I don’t sit still well. Not physically, I can stay focused for hours at a time if there is a good reason or passion, except that most of life sitting still doesn’t involve passion. When I think about myself at rest I am not sitting on the couch but out walking, or driving. I love hiking, but it is the way I feel as I move through the streets of a city that I find the most calming.
There are some days that the act of walking through neighborhoods is all that keeps me sane. On other days no matter how much energy I have I can’t seem to move far enough to satisfy my needs. Those are the days that I am glad we have a car, I can slip behind the wheel and choose a direction and go. Watching the city vanish and the endlessness of Colorado become apparent. When my manic like need for movement sends me out I tend to take each intersection as a chance to move deeper into myself. It is only when I reach that moment when I have spent all my energy that I am ready to return to our house.
Out there I am at peace. Whatever thoughts were spinning around have been given the space and time to come into some sort of order. There are certain curves in roads that I will never see again but that I know so intimately because of where I was in my mind at the moment I saw them. When the same thoughts return I still see those places, along prairie and mountain roads. I can tell you what the light was like, and the details that caught me. But I can’t tell you exactly where I was.
I don’t get lost, whether I am driving, walking the city, or out hiking. My body knows where it is and no matter how many unmapped turns I take I can still return to where I started. There are only two times in my life I can clearly remember being lost. Other times I have known where I was in relation to the places around me, even if I wasn’t quite sure of which streets or roads would take me where I was trying to get. I crave the feeling of being lost.
This sense of place has always sent me from the houses I’ve lived in to understand the entirety of place, the building alone has never held me. It isn’t good enough knowing how to get from one place to another, not for me. I need to feel the way the streets move, how the neighborhoods butt into each other, where the industrial areas bleed into the prairie. These needs I fill on foot or on my bike.
As I said before it is in this state of movement that I feel most connected to a place. I need to be “covering ground” to understand where I am, both in place and in my mind. This is my struggle with a house to call home, it is static and most days every molecule of my body is not.