1.13.2007,7:50 PM
The Oasis of Our Souls

"We do not commonly live our life out and full; we do not fill all our pores with our blood; we do not inspire and expire fully and entirely enough. We live but a fraction of our life. Why do we not let on the flood, raise the gates, and set our wheels in motion?" - Henry David Thoreau
In our modern society and culture of mediocrity, we are surrounded with expectations. We're all supposed to walk to the same drum. Those individuals who march to their own drum, who are different, are branded with names. They don't quite fit into the expected box of of their peers, so they are regarded as 'odd', 'weird', 'anti-social', or 'irresponsible'.

Yet many of us were born with a desire, a need to explore, discover and move. It was this drive behind those that set foot on unknown soil, sailed waters for weeks and months, founded nations, sought new discoveries and flew amongst the stars and moons. It's a innate drive for many of us.

Yet we seek to rigidly control or even extinguish it. We are expected to follow the same monotonous path of expectations and ritual. Like cows led to slaughter.

There are individuals who shed these expectations; walk away from their lives of safety and comfort, shed the ties that bind them to a life not quite their own; forsake all the material possessions that most modern people acquire and fill their lives with. At some point what matters to us most is to set foot upon new ground; shed the weight and journey out on the road.

Several names are used to describe us: hobo, vagabond, pilgrim, nomad....... Jack Kerouoc, one of America's literary travelers, wrote in The Vanishing American Hobo:
"There's nothing more nobler than putting up with a few snakes and dust for the sake of absolute freedom.....The hobo has two watches you can't buy at Tiffany's, on one wrist the sun, on the other wrist the moon, both bands are made of sky."

For some of us, it is a drive that we can no longer resist.

It is a pull a soul feels once or twice in a life time. The road is our oasis.

Ara Gureghian and his dog, Spirit, are following that oasis. For the last three months, they have journeyed around the South on a BMW GS Adventure bike and sidecar. A native Armenian and professional chef transplanted to Florida, Ara traded conventional life for one on the road pursuing his dreams and passions.

Exploits of the duo have taken them across Florida, Louisiana, Arizona, and New Mexico. Now in the expanse of Texas, they have set up camp in Big Bend, that area known to most Texan bike riders as an on-road and off-road mecca.

Ara is following the same road and dreams I have longed to do for decades. Although I have found and made my own paths here and there, life had other demands on me that I could not shrug off. Nevertheless, that calling and drive never left me.

Some day, I too will be following the oasis of my soul. And what better way than on a motorcycle.

You can read about Ara and Spirit's adventures on his blogsite, The Oasis of My Soul.

Be well and safe, Ara.

Photos provided by Ara from his travels.


posted by Macrobe
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