Centerless, Los Angeles flared up in epicenters that drifted under a spell of urban insomnia: motion, no movement” —Kenneth R. Lincoln
All cities buzz with motion, but most lack movement. Urban existence traces a constant somnambulism, even for those who fancy themselves wide awake. Cups of highly caffeinated beverages pour out along the crowded highways and sit impatiently at lights lingering red for an eternity of minutes. Life spins desperately in little circles of motion that go nowhere beyond overgrown houses that cocoon the tiny souls huddled before their flickering screens.
Kenneth Lincoln’s journey into harsh landscapes of Native America, chronicled in his book The Good Red Road, begins by fleeing Los Angeles, over the San Bernardino mountains and eastward across the Mojave Desert. As his old Volvo streaks across the colorful terrains of the American southwest, he realizes, “This was motion at last with movement. Emptying out, putting one hundred, two hundred, three hundred, soon a thousand miles, hours that stretched into days, between ourselves and a city of eight million” (9).
Leaving, as Lincoln learns, brings movement toward something new, toward a fresh sense of being and becoming, as we break free from the stagnant orbits of settled lives. In movement we seek something alive as we pass through unfamiliar landscapes that welcome us as if we have always belonged here.
[Daily post 092 of 260 in my year-long challenge.] ♨