Daddy Carder, my grandfather, loved to travel. I could say I got my own travel bug from him. I could say that, but all the times I saw him he was confined to a small store he couldn’t leave or a bed he couldn’t get out of. On his last trip, he broke his hip in Alpine, forcing an uncle to drive clear across the state of Texas to pick him and my grandmother up, along with their car and travel trailer and all of the aggravation that went with it. Now, confined in a sense to my life in Tucson, I feel the urge to take off as he did, to go in a different direction again, but for me it wouldn’t simply be another trek; I would be running away. I could easily subscribe to that, and it would be for me, or so it seems, a well-established pattern.
In my lifetime I have done my share of running away, mainly after something I naively started failed. But can I truthfully say those endeavors were failures? Each was worthwhile. Each changed lives. And each had a life of its own. I should be satisfied. (Should again.) My life long pattern of flight has been a pattern that has brought many rewards and must have suited me. Noting that I have been successful in various “careers”, mainly in social work, something I hadn’t studied or trained for, I earned my retirement, and I gained plenty to write about. But equally worth noting is the fact that I enjoyed each “career,” even my stint as an investigator for Child Protective Services and enjoyed and enjoy even more the activity of writing. The excitement seems to be there; I have plenty to write about. Then why run away?
For the last three years I have pushed myself very hard. I had a big goal, a huge project and still have it…the goal that is: the restoration and full utilization of Teatro Carmen. (Google it and learn that it is the oldest theater building in this part of the world, and today, it is being used for storage. This situation sticks in my craw, and I am very passionate about it. And I put my money… $200,000 worth… toward it, and now that’s gone and I’m stuck. There is no reason to get into the details here.) And I don’t know where to go from here. Often, as I spent a tremendous amount of energy and money (for me), I thought: “since historically, the Teatro and environs were the origins and the cultural heart of Tucson, my task would be easy.” Though there has been a lot of agreement about the cultural and historical significance of the sites, moving beyond that hasn’t been a priority. But I haven’t given up; though I’ve thought about jumping on my bicycle and touring the world.
When we left the Philippines, we travel and lived abroad for three years. Much of that was by bicycle, though we covered more distance by airplane and Land Rover. Back in the states, we moved from Maine to Arizona by bicycle. And even later, I led a group of disabled people on tour by bicycle from Phoenix (yes, Arizona) to DC. So a long trek by bicycle wouldn’t be that unusual for me, except now I have health problems and I would have to leave my family in Tucson. I could create another writing project for myself. I could write about travel, an example of which is a short piece of mine on this blog site. I would be writing. It would keep my brain active. Easier than writing a novel or a play. Yep, why don’t I just do that?
Here I am, now not knowing what to do or where to go. I am adrenaline junkie without a high. Hence, I must generate excitement, and not runaway.