Back in late February, I left my home in Carrboro, NC and drove cross country to Portland, OR. I temporarily settled in the Rose City and am working a long-term, on-site consulting contract with one of my premier clients. Upon arrival, I tried to incorporate book-writing into my daily schedule. But unlike writers who work their manuscript into a busy life, I shelved my work-in-progress while focusing on satisfying the myriad needs of my client. Frankly, I am happy to do it. I freaking love my “job.”
But make no mistake, I think about the book project every day. And like my teacher/mentor Doug Rice once said (and I paraphrase), “we write even when we aren’t writing.” In that vein, I’ve been formulating new chapters since my arrival. It won’t take much to get back to it when I finally do.
I’ve also focused my reading efforts on inspirational and/or similar sorts of books. Knocked out Midnight in Siberia by David Greene (yes, that David Greene from NPR’s Morning Edition) – a book given to me by a friend who works for W.W. Norton publishing company when we met to discuss my book idea. I also reread Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley, one of my all time favorites; a book whose voice I try to emulate. It’s amazing how relevant this 1962 publication is in today’s broken America. Not much has changed, after all. I’m also about to finish Rebecca Solnit’s, A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Here’s quote I read yesterday that’s still resonating: “They [explorers who didn’t return from their journeys] were all saddled with a desire to appear in the world and a desire to go as far as possible to disappear from it.” Yes, the irony and crux of being vacilando. I can relate all too well.
Last week I met with my client to discuss our professional future. We both want to continue our deep connection, and likely will, but for now we decided put a cork in the contract according to plan. So, come June 4th, I’ll wrap up my time as a consultant and start my journey east. But I’ll head south first to see my Gram in Northern California, then dip into Los Angeles to meet my newest nephew, Oliver Thomas, born on April 17th. After that, well, who knows.
I think about a lot of things. Too many, in fact. I think about how to take the things I love and keep weaving them into a vocation/career. Create something bigger and more meaningful that expands on what I am already doing. Something that transcends retail and reaches folks who want to raise their personal/professional bar. More genuine connection. More vulnerability. More storytelling and storysharing. More love. I think about how I can do all of this AND figure out how to logistically embark on my next big journey. Like, another actual one. One that’s bigger than my walk across America yet whose impetus is the same. And hey, if the walk I want to do ever grows legs, it’ll be one for the ages. One that will require me to sell everything I own and disappear for a solid 18 months, at least. I lay awake at night and am struck with fear of all this walk will bring. Which only makes me want to do it more. And that is all I’ll say for now.
Anyhow, this was meant to be a post to let you all know the status of my book. I suppose I delivered that and more. Which is how I roll. I’m never satisfied with the basics. Just the facts doesn’t work for me. I’m not content with the status quo. I want to stoke my belly fire. Make it hotter and freaking hotter. I want more. Then more after that. But really, when it comes right down to it, I want to give more. Until I’ve given so much that I disappear. To burn out in a brilliant blaze. And when I get back to my book, that’s exactly what I plan to do. So stay tuned.