1.25.2008,12:09 PM
Sometimes there is no road

Darest thou now, O Soul,
Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,
Where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow?

No map, there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not, O Soul;
Nor dost thou—all is a blank before us;
All waits, undream’d of, in that region—that inaccessible land.

Till, when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds, bound us.

Then we burst forth—we float,
In Time and Space, O Soul—prepared for them;
Equal, equipt at last—(O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil, O Soul.
- Walt Whitman
Big Bend and the surrounding area can mean, or be, different things to different people. For some it is nothing more than dry empty desolate vast landscapes, so empty that it sucks the very life stuff out of them. For many it was a life of servitude to backbreaking grind and painful work as they eked out a life for themselves and their families. For some it was fool's gold; take and rob from others and the land while the taking was good. Others seek the solitude and simplicity, willing to sacrifice luxuries for solace these big empty spaces offer, trading for risk and challenges urban people only read about in old books or watch in old movies.

Then there are those of us that seek places like this for something we can't see or obtain within the microcosom of our every day world. Is it just the roads? All we want is to ride screaming down the tarmac or gravel? If that is so, many other places closer and with less discomfort can appease that desire.

Then, what is it? Why do we travel, by four or two wheels, hundreds of miles to ride here where there is, by many other perspectives..... nothing? Stop for a moment next time you are down there and ask yourself that question.
"Why am I here?"

It's not just the roads. Sometimes those roads are winding.....












and muddy.


Sometimes, there is no road.


It doesn't matter. It's more than just the roads, paths, and trails that draw us. It's an intrinsic, sometimes visceral, longing to be out there. In amongst the landscape and moving. Like a petulant and persistent pendulum inside of us, we have to keep moving. Moving into new tastes, smells, sounds and whispers. Even returning again and again to get more. Each builds a layer on the one before, and a foundation for the next. And our horizons broaden each time we do.

Maybe we can't go to Africa, Belize, the Amazon or Australia. But there are so many places around us, near and far, where we can go. Each can be our own adventure. Don't scale what is available to you to places that you may never visit. Most of us don't have the resources and freedom to gallivant around the world. But we do have the freedom to go places we've never been before. Even if it is only thirty miles away. All it requires is will and determination. If you have those, you can and will find a way.

Even if there is no road, follow your heart. You will create your own road.

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posted by Macrobe
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