Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's been a year (about)

About one year ago, I was driving across the western half of the U.S. to relocate back to Omaha.

It feels like ten.

In the last 360 days, I've driven the entire length of Interstate 80 from San Francisco to Omaha and from Omaha to Washington DC. I'm pretty sure I knew what I was looking for. I was just too entrenched to admit it to myself. And now that I know I can admit it, it's probably too late.

While I've been a pretty ardent non-fan of Beck for the last 15 years, today I've found myself listening to this song about driving, memory, and regret. It's been caused by one of those weird Pandora moments, I suppose, when the universe responds to an unspoken need:

All that's left now is memory.

Does memory always lead to regret? I'm thinking here of the last moment from the first season of Mad Men, when Draper tells a client:
Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. [. . .] In Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.
The fragility of that twinge is what makes nostalgia powerful. You have to try to preserve it, because the pain will help you repress it if you're not careful.

But I don't want repression anymore. I could probably watch Eternal Sunshine once a day for the rest of my life, if only to remind myself not to forget. Forgetting may be easier....but remembering is truer:

Once the rain passes and the sun comes out, I'm going to go for a long, slow spin along the roads I've discovered with Redemske, Shim, Brady, PB, Rafal, and Tim.  New people.

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