Intercalary Almost Where

The trip finished two months ago, I’m slightly abashed I haven’t caught up the blog, but I’m almost there.  This is an intercalary, a collection of musings from across the country and back that exist within, and outside of, the rest of the narrative.  I should make it home in the next one, thanks for bearing with.

There’s a point on the journey when you’re nowhere, no time.
News arrives from your home that life has gone on, barbeques and cocktails and concerts are being enjoyed without you.  You’ve many miles before you can return, if ever.
Meanwhile you’re leaving another place.  Friends are going back to work, returning to their daily lives without you.

You don’t belong here.  You belong to the rails.

The rails offer the perfect travel:
The sex of speed without the stress,
sway and sound but no violence,
nothing rent, nothing ruined.

Human scale though connected to greatness,
miles consumed with wail, rumble, and steel wheels.

Men are driving great freight beasts
alone, deep into the night.

I will rest under a half moon,
awaken in darkness to stand alone
in a strange place, outside of all known things.
This moon is an intimate,
and signifier of loss.

Anywhere looks beautiful at sunrise.  It’s holding up under the full sun that’s the tricky part.

I wish that people, like sunflowers, would naturally orient themselves toward the sun.  Or to the mineral glow of caves.  Or to the grace of moon, stars, planets. Or to the echoed surge of salt water.  And they do.

The somewhere else love that lives here
beyond the tides of life and strange plains
will always be something alive if not held,
will live in hands that graced sleeping forms
even if it’s no longer alive in touch.

Look at how ugly and preposterous, poisonous and disastrous are the works we’ve wreaked in this beautiful place – how could you not consider us aliens?

I come to the familiar in night,
I’m grateful;
I have no desire for the familiar.

“I think that one of the impetuses for working outrageously hard and traveling constantly and always being on deadline is that your personality can’t catch up with you.” – Sebastian Junger

Here you are occupying a cabin in my mind
Here you are emerging from a dream
Here you are mighty close
somewhere I may never see you again

All photos by Noel Tendick


4 thoughts on “Intercalary Almost Where

  1. “The somewhere else love that lives here…”

    If that’s not a perfect phrase for the strange nostalgia travel infects us with, I don’t know what is. This little shadowy creature that keeps flitting ahead of the moving wheels.

    Write on, write on

    • For a minute I thought you were sharing a quote from someone who wrote far better than I did about the spirit of travel and I was like, ‘Geez Melissa, why you gotta put someone better than me on my page?’ but then I was like, ‘Oh, I’m an idiot and thanks Melissa!’

    • Thank you Megan. I’ve been enjoying traveling through your travels, where you offer voice to pain in Vietnam, provide an excellent example of how to navigate the smooth and rocky aspects of conducting an interview, and film from the exact same spot where I once sat on Huayna Picchu. Onward!

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