Last week I got a rental car and drove into the wilderness. I’ve been continuously traveling for the last 17 months, never spending more than three weeks in one place. This has brought me immense satisfaction, lifelong friendships and creative stimuli, and has also been incredibly draining. Always feeling the need to be “on”, rarely taking time to myself be quiet and present, often avoiding the mental and emotional processes that are carrying on in my subconscious in spite of my complete unwillingness to participate.
Life on the road liberates me, but I’ve been using it to run away from myself. And of course, as the story goes, one can only run so long. I lived in a state of imbalance and denial. I refused to feel the undercurrent, until it bubbled over and burst in a geyser of destructive behaviors.
So I did what I know, I took to the road, solo. It’s always been this way. Whether it is on foot, bicycle, car, any means of solitary movement, frees me. Plugs me back into the current of my self and the wisdom of the earth.
I slept at the base of Mt. Whitney, I made a fire, I dreamt of bears, I marveled at a spectacular sunrise that seemed to stretch time and defy reality with its luminous display. I looked at myself and greeted that familiar feeling of self disgust with timid willingness.
I saw what I was doing, the mental gymnastics, the extremes I was operating under, allowed myself the process. Gradually I opened to forgiveness, and once again made contact with that wise benevolent force that rides on my deep and quiet breath. It is a voice of neutrality, equanimous and unbiased.
I stumbled on another planet, spectacular formations I didn’t know existed in California. I took this photo with my iPhone propped up on my Nalgene as a sort of experiment. How can I use self portraiture to capture a fleeting sensation? What is the energy I am creating through my work as a model? How can I use travel as a means to explore myself, rather than run away?
To be alone in the harsh strange landscape, to peel off my clothes, to feel the desert wind against my skin, awakened in me a giddiness incomparable to any other scenario. There is in me a wild weirdo who is completely at home alone in nature. There is a sense of wonderment, sheer joy, acceptance, humanity. A return to my animal body, to the innate strength and grace of instinct. Peace.