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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Distance Traveled


The trip odometer registered 2,170.9 miles when I parked my car in the driveway Friday night. That’s a fair distance...almost enough to require an oil change. More to the point, more than a few shabby, desperate years had come and gone since I had ventured alone that far afield. 2,170.9 is a number with a bit of heft, and my car’s odometer counted each mile with a pure digital dedication to purpose. But how far had I traveled, actually? How far had I truly gone...and come? An odometer to measure true distance traveled has yet to be invented.

I traveled far this trip.

I drove to Canada to visit one of my oldest friends. I had promised to visit decades ago. Promise kept...but it was long, TOO LONG overdue.

I drove sans music. That was once unthinkable for me (unless I was astride a motorcycle). I entertained myself by listening to my tires’ dulcet offerings. They moaned for quite while. They whistled often. Sometimes they thumped a steady beat, only to fall eerily silent. The vastly under-rated duo of “Rubber and Asphalt” entertained me halfway across a continent. The asphalt in Canada sparkled. And that was just the start.

I was greeted with hugs held long enough and tight enough that only love could explain such behavior. I was feted grandly. Too grandly for a miscreant such as I. Tonight I cry as I type. I came far in understanding the steadfast beauty of friendship.

Then off I went to the district we Americans call Columbia. Pausing briefly to revel in and listen to the water roar as it freefalls at Niagara. Over, through, around the Allegheny Mountains where, all the while, clouds and sun and rain cavorted (in no particular order or, sometimes/incongruously, simultaneously), and leaves fell in an otherworldly earth-hued blizzard. I drove enthralled. My eyes gazing in wonderment, my ears beguiled by Goodyear’s serenades. All around me beauty. Beauty I had savored several times before, but too long ago to truly remember. I gave thanks for each and every glimpse and taste.

I drove far to visit Family. And my family embraced me. Wined and dined me. Held me close. There were reconciliations, remembrances and peace. Deeper understanding.

And there were horse farms, and wineries, and day trips galore. There were deer, hawks and fox, pastures and forests. Magnificent estate homes, the salt air of Chesapeake. Many more fine meals, wines and laughter. Yet more friends and conversations (a few tears, too) that lasted deep into each and every night. Laughter, tears and sighs punctuated the darkness. I reveled in the optimism of youth, caressed a horse, played with dogs, stroked cats and danced drunkenly with two fierce, independent women.

I traveled far.

I ventured far, backwards and forwards, through time and space. Traveled farther that I had thought possible. Traveled far, very far. How far, exactly? I can’t say for certain. All I know is that I ventured farther and further than 2,170.9 miles.

* * *

10 Comments:

Blogger June Calender said...

Beautiful writing! You made a marvelous personal experience into a wonderful personal experience for your readers. Thank you.

Sun Dec 05, 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Lilith said...

Sounds lovely Jonas.

Sun Dec 05, 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger anna said...

Welcome home. I'm thrilled you felt welcomed in Canada. I'm even more thrilled that you cried and danced.

Sun Dec 05, 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Kass said...

Sounds like you traveled deep into the interior of the heart.

Mon Dec 06, 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

A journey to the deepest reaches of the heart... to love and beyond!

Sounds like a wonderful trip. :-)

Mon Dec 06, 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Wine and Words said...

Very far indeed. These jaunts sound so meaningful to me, and I wonder when the last time was I traveled with meaning, felt meaning...other than obligation or destination. Good for you Jonas. You always sound so damn together it's almost irritating :)

Mon Dec 06, 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Sunny Delight said...

You did it! Got out of your self-imposed isolation...I am so very happy for you!

Thu Dec 09, 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

You're too kind, June. Thank you.

It was beyond lovely, Lilith. It was healing.

Funny story, Anna. I was actually detained at the border by the Canadians. I think what tripped their trigger were my pondercations when asked if I had ever been to Canada before. After a bit o' time spent cooling my heals at the immigration station, it dawned on me that I neglected to mention that I was BORN in Canada.

That's a good way to summarize it, Kass.

I'm hankering to hit the road again, Ponita. I've been restless ever since I returned.

I sound as if I'm "together" Annie!?! I'm as fractured as they come.

It hasn't been so much a self-imposed isolation, Sunny, as a protracted process of hurting and healing.

Sat Dec 11, 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Wonderful post, Jonas, and I love your comment about the protacted hurting and healing process and the isolation/cocooning/withdrawal/solitary-time that is so often essential to the process.

Sun Dec 12, 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, Mary. What I hadn't considered or understood was just how long the healing process could be. The depth of the pain is a measure of the depth of the love. Kinda sucks to learn that through pain, though.

Sun Dec 19, 12:45:00 AM  

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