My friend Julie (Keon) at What I Would Tell You, writes with such imagery. It might be because her most recent posts seem to come to her in the wee hours of the morning – like dreams.
This Road, was posted this morning and really resonated with me. Full of imagery about the road less travelled. It reminded me of another post called Welcome to Holland that I read a couple of years ago and helped me to recognize – and maybe put into so many words – the journey we had been thrust into with Kate. Both poetic descriptions capture the journey of the special needs child. Where Julie’s differs is in adding that component of medically fragility, medical complexity and not knowing how long that road with your child will last, where the bumps might be, or when your ‘vehicle’ might break down.
As I read Julie’s post, my own thoughts expanded on the story:
I pictured cars humming along on the highway with little to no cares. These are well maitained, efficient, reliable vehicles – even high performing ones. I picture people – not myself ever – care free, oblivious to what could have been or what could be. They are strapped in safely and out for a ride where they know the destination, the route and how long it should take. (I find it interesting that I can’t picture myself this way. I wonder if I ever could have – and thinking about it a moment, I think I could and did. I haven’t felt that way for some time – in control. I know now that I can never go back. Carefree, innocence, naiveté are no longer mine to enjoy).
Then, I picutre less reliable cars on bumpier roads (like Julie described- potholes, gravel, maybe narrow and winding – some steep climbs). These were the cars that were older, maybe not as well maintained – or requiring more maintenance. I had my grandfathers car in my mid-20s. Second hand following an accident with a dump trunk. Hole in the floor. Crack in the motor. This care would die on the highway with no notice. I once coasted to an off ramp when I lost all power. I feel stressed, frustrated, a bit angry at the damn car (arrrggghh!)
Then I picture dusty, abandoned, forlorn roads with not a traveler in site. The car is a broken down ‘clunker’ and you worry that at any moment it will break down – and then you wonder how you will ever get to your destination. The visual that comes to mind is the desert, and long abandoned roads. What I am doing in the desert, or how I got there, I can’t tell you. But I am there and I have no idea where I am going, where the next gas station is, or how far my car will get me. I feel a sensation of anxiety, fear, desperation.
Then I picture a band of weary travellers – backpacks on their backs – limping along – but still managing to help one another. Thirsty, tired, downright weary – and still putting one foot in front of the other. Forget the car, this is a bedraggled post-apocolyptic group, who are simply in survival mode. As the image comes to mind for me – I recognize this place. I have been here, more than once. Trying to survive, trying to get through each moment, worried about what the day would bring. I feel bone weary but strangely strong. I can put one foot in front of the other. I am too tired to worry, my energy has to be focussed on moving forward and enduring. I am concious of those around me – and they feel me as well – but we cannot string together a word to speak to one another. Our simple presence at each others side has to be enough.
Please visit Julie’s blog at What I Would Tell You. She’s a powerful mom, and writer.
Julie (the other Julie)