, I've been imagining what you might say to me if you were having tea with me at this very moment, something along the lines of "Well, you know Sam, mastery of any skill takes a long time and even then you are never truly done" or perhaps "Have you ever tried ginseng? It's a marvelous root. An article that came out just recently indicates it can bolster your immune system." If you are not saying anything quite so fantastical, you are recommending me a book you thought I might enjoy.
The walk has established a certain degree of trust that I can strike out in any random direction, survive and be myself there. I never know what will happen each day and in the short term of day-to-day I'm okay with not knowing. Of course, my responsibilities are stripped to the studs. I have a backpack and not much else to deal with. Long term prospects are only pipe dreams, nearly 1000 miles away at least before I have to do anything other than walk. And, being aware of the unusual nature of this journey, I find myself probing it like a weak tooth for unsoundness. What's my follow-up plan? Where's the 2 to my 1-2 punch?
Beneath all this surface chatter lurks a bigger question: Why am I worrying? Adventures are supposed to invite clarity and peace of mind! I guess it's an inexplicable pastime of mine, fretting over what the end of one thing may--or may not, as it were--begin (the latter being an altogether richer source of frights). It's bemusing how I can have so much practice at accepting uncertainty and still preoccupy myself with nervous examination of the future. Haven't I made declarations before where I shouted--boldly, and into the wind--"I no longer worry about the future!"?
All this is to say I look forward to the day when we are seated on your porch with lunch, a summer salad and the artisan cheeses you favor. The days spent toiling in your garden and tangling with the sinister morning glory stand out with extreme fondness in my mind. There is so much to share with you! I hope you are doing well in Portland. Looking forward to hearing from you.