Driving, driving, keep on driving son!

Driving, driving, keep on driving son!

It’s a big country we live in. Holy shit, it’s a big country we live in. There’s no two ways around it…actually, there’s infinite amount of ways around and through it…and I think it needs to be done by driving. It’s like visiting a town or a city for the first time, the best way to go about it is by walking or ridding a bike. Bicycle is ideal because you go faster than walking, and you catch so much more than by driving a car. In the same way, going through the country…I wouldn’t…or should I say, I don’t see myself ridding a bike through this country when often times the distances are 100 miles or more between towns…so driving is what’s ideal for me.

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CLICK HERE for TINY ROAD MOVIE in APACHE COUNTRY 11.12.15

I’ve been avoiding the interstate highways as much as possible. Sometime this adds hundreds of miles to my trip, and if I hadn’t done that yesterday, I would have missed the immense beauty of Route 550 from Cuba to Farmington, New Mexico, one of the most gorgeous roads I’ve driven so far. The terrain changes every twenty or so miles. The land is a hard one, a tough one, one that needs some resilient motherfuckers to learn how to live there. I’m not sure that I would have the ability nor the wherewithal to figure it out. The people who live here must be some tough folks with some tough skin.

I’ve driven over 1500 miles since I left Austin just about one month ago. My last day at my job was on September 28th. It’s been decades since I’ve taken on this kind of a road trip, and I swear to you, I’m never waiting that long again to travel over a thousand miles…by train, boat, bicycle or automobile…as much as I can, I’ll avoid airplanes, the big jetliners that is…I’ve never liked them anyway. I want to travel across the oceans in a large boat like a big floating city from one port to the next…and I want to visit this country, every one of the lower 48 in my little house on wheels.

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One of the interviews that I recorded last week while I was in Albuquerque…I was talking with the sculptor Jami Porter Lara, and at some point we talked about taking long sessions of time away from work. And how important that is to stay sane. It’s really necessary, I believe, to stay sane…to be able to create and to let your imaginative life thrive. Now eventually, you’ve go to sit still for a while, driving and going from place to place is good, but eventually you’ve go to sit down somewhere for a few weeks so as to put your thoughts together…however the moving about and seeing different folks, different places, and different landscapes is also a huge part of the equation.

And our country is a big country, folks. You’ve got to see it. Not only that, but you’ve go to drive through it…why? Because you just cannot know how fucking big it is until you drive from one side of it to the other. Miles keep adding up and they keep building up and they just never seem to stop coming. The roads, some of them, especially in West Texas & in South East New Mexico go on for hundreds of mile without even so much as a little curb, a little turn to the left or to the right, to bring about a bit of diversity…the strain on your brains, on your eyes, on your foot on that pedal…to just keep going, to keep on driving straight ahead…I don’t wish that exactly on everybody, however it’s good to experience this road that never fucking ends, at least once, if not several times.

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CLICK HERE for TINY ROAD MOVIE #2 in APACHE COUNTRY 11.12.15

And then the rest of the country! I’ve only driven through two states, and Texas I merely left the Hill Country and drove west, that’s not even a quarter of the state if that…and now I’m almost out of New Mexico, heading to Arizona, Nevada, and California…and that’s just a small little chunk of this country…

Talking with Jami, we  got on the subject of most people in this country not being able to take more than two weeks off per year, and even then, it’s really just a week and half where people are so tired that they usually stay at home and don’t go anywhere. One of these days, American corporations are going to learn that their employees would be much happier, and thus much more productive, if they could take a month off per year. And that’s the minimum really.

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Here I am, I’ve been on the road for almost a whole month, my last day at the Whip In in south Austin was on September 28th. That’s a month and half, and I’m just now starting to feel my soul again, to feel that I am more than just a machine that needs to produce whatever activity that I am being paid for…

I am a living spirit with a soul and a mind, and a need to create.

And that’s me working at a really cool fun place where I liked my fellow employees and am friends with most of them, and my boss and the owner…and still I needed the time away. I’d been there for 1.5 years without taking a break, without barely taking a weekend off, and not ever going out of town. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to work for a large corporation inside an air-conditioned cubicle with a forty minute commute living in the fucking suburbs. I would either commit suicide or become a homicidal maniac.

Moral of the story: Road trips are good, and should be experienced as often as possible.

Peace & Love

François

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I’ve opened the comments because I want to hear back from you. So please tell me what you think. What do I need to do for you folks to get you to write me reviews for my book Good Feeling: Seven short stories? Please share with your friends, buy my books, and write reviews…can I bribe you? Tell me. I need reviews. I need book sales. This is how I put gas in the tank and food in my belly. Cheers!

8 Comments

  1. I didn’t think that’s what you were implying. I’m just jealous. I like to daydream for weeks before writing anything down. Having a job or having to think about food and sleeping accommodations just gets in the way. Anyway… I will have to learn eventually to have both a job and be creative at the same time. Or maybe I’ll get lucky eventually, and being creative will be my job. Thanks for your comments!

  2. A belated qualification of my comment. Everyone has their own process, temperament, and situation. It might have come across that I was implying everyone should approach the creative processes the way I do. Quite the opposite. I’m blessed (or cursed) with a touch of compulsive behavior. I was just offering another experience.

  3. Brad! You have more energy than I do… I’m lucky if I can concentrate on one thing for more than fifteen minutes at a time. It takes me forever to finish the smallest projects. And no, you’re correct, it doesn’t have to be an either/ or thing, but that the way it seems to work for me… anyway… Thanks for reading and for your comment!

  4. It depends on the individual. I wrote my first four published novels while working long hours for a corporation. Before that I wrote several novels and short stories while working three jobs. And wrote songs and performed in a band.

    It’s not always an either/or thing.

  5. Happy travels! I envy your freedom, the long road that goes on forever, actually having time to ponder the world we live in, to appreciate it a bit… Humans need that sense of freedom every now and then. I agree completely. I just read a couple articles about European companies experimenting with shorter work weeks, backed by the belief that humans can only be highly productive, mentally, for so many hours per day. The rest of the time is wasted and would be better spent with family and friends, or just doing something else.

  6. Denny, I just added Apache Nation to my Kindle. Thanks!

  7. Denny! Thanks for the info. I’ll look him up. I’m actually in Gallup now…Navajo Nation. I’ll be here for the weekend, one of my sisters lives here. Brutus is doing great, especially on days when we’re at a park or walking around. The nights are cold, though. So I bought him a new thick warm bed, and I cover him up with a sleeping bag. That RV doesn’t exactly retain heat very well. Talk soon!

  8. Francois, I just read a book about the area you’re in. It was called Apache Nation by Dan Glover. Very good book. Anyway, glad to see you’re okay and wanted to know if Brutus is doing fine as well. I think I saw him doing his thing in one of the pics. Denny

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