Monday, June 15, 2009

Where in North America is Uncle Rod 1.1

June15, 2009
8:27 am

As I fumble for my phone to dismiss the rude alarm, I realize that I’ve been dreaming about cruising around in the dark trying to get into that State Park. When I’d left the highway to follow signs to the park, I was a bit surprised, at how far I still had to go back through the woods to get to it. I was also a little nervous about how many turns and road changes I had to take. As I left the little town by the highway, I tried to take note of each turn as I rode deeper into the woods. I knew that while I had signs to follow toward the park, I may not have signs to follow toward the spot on the highway where I’d turned off. I did pretty well remembering the half dozen or so turns, but once I reached the park and meandered around looking for a way in, I realized that I could no longer remember which direction to head back. Indeed I remembered the turns, left, left, right, left…, but I had no idea from where I was starting. It felt like the norm of having strategy, maps and plans for the future but being so disconnected from the present moment that we have no idea where we are, and thus, no idea how to begin our plans. 
There are several ways this plays out in our lives. One way is to always look for direction from someone else. Our culture is one that tries to sell us someone else’s road to success, but of course that road always goes from where that person was to where he is now. It does not usually go from where I am to where he is. We also plan and strategize about the future as if our plans are in no way contingent upon where we are now. We don’t have any idea where we are now. We’re so busy mapping our lives that we don’t know where the starting point is.
When I was planning my trip, I would open Google maps and typing in a location. Immediately, the map of that local area would pop up. I could study the surrounding terrain, look for points of interest, camping, and anything else I wanted to know. If I wanted to find the distance, or suggested routes, I would simply click “get directions.” It never surprised me that as soon as I clicked that button, the website wanted to know from where I was coming. They can’t tell me how to get there, unless they know where I am.
So odd that so often we go through life trying to find directions from who knows where.

This morning I’m on Roanoke Island, headed through Nag’s Head and up the Outer Banks.
I’ll see you in Delaware.