Aging into one’s elder years is an interesting trip. I’ve been experiencing new stops along the way: remembrance, regret, internal focuses more than external experiences, and a renewed sense of wonder at the power of words and images.
I picked up Patti Smith’s latest book, A Book of Days and it, along with recent readings and streaming media, caused a shifting of sands beneath my mental focus and pre-imagined plans, making things… interesting.
The last few years spent wandering America in two different RV vans, were times of wonderful nature immersion, road meanderings, and simply being out of the norm long enough to shift thinking on what’s really important as opposed to just what’s necessary to get through another day.
I’m nearing the first day’s sunrise of my seventh decade hanging around this planet. Lately, I seem to dream a lot in stories wrapped up in past lessons learned and not learned, plus regrets along the way long covered up by rationale-tinted stain. These memory wanderings are causing bubbles to perforate what I previously thought were plans for what I wanted to do. Desires versus needs seems to be the latest (in a long series) of tussles over influences on my decades ahead, not to mention an acute awareness of potential for the unexpected, black swan, or simply fate’s milestone.
Patti’s quote in the photo grabbed my attention and perhaps offers a reluctant, yet wise, approach on what to do. Armchair adventures have never appealed to me much, yet I can’t deny the increasing risk now, on several levels, from heading out on the road again as a solo vanlife nomad for long trips. Nor can I deny the growing time-sensitive awareness to no longer delay deeper creative pursuits (at the sacrifice of physical experiences), which may be the truer voice and brighter guiding star for me. It now seems clear it’s time to write more deeply, sketch more frequently, and read more widely from more significant works than before.
Instead of worn Italian cowboy boots, will I be content to slip on my German clog-like Haflingers, warm up the tea, and “adventure” through writing and books, with occasional wandering off to sketch scenes that move me? Will adopting these three as my proverbial three-legged stool be enough? In time I’ll find out, yet clearly all three can still be part of travels, just styled differently than before.