Where am I goin'?
I don't know
When will I be there?
I ain't certain
What will I get?
I ain't equipped to say
But who gives a damn?
Who gives a damn?
Who gives a damn?
We're on our way
~Paint Your Wagon, Alan Lerner
I remember, oh, a good fifteen years ago or so, my older brother Tom said, "I really thought I'd have It figured out by now." I often hear friends talk of looking for answers to life's mysterious questions. While I used to worry about It, I stopped looking for answers long ago. Life has taught me that some stuff just is. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the journey is the thing. The path we're on is what's important. The destination, for all it's mystery, is really pretty insignificant.
As an athiest, it stands to reason that I might believe that, and I do. I don't believe in Heaven or Hell. I don't worry about what will happen to me after this life. I do believe that our spirits don't just dissipate, but that they go on, as all energy does, in som fashion. So, I'm not working toward a long off, ethereal goal. My goal is the here and now. This part of the path is what occupies my time and energy. It really does little good to focus on anything else - focus on the gravel you just traveled over and you'll trip over the branch in front of you. Focus on the boulders up ahead and you'll trip over the branch in front of you. Focus on the branch in front of you, and you just might find a good walkin' stick to take you down the road a spell. But, I'm off on a tangent that I didn't intend for this post. So, we'll just take a short commercial break.
We may be lost, but we're makin' good time.
A week or so ago there was a good spirited debate over whether vacations should be well planned things or wandering adventures. Self-proclaimed gypsy that I am, I prefer the adventure. I think back to two Winters ago, to what began as a trip to Montana and ended as a trip to Nevada. The destination didn't matter to me as much as just going somewhere. I enjoyed the drive almost as much as I enjoyed time spent with friends along the way. The scenery was beautiful and every mile held something new (oh, she's so clever slipping thinly veiled metaphor in like that!). I've always liked getting in the car and just heading in a direction.
There's two kinds of people, them goin' somewhere and them goin' nowhere. And that's what's true.
~Paint Your Wagon
This is also how I handle my approach to art, writing, and music. Sometimes I have a vague idea in my head of "where I want to go." Most of the time I wing it. The road never fails to surprise, and often, delight me. I've tried to plan the journey, and I'm always disappointed. It never ends up being quite what I wanted. I always wonder what I might have missed while I was stuck in rigid thinking. I know this much, when I don't plan things out, I feel like I'm going somewhere, and when I do plan things out, I feel like I'm standing still.
I almost, way back when, subtitled this blog "The Wandering Thoughts of a Gypsy." I'm glad I changed it to "Gypsy Soul." Because, really, that's the part of me that is constantly on the move and checking out the scenery. I like it that way. I like it just fine.
~Road to Nowhere, Talking Heads