Back Home?

I’m in Memphis, my home for most of my 68 years. A rig repair at my RV dealer necessitated that I return to my old stomping grounds. Memphis has soul and other wonderful attributes. It afforded me a good life but it began to lack intrigue for me. My history in Memphis includes both personal gain and loss. Some of the losses have a visceral charge, especially the death a year ago of Sarla, my wife of 20 years. Though she is still energetically present and is a cherished memory, taking up residence in my rig has diminished the touchpoint of my loss.

I’ve got family in Memphis that I enjoy and love. These feelings are not in conflict with enjoying the personal space that living alone affords. Being together less frequently may create opportunity for connection that is more precious than routine. I’ve got close friends in Memphis. Friendships that matter endure the test of physical distance.

I’ve gotten feedback about my blog. One suggestion was that I express my sense of humor more. Another was that I write less about contemplative topics and more about everyday meanderings. Someone else suggested an interest in knowing where I am, and I received a suggestion to include a map. I started out writing my blog so that I’d have a trip journal. Then others declared that they’d like to stay in touch. Journaling morphed into blogging at which point this process became about writing not just for my documentation of life on the trail, but also for an audience. I appreciate your comments and feedback.

I read an interview with Neil Young about 10 or 15 years ago. He was asked why he chose to leave Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young at a time when the group was on top of the music world. Young replied that he “followed the muse.” He embraced whatever struck his fancy. He had earned that luxury. Whereas Young’s solo work hasn’t excited me as much as his earlier work with CSNY, his commitment to following his muse is creatively and professionally courageous. He is in touch with the life he wants. I’m equally inspired by his quest as I am by his past. I’m following my muse.

People often ask me if I’m enjoying my current nomadic path. Rod Stryker, my former yoga teacher once said, “Your work is to identify what you love, and then do it.” My journey is not to identify what I love but to learn to love what I’m doing. I heeded the call to roam on my own. Loving the path I’ve chosen is a process, not a decision. I’m focused on the quality of my day-to-day experiences rather than whether or not they’re right for me. It’s sometimes out of my comfort zone. I set out to shape my future so that it’d be different than the existence that I left. I’m collecting life capital, building an experiential bank account. I trust that the process will lead me to an outpost to witness the landscape until it sends me forward again.

Published by jmlewisjr

Hello. This is Jimmy Lewis. I'm in Memphis, Tennessee. My golden doodle, Lola and I are leaving on a North American tour in May, 2021. We'll be traveling in a 2021 Jayco Melbourne 24L motorhome. We have neither time constraints nor exact destination specifications. We'll spend May in Virginia, North and South Carolina, and then head north through New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont. If Canadians resume the practice of putting out a welcome mat for Americans, then we'll cross the border.  The seed for this journey began after my wife, Sarla passed away in May, 2020. Sarla was a yogi. An early yoga teacher of hers implored her to "Have what you need, and use what you have." As I prepare to close on the sale of our home on April 30, 2021, I'm deciding what I need based on the likelihood of using what I have. I give some things away without a flicker of feeling. When more meaningful items like the piano I inherited from my parents leave the premises, I feel like I'm saying goodbye to an old friend for the last time. Sarla's death lessened my attachment to the home we had enjoyed for 15 years and life as I knew it. I didn't need and couldn't possibly use a house that could satisfy the needs of a family with four children. I'll no longer experience residence, a concept identified with staying in a specified place, as I've heretofore known it. Life will never be the same, nor do I want to attempt to shape my future into a likeness of what I once knew.   I've set my sights on adventure. I want to be challenged by not knowing who or what I'll meet on the road. The outdoors is one of my default antidotes for stress. Other than my rig, I won't have an indoors base. Whereas others might opt to downsize so that they have the stability of a landing spot, I won't be able to go "home" as I've known it. I'm jazzed about the prospect of being at the whim of the muse, to go where my finger lands on turning pages of the Rand McNally atlas. My dog, Lola is indifferent even though I've been talking to her about the journey every day. She looks quizzically at me when I enthusiastically say we're hitting the road together. I'm confident that she'll do well. We've previously driven together to and from a destination 12 hours from home. She curiously gazed out the window and occasionally snoozed in the passenger seat. She didn't express displeasure about the podcasts and music selection that I chose to entertain and inform me while driving. This trip isn't driven by personal goals. Will I learn more about myself? Will I take advantage of the opportunity to reflect? Will I be lonely? Will I be uneasy? I'm motivated by a curiosity to follow the questions.

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